Mediterranean Pork and Orzo

Mediterranean Pork and Orzo

Would you believe this is only the second time I’ve ever cooked orzo?  I like it but when I cook pasta it’s usually for something substantial like mac and cheese or spaghetti or baked ziti.  Also, orzo doesn’t seem like pasta.

Does anyone else out there have rice/orzo brain confusion?  Or am I the only one that thinks rice when I see orzo? ~ When I see pictures with recipes that have orzo my brain and taste buds think rice and so I just usually skip on over them because even though I like rice I wouldn’t like it in the recipes using orzo.  And I like orzo but wouldn’t like it in recipes using rice.  I’m not sure if I’m explaining myself very well.  All I can say is I wish orzo had a different shape so my brain wouldn’t be perplexed.

For some fortunate reason though, when I saw this Mediterranean Pork and Orzo in the June/July 2014 issue of Taste of Home it looked delicious to me and I didn’t eliminate the possibility of making it.  Instead, I put it on our menu and added orzo to my shopping list.  My brain did keep thinking rice but I forced myself to make it anyway because I love Mediterranean food and I had a pork tenderloin hanging out in the freezer.

And now this weird little story comes to an end.

I loved the orzo in this dish.  It gave it just the right amount of substance and texture without being noodle-y.  All of the flavors blended together well and the pork was cooked to perfection ~ a little bit crusty on the outside and super tender on the inside.  It isn’t overly seasoned, which I liked and the feta was in perfect balance with the other ingredients.  The original recipe calls for grape tomatoes but I don’t like them {it’s a texture thing, another weird story} so I used campari tomatoes from Costco and quartered them.

Make this Mediterranean Pork and Orzo this summer when you want a lovely, colorful one dish meal that’s also light and refreshing.

Mediterranean Pork and Orzo

Yield: 6 servings

Mediterranean Pork and Orzo


  • 2 pork tenderloins {3/4 lb. each}
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1-1/4 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach {or more}
  • 3-4 campari tomatoes, quartered {or 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved}
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. Cut the pork into 1-inch cubes.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the pepper and stir it well to combine.
  3. Add the pork; cook and stir 8-10 minutes or until it's no longer pink.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the orzo and salt; cook, uncovered, for about 8 minutes.
  5. Stir the spinach in with the orzo and cook for 45-60 seconds longer or until the orzo is tender and the spinach is wilted. Drain.
  6. Add the orzo and spinach to the pork and stir to combine.
  7. Add the tomatoes and feta cheese just right before serving.


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