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One-Pan Lemon-Pepper Salmon and Orzo

Riley Wofford
Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins
Servings:
4
RATE THIS RECIPE
(9)

Chef notes

Nothing beats a one-pot meal on a busy night, especially if it’s packed with nutritious ingredients. This evergreen recipe pairs a dish of creamy orzo pasta with perfectly cooked salmon filets that are sprinkled with lemon-pepper seasoning. Lemon pepper spice mix is made by dehydrating lemon peels and grinding them up with crushed black pepper and salt. You’ll often see it used as seasoning in fish recipes, but it can also be used to flavor other meats like roast chicken, charred vegetables or in creamy lemon pasta sauces.?

The beauty of this one-pot dish is that the pasta cooks quickly and also provides a bed for the salmon filets to cook in. The lemon pepper makes a huge impact on the overall flavor, but a little bit of fresh lemon zest in the orzo helps brighten the heavy pasta. Once the fish has steamed in the oven and the pasta is tender, stir a few handfuls of spinach into the warm orzo just until it wilts. The leafy greens help make the dish feel like a more well-balanced meal.

A tart and creamy yogurt sauce is just the thing to break through the fattiness of the salmon. The honey-mustard yogurt sauce is also flavored with another squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a few tablespoons of chopped dill. When I serve this, I like to include some more dill sprigs and lemon wedges on the side so that your guests? can amp up the flavor as desired.

Technique Tip: If you can’t find salmon that already has the skin removed, it’s pretty easy to do it yourself. Place the salmon filet skin-side down on a cutting board and wedge a sharp knife into the area where the skin meets the flesh. Use a paper towel to grab onto the skin and slowly wiggle your knife while pulling the skin in the other direction — it should fall off pretty easily that way.

Swap Option: Lemon pepper seasoning pairs well with all kinds of fish — you could use thick whitefish filets like cod or halibut, if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1? cups orzo
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1? teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1? pounds skinless salmon (divided into 4 filets)
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh juice, plus wedges for serving
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain or Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
Fulfilled by

Preparation

1.

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Heat the olive oil in a large, shallow oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned in places, about 5 minutes.

2.

Stir in orzo, broth, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until the orzo is tender and the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 10 minutes.

3.

Sprinkle the lemon-pepper seasoning evenly over the salmon filets, then nestle the fish into the skillet. Cover the skillet and transfer to the oven. Bake until the fish is just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the filets).

4.

Carefully transfer the salmon filets to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Stir the spinach into the orzo, cover and let stand until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir to combine.

5.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, mustard, honey and dill. To serve, divide the orzo mixture among four plates and top with salmon filets. Drizzle the yogurt sauce over the salmon and garnish with more dill and lemon wedges.

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