Vegan Creamy Tomato Orzo! There are so many fun and flavorful pasta dishes, and we are here for it! This dreamy little number is on repeat at our house; you won’t want to miss it.
Incredibly comforting and flavorful, this oil free Vegan Creamy Tomato Orzo is pure wholesome comfort food. Orzo and peas bathe in a delightful tomato-cream style sauce that is bursting with aromatic herb goodness. Slightly smoky undertones with a hint of tang gives this delicious risotto-style pasta dish depth! It is sure to be gone in a flash.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
Yasmeen ate this dish right up. She kept saying “more, more, more.” It’s always awesome when a toddler enjoys our Whole Food Plant Based meals. Yasmeen is not picky. She will try anything you put in front of her except plain raw tomatoes.
Now, something things she enjoys and eats more than others; I’m just thankful she’s an adventurous eater and will at least give it a go. Happily, she ate this tasty pasta with gusto. You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: This creamy orzo dish is filled with beautiful Italian spices with a light tomato-cream style base. It has slight smoky undertones from the smoked paprika and a hint of tang from the dried mustard powder and red wine vinegar.
- Cashews: The cashews go into the skillet with the broth to cook as they will be blended with the other skillet ingredients.
- Cashew Substitutions: You can replace the cashews with other nuts or seeds, white beans, or silken tofu with the understanding that the flavor and texture will be influenced accordingly.
- Orzo Pasta: This recipe is designed specifically to use orzo pasta. You can use other small pasta, but the orzo is tiny and gives this dish an almost risotto feel to it. Do not use more than 12 oz. of orzo pasta.
- Orzo Cooking: Cook the orzo to al dente stage. Al dente means “toothiness”, in other words, cook it to the point that it still has a tiny bit of chew to it. It will soften up even more in the sauce.
- Cooked Orzo: If the pasta is done for more than 5 minutes before adding to the skillet (which is perfectly fine), you may wish to run the cooked orzo under cold water again and use your fingers to loosen it up to prevent a sticky clump of orzo. Orzo really tends to stick together.
- Stir-In Spice/Herbs: Do not place the Stir-In Spice/Herb Ingredients into the high-speed blender as they can become over processed and bring a slightly bitter edge to the sauce.
- Sauce: Initially the sauce will appear to be very soupy. This recipe is designed to be an almost porridge/risotto like in consistency. The cashews will tighten up the sauce as it slightly cools. Note: If you substitute the cashews, the sauce may not tighten up. You may consider using slightly less liquids.
- Frozen Peas: You can use fresh peas with this recipe; however, you will want to cook them first to the desired tenderness before adding to the sauce. We enjoyed using frozen baby peas simply because they are small and their size matched the orzo size.
- Other Veggies: If you wish, you can substitute the peas for another small vegetable, like tiny broccoli florets.
- Amount of Sea Salt: Our family was completely divided over the amount of sea salt that this dish needed to be perfectly seasoned. We ultimately landed on 1 ¼ teaspoon. Feel free to adjust the sea salt accordingly.
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese: Topping with Vegan Parmesan Cheese really took the dish to the next level of deliciousness. It is not required, but it adds depth.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container.
This dish freezes well.
Pantry Products Used:
- Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients. Feel free to use your favorite vegetable stock/broth.
- Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Stock pot (to cook the orzo)
- High-speed blender
- Large Skillet
If you try this comforting pasta dish, we would love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do! Please leave us a review! Post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag us! We would love to hear from you.Print
Incredibly comforting and flavorful, this oil free Vegan Creamy Tomato Orzo is pure wholesome comfort food.
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth *
- ½ cup water
- 1 – [ 14 oz. can ] petite diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup [raw] cashews
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ cup unsweetened plain plant milk
Skillet Spice/Herb Ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ to 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt (+/-) *
Stir-In Spice/Herb Ingredients:
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon Italian Seasonings
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (+/-)
- 12 oz. orzo *
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Chopped fresh basil
- Cook the orzo according to package directions (al dente stage *), drain, rinse with cold water, set aside.
- In the meantime, place the Skillet Spice/Herb Ingredients into a small bowl, whisk to combine, set aside.
- Place the Stir-In Spice/Herb Ingredients into a separate small bowl, whisk to combine, set aside.
- Add the diced onions to a large skillet, sauté over medium heat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Add a tablespoon or so of water if they start to stick and/or to prevent burning.
- Next add the minced garlic, sauté, stirring constantly for one minute, then add all the remaining Base Ingredients(including the cashews) and the Skillet Spice/Herb Mix. Stir well to mix, bring to a boil, then immediately lower to a simmer. Simmer for 8 minutes.
- After 8 minutes, remove the skillet from the stove and allow to slightly cool off, approximately 2 to 4 minutes, then place the skillet mixture into a high-speed blender and blend on high for several minutes. Then pour the blended skillet mixture back into the large skillet and place on the stove.
- Add the Stir-In Spice/Herb Mix and red wine vinegar to the skillet, stir well to combine. Increase the heat to boil, then immediately lower to a simmer.
- Add the peas and cooked orzo *, simmer for 4 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the stove and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve topped with Vegan Parmesan Cheese and freshly chopped basil.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: 4 to 5
This post contains affiliate links, and we may receive a very small commission if you purchase through those links at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures! For more information, see our disclosures here.