Winter Vegetable Medley with Paella-Style Orzo Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Winter Vegetable Medley with Paella-Style Orzo

Good-quality saffron is the key to this dish. Shop at a reliable source such as a gourmet store or online spice purveyor, and choose brands that indicate where the saffron was harvested. Kashmiri, Persian, and Spanish saffrons are some of the best.



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2 ¾ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
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2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
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1 tsp. Italian seasoning
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½ tsp. saffron threads
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1 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted whole tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved, and tomatoes halved
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2 Tbs. olive oil
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1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 16 pieces
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1 cup orzo pasta
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¼ cup frozen peas
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2 cups large cauliflower florets
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8 green onions, each cut into thirds
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1 cup large broccoli florets


1. Bring broth to a simmer in saucepan. Stir in garlic, Italian seasoning, saffron, and tomato liquid. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and keep hot.

2. Coat large skillet or 8-qt. Dutch oven with cooking spray, add oil, and heat over high heat. Add tomatoes, sear 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned and dry, and transfer to plate. Add bell pepper, sear 2 to 3 minutes, and transfer to same plate.

3. Sprinkle orzo into skillet, and stir 30 seconds. Stir in broth and peas, and reduce heat to medium. Arrange cauliflower florets on top of orzo in pot. Arrange green onions, tomatoes, and bell pepper pieces around cauliflower; cover, and simmer without stirring, 11 minutes. Scatter broccoli over vegetables, remove pot from heat, and let stand, covered, 10 minutes, or until orzo has absorbed all liquid and broccoli is crisp-tender.

Nutrition Information: 

10 g
Total Fat: 
8 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
47 g
0 mg
367 mg
6 g
8 g
Serves 4

Comments on this Recipe

I made this last night. It was delicious! I wasn't able to find fire roasted whole tomatoes so I just used regular whole tomatoes and added a little smoked paprika. Other than that, I followed the recipe to a T and it was perfect! I had never cooked with saffron before. I was tempted to leave it out as I was having a hard time finding it... DO NOT LEAVE IT OUT! It really is what made the recipe and my house smelled amazing!

Made this last night and really liked it. Healthy, filling meal that provided leftovers the next day for lunches. I used what I had on hand; this meant diced fire-roasted tomatoes, frozen broccoli florets, and Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base, but followed the recipe otherwise. Easy and fast enough for a reasonable weeknight dinner. We paired it with brussels sprouts skewers from the same issue and were happy with the meal.

I made this and really liked it. But I found the large chunks of tomatoes difficult to eat. Next time I will use diced tomatoes. Other than that, it was really delicious.


Veggie heaven :)

tremenda receta

I don't understand where the claimed 10 grams of protein come from in this recipe. I don't believe that is correct. So, it should probably be supplemented with another protein source.

Hi Vance, the nutritional analysis is correct. 6 grams of protein comes from the orzo and the rest comes from the vegetables. Enjoy!

A bit heavy on the saffron, IMO. Next time I think I'll cut the amount in half. I love saffron, but not when it overwhelms the other flavors; a little goes a very long way. I'll also be reducing the liquid; using the exact measurements in the recipe had a very...juicy end result. Everything was cooked, including the orzo, so it simply didn't need that much juice. I also added about 1/2 tsp of sambal oelek for just a hint of heat. But I did really enjoy the end result, even if it wasn't quite what I was expecting to get. I think I'll make this again, just with some adjustments.

Delicious. I did't change a thing about the recipe and everyone loved it! The fire roasted and saffron really add a satisfying interest to this dish!

If I add rice with this <a href="" rel="nofollow">recipe</a> then it will be good?


Here you go.

Can't wait to try and share!


This looks amazing and I want to make it but I do not like tomatoes. Any replacement suggestions?

yummy! Made it! : ) Really, really loved it. My version here: