Salmon with Artichoke Orzo

5 from 2 votes
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Salmon with artichoke orzo is a creamy indulgent dish that marries flaky salmon with the tangy rich and hearty texture of artichoke infused orzo pasta – delicious!

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One Pan Salmon with Artichoke Orzo

I love a quick and easy dinner and this salmon with orzo pasta is one that always satisfies my family without a lot of dishes in the sink to clean up. The flakey dish is pan fried in a hot pan and then you quickly make the creamy artichoke infused sauce. This dish is seasoned with thyme and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice brightens the entire meal.

This one pan wonder is very healthy and diet conscious and is the perfect choice for both weeknight dinners and special occasions. I look forward to it being part of your regular menu as it is in my house!

How to Make Creamy Salmon with Artichoke Orzo

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Olive oil (1 tbsp) – A versatile base for cooking, olive oil adds a subtle, fruity flavor to the dish and helps to brown the salmon beautifully.
  • Unsalted butter (1 tbsp) – Adds a rich, creamy texture and a smooth flavor that complements both the salmon and the orzo.
  • Salmon fillets (4) – The star of the dish, salmon fillets bring a tender, flaky texture and a rich, oily taste that pairs wonderfully with the creamy orzo.
  • Salt (1 tsp) – A fundamental seasoning that enhances the natural flavors of the salmon and balances the other ingredients.
  • Black pepper (1 tsp) – Adds a mild heat and aromatic touch, elevating the overall flavor profile of the dish.
  • Garlic powder (1 tsp) – Provides a convenient and consistent garlic flavor throughout the orzo without the need for fresh garlic.
  • Onion powder (1 tsp) – Delivers a subtle onion essence that deepens the savory notes of the orzo.
  • Paprika (1 tsp) – Offers a gentle smokiness and vibrant color, enhancing both the visual appeal and the taste of the salmon.
  • Garlic cloves (4) – Fresh garlic cloves infuse a robust and aromatic flavor into the orzo, creating a rich depth in the dish.
  • Yellow onion (1) – Sautéed until translucent, yellow onion adds a sweet and savory foundation to the orzo mixture.
  • Dried thyme (1 tsp) – This herb introduces a slight minty and earthy flavor that complements both the salmon and the artichoke beautifully.
  • Orzo (1 cup) – A small, rice-shaped pasta that absorbs flavors well, making it the perfect carrier for the rich, creamy sauce.
  • Chicken broth (2 ½ cups) – Adds a savory depth and moisture to the orzo, helping it cook evenly and absorb the array of flavors in the dish.
  • Artichoke hearts (10 ounce) – Bring a slightly tangy and nutty flavor that contrasts nicely with the creamy, rich elements of the orzo.
  • Parmesan (¾ cup) – A hard, salty cheese that, when grated over the top, adds a sharp umami flavor and a slightly nutty aroma.
  • Lemon juice (2 tbsp) – Brightens the dish with a splash of acidity, cutting through the richness and balancing the flavors.
  • Heavy cream (1 cup) – Provides a luxurious, velvety texture to the orzo, binding all the components together in a rich, cohesive sauce.
  • Parsley and chili flakes – for serving

Use this Method

Prep Salmon. Get your prep done before you start cooking. Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.

Prep Veg. Finely chop the onion, mince the garlic and halve the artichokes.

Cook Salmon. Heat oil and butter over medium high in a large nonstick pan or skillet. Add salmon fillets and cook 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet onto a clean plate and set aside.

Cook Sauce. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and onion. Cook until soft and fragrant for about 2 minutes. Stir in thyme, and the remaining salt and pepper. Next add orzo and cook for 1 minute. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. To maintain a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered until almost al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently to keep the orzo from sticking to the bottom of you skillet and to release its starch.

Add Dairy and Finish. Stir in Parmesan. Add artichokes and lemon juice. Pour in cream and simmer for 2 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Return salmon to the skillet and simmer everything for 3 more minutes or until the salmon is heated through.

Garnish. Top with chili flakes, freshly ground black pepper and parsley. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Tips and Tricks for Salmon with Creamy Artichoke Orzo

Choose the Right Salmon: Opt for fresh, high-quality salmon. If available, wild-caught salmon offers a richer flavor compared to farm-raised.

Season Well: Season the salmon generously with salt, pepper, and your choice of herbs like dill or parsley to enhance its natural flavors.

Use Marinated Artichokes: Opt for marinated artichoke hearts for added flavor. Drain them well, but reserve some of the marinade to add to the orzo for extra zest.

Sauté for Flavor: Sauté onions and garlic until translucent before adding the orzo and artichokes to build a flavorful base for the dish.

Add Freshness with Lemon: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the cooked salmon and orzo to add a bright, acidic touch that balances the richness of the dish.

Incorporate Greens: Toss in spinach or arugula into the orzo right before serving for added color, texture, and nutrition.

