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The Easiest One Pan Caprese Pesto Orzo Bake. Trust me, this is going to become your new go-to for busy nights. Roasted tomatoes with garlic, shallots, and olive oil, all tossed together with dry orzo pasta, basil pesto, then finished with melty mozzarella cheese. This incredible dish is all made in one pan without even having to boil any water. Just mix, bake, eat, and enjoy!

Easiest One Pan Caprese Pesto Orzo Bake | halfbakedharvest.com

I know this is a recipe post, but for long-time readers, I just have to quickly say how incredible the last few days have been. Your support for me is just so sweet and incredible to feel. I feel so very loved by you all and I just want to say thank you, thank you!

For everyone who has already received the book, what’s your favorite recipe so far?!

Going to chat more about all this fun stuff on Sunday, but I just had to say thank you!

Ok, ok, back to today’s recipe. This is the easiest recipe and certainly my favorite of the week!! 

I honestly have no idea how I thought to put this one together, but it’s pretty perfect. The flavors are nothing new by any means, but the cooking method is super smart. And the end product is so very delicious. 

A lot of times one-pan pasta dishes aren’t cooked properly. But because we’re using orzo, which is such a small pasta, it cooks up really well!! 

Here are the simple, simple steps

Start out by roasting the tomatoes, just to get them cooking before we add the pasta. I added some garlic, shallots, and chili flakes to bump up the flavor a bit. 

When the tomatoes start sizzling, pull them out and add the DRY orzo pasta, a jar of basil pesto, and some peperoncinis. The peperoncinis are not traditional for Caprese, but I’m obsessed with them and they add a lot of flavor to the dish. 

The next key ingredient…water. 

So simple, and yes, technically not an ingredient. But the water cooks the pasta just as if we had boiled it on the stove. Once the water is in, bake another 10 minutes or so. Allowing the water to cook into the pasta, then stir, and sprinkle over the cheese. Now finish baking! 

Finish it up and eat 

When the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted, pull the pan out. If there’s a lot of oil on top from the jar of pesto, just drain that off and save it for dipping with bread (YUMMM). 

Top with plenty of fresh basil and that’s literally it. SO SIMPLE, SO DELICIOUS! And I love that there’s basically no prep or extra dishes. 

Simple but delicious really is the key! 

Looking for other easy pasta bakes? Here are my favorites: 

One Pot Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Whipped Ricotta

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta

4 Cheese Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake

Lastly, if you make this Easy One Pan Caprese Pesto Orzo Bake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Easiest One Pan Caprese Pesto Orzo Bake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 541 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
    2. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, shallots, basil, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Roast 10 minutes. Pull the tomatoes out of the oven. To the same pan, add the orzo, pesto, and peperoncinis. Pour over 2 1/2 cups of water and stir to combine. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until most of the water has cooked into the pasta, but not all of it.
    3. Stir the pasta around, then sprinkle over the cheese. Bake another 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the sauce bubbling. If there's a lot of oil from the pesto on top, drain off the excess. Top with fresh basil!
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was so yummy! I added a little more water at step 3 because I was nervous the orzo might not be cooked through with the remaining water but maybe it would have been just fine without it! Maybe it was just my oven too. I was wondering what do you serve this with? Is this a main dish? And do you have any recommendations for a protein to pair it with? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Stacie,
      You never remove the tomatoes from the pan:) You are just removing the pan from the oven. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  2. I made this, following the recipe and it was so gummy tasting, like the orzo just kind of clumped. Maybe I needed a better quality pasta? I wanted to love it soooo badly lol.

    1. Hi Bayley,
      So sorry to hear this!! Was there anything you adjusted? What kind of orzo did you use? Let me know how I can help! xx

    1. Hey Rachel,
      Arborio rice will also work well for you! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

  3. 4 stars
    I feel like it was too much orzo for the amount of flavoring that was put in. I would probably cut the orzo in half. Also, I feel like it was way more than six servings. Closer to eight or nine. Other than that, it was very easy, and I quite enjoyed it!

    1. Hey Kim,
      Happy Wednesday! ❄️ I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT

    1. Hey Kristen,
      Happy Monday!!☃️ Thanks a lot for making this recipe and sharing your review, I love to hear that it was a winner! xx

  4. 5 stars
    I love all your recipes! I do have a question: I saw this was marked “freezer friendly.” If I was going to make one of the recipes marked “freezer friendly” at what stage would I freeze it, and what are general reheating instructions. Thanks in advance for your time! Happy 2023 <3

    1. Hey William,
      I would freeze just before baking and then you can bake from frozen for about 60 minutes or thaw and bake as directed:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx