Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 40 mins | Servings: 4

Take those leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey out and make this One-Pot Orzo Pasta. Quick and easy, super delicious, and weight-loss friendly too!


2 tablespoons olive oil or olive oil spray for a slimming friendly version

1 onion, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

55 grams (½ cup) sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed for slimming version

1 teaspoon garlic granules

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon paprika

150 grams (1 cup) dry orzo pasta

300 grams (10½ ounces) leftover cooked turkey or chicken, diced small

2 tablespoons white wine or stock to deglaze the pan, optional

500 ml (2 c) hot chicken stock (from a cube)

240 grams (1 c) half fat creme Fraiche or reduced-fat sour cream or fat-free quark cheese

60 grams (2 c) fresh baby spinach

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve (optional)

Lemon zest, to garnish (optional)

Salt and pepper to season to taste

How to make One-pot Leftover Turkey Orzo Pasta

Step 1: Prepare the oven. Preheat it to 200 degrees C or 400 degrees F.

Step 2: In a large casserole dish or Dutch oven, heat a tbsp oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar. For a slimming version, use olive oil spray instead.

Step 3: Stir in the onion and cover the pot. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes over low very low heat, stirring hardly.

Step 4: When the onion has softened, stir in the minced garlic, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, salt, garlic granules, and paprika. Saute for several minutes.

Step 5: Add a splash of white wine or vermouth/chicken stock to deglaze the pan if it’s getting a bit dry.

Step 6: Stir in the orzo pasta in oil and seasonings before adding in the diced turkey or chicken.

Step 7: Pour the chicken stock into the casserole and bring to a simmer. Note to scrape the bottom of the pan so the orzo won’t stick.

Step 8: Add in the creme fraiche or sour cream. Stir to incorporate.

Step 9: Place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, covered.

Step 10: Uncover the pot halfway through baking and stir the dish with a wooden spoon.

Step 11: Stir in some of the fresh spinach until wilted.

Step 12: Add in the grated Parmesan and season according to taste.


Feel free to stir in the spinach before baking. Remember that if you do so, the spinach won’t hold its bright green colour.

For this recipe, you can also use fresh chicken instead of turkey. Dice the chicken tender or use mini chicken breasts. Add to the cooked onions. Continue to cook for 5 minutes until the chicken has some colour but not completely cooked. Resume cooking following the steps above.

When reheating, add a bit of water and heat until warmed.

This dish doesn’t freeze well.

Use fat-free Quark cheese instead of crème fraîche/sour cream if you want really low calories. I suggest cooking this in a nonstick casserole or Dutch oven to minimize the use of oil. And serve with more veggies. A single serving of this dish is about 450 calories and 14 WeightWatchers Smart Points.

Before pouring in the stock continue to cook this on the stove over low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often until the orzo is cooked. Add in the spinach and stir until wilted.

Nutritional Facts:

Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 2079mg | Potassium: 1091mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1807IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 3mg