Garnish for Impact: Garnish with fresh herbs, capers, or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to enhance the visual appeal and flavor of the dish.

FAQs

How do I ensure the orzo doesn’t stick together?

Stir the orzo frequently while cooking, and once drained, you can toss it with a little olive oil to prevent sticking before you mix it with other ingredients.

Is there a dairy-free alternative to using butter in the recipe?

Olive oil or another plant-based oil can be a good substitute for butter when sautéing or roasting the salmon and vegetables, maintaining a rich flavor while keeping it dairy-free.

What other vegetables can I include in this dish?

Spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, or olives can be great additions to the orzo for more complexity and variety in flavor and texture.

How can I add more flavor to the orzo?

Sauté garlic and onions before adding the orzo, and consider using chicken or vegetable stock instead of water for cooking the orzo. Incorporating lemon zest and herbs like basil or thyme can also enhance the flavor.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

The orzo and artichoke mixture can be prepared ahead of time and gently reheated when ready to serve. However, salmon is best cooked fresh to maintain its quality and texture.

How do I prevent the salmon from becoming dry?

To keep salmon moist, cook it skin-side down first at high heat to seal in the juices, and finish cooking in the oven just until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (about 62°C).

What type of salmon is best for this dish?

Fresh, wild-caught salmon is typically best for flavor and texture, but farm-raised salmon can also be used if it’s more accessible.

How do I store leftoverS?

Leftover salmon with artichoke orzo can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days and reheated in the microwave, be sure to stir the orzo halfway through heating.

What to Serve with Salmon with Creamy Artichoke Orzo

Steamed Asparagus: The mild, slightly grassy flavor of asparagus pairs beautifully with the richness of salmon, and its firm texture contrasts nicely with the creamy orzo.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Their earthy, nutty flavor and crispy texture provide a hearty counterbalance to the soft and flavorful orzo.

Caesar Salad: A classic Caesar salad, with its crisp romaine and tangy dressing, adds a fresh, vibrant dimension to balance the creamy pasta and rich salmon.

Garlic Bread: Perfect for sopping up any remaining sauce, garlic bread adds a nice crunch and aromatic flavor that complements both the salmon and orzo.

White Wine: A glass of crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, pairs wonderfully with salmon, enhancing its flavors while cutting through the richness of the dish.

Lemon Wedges: Serving the dish with extra lemon wedges allows diners to add a burst of fresh citrus, brightening up the overall flavors and complementing the artichoke’s tanginess.

Sautéed Spinach: A simple side of sautéed spinach, seasoned with just garlic, salt, and a dash of lemon, adds a healthy, lightly flavored component that doesn’t overpower the main dish.

Cucumber Salad: A light, refreshing cucumber salad dressed with vinegar and herbs can cleanse the palate and contrast the dish’s creaminess with its crisp, cool texture.

Grilled Zucchini: Grilled zucchini slices add a smoky flavor that matches well with the grilled or pan-seared salmon, and their soft texture harmonizes with the orzo.

Try these other one pan recipes:

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Three pieces of seasoned, grilled salmon are served over a bed of creamy orzo pasta with artichokes, garnished with chopped parsley.
Print

Salmon with Artichoke Orzo

Salmon with artichoke orzo is a delightful dish, blending the rich, buttery flavor of perfectly cooked salmon with the tangy and savory notes of artichoke-infused orzo pasta.
Cuisine Italian
Keyword best one pot recipes, best seafood, creamy orzo, creamy salmon florentine, healthy fish, one pot
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 483kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell
Cost $15

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 salmon fillets skinless
  • 1 tsp salt divided
  • 1 tsp black pepper divided
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 10 ounce artichoke hearts packed in oil drained
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • chopped parsley for serving
  • chili flakes for serving

Instructions

  • Get your prep done before you start cooking. Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.
  • Finely chop the onion, mince the garlic and halve the artichokes.
  • Heat oil and butter over medium high in a large nonstick pan or skillet. Add salmon fillets and cook 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet onto a clean plate and set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and onion. Cook until soft and fragrant for about 2 minutes. Stir in thyme, and the remaining salt and pepper. Next add orzo and cook for 1 minute.
  • Pour in broth and bring to a boil. To maintain a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered until almost al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently to keep the orzo from sticking to the bottom of you skillet and to release its starch.
  • Stir in Parmesan. Add artichokes and lemon juice. Pour in cream and simmer for 2 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Return salmon to the skillet and simmer everything for 3 more minutes or until the salmon is heated through.
  • Top with chili flakes, freshly ground black pepper and parsley. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 697mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1367IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 178mg | Iron: 1mg

About Courtney

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5 from 2 votes

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    Turned out Perfect!

  2. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    Delicious!

  3. Margaret says:

    Absolutely wonderful

    1. Katherine says:

      Thank you its a favorite with my family too!