This slow-cooker Lemon Garlic Meatball Orzo is a comforting, yet refreshing all-in-one meal.
The slow cooker, our unsung kitchen hero, is one of the best tools to get a comforting but delicious meal every time. Each bite of this orzo is a balance of zesty lemon, aromatic garlic, and perfectly seasoned meatballs. The orzo, a small yet mighty pasta, absorbs the essence of the savoury broth, adding a comforting feeling to every bite.
Whether you're a seasoned chef or a kitchen novice, the Slow-Cooker Lemon Garlic Meatball Orzo will definitely be a game-changer in your repertoire of easy and delicious recipes.
Slow-Cooker Lemon Garlic Meatball Orzo
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3-4 hours
1 ½ lbs ground turkey
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
½ head of garlic
¾ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ onion, diced
¼ cup butter
2 cups dry orzo pasta
3 cups fresh baby spinach (or frozen and squeezed dry)
⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
½ cup heavy cream
⅓ cup parmesan, more for topping
In a medium bowl, add the ground turkey, dried herbs, salt, pepper, and mustard. Mix the ingredients until combined. Tip: use a potato masher to mix well. Coat your hands in oil and roll the meat into tablespoon-sized balls. This should make approximately 20 meatballs. Add the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes to the slow cooker, and then the meatballs.
Pour the wine, chicken broth, and lemon juice into the slow cooker. Then, add the lemon zest and onion. Remove half the cloves from the head of garlic, roughly slice them and add to the slow cooker. Keep the remaining half of garlic for later.
Cook the meatballs on medium for 3-4 hours.
Preheat your oven to broil. Remove the meatballs from the slow cooker and place on a baking sheet. Set aside.
Bring the slow cooker to high heat and add the orzo and 1 cup of water. Stir into the broth and cook for 25 minutes or until the orzo is cooked to al dente. Once the orzo is done, stir in the spinach, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, cream and parmesan.
While the orzo is cooking. Make the garlic lemon butter by combining the butter, 3 cloves of grated garlic, and ½ tablespoon lemon zest in a small bowl. Place in the microwave for 20 seconds or until melted. Pour over the meatballs and lightly toss. Place the meatballs in the oven and broil for 2-3 minutes or until the meatballs start to turn golden.
Serve the meatballs over the orzo, squeeze lemon juice over top, and enjoy!