Healthy, Inexpensive Meals – Pesto Orzo with Chicken Sausage

healthy inexpensive meals pesto orzo with chicken sausageThis is one of my favorite fast, easy dishes to make for my family.  The fresh ingredients in this healthy, inexpensive meal really make the flavor pop.  I hope you enjoy!

Pesto Orzo with Chicken Sausage

Ingredients

    For the Pesto
  • 2 cups fresh organic basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 3 medium-sized garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated organic parmesan reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the Dish:
  • 16 oz organic, whole wheat orzo
  • 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 – 16 oz organic chicken sausage
  • 1/2 green, red, yellow, and orange organic bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced

Instructions

    For the Pesto
  1. Combine basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor.
  2. Pulse a few times.
  3. While food processor is on, slowly pour in olive oil.
  4. Scrape down sides with spatula.
  5. Add cheese and pulse until blended.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Set aside.
  8. For the Dish
  9. Cook the orzo according to package instructions.
  10. When orzo is fully cooked, drain and toss with pesto. Set aside.
  11. Add oil and sausage to a sauté pan and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Set aside.
  12. Add peppers and onion to the pan and sauté until slightly tender.
  13. Slice the sausage. Toss in the pan with the peppers and onions for a few minutes to lightly brown the sausage.
  14. Serve the peppers, onions, and sausage over the pesto orzo.
http://naturalthrifty.com/healthy-inexpensive-meals-pesto-orzo-chicken-sausage.html

Notes:

  • Definitely don’t add salt to the pesto until you’ve tasted the blend. The cheese will add a significant amount of flavor. You might not have to add any additional salt.
  • I find pine nuts in the produce section of my grocery store. Some people suggest substituting walnuts for the pine nuts, but I’ve never tried this. Leave a comment if you’ve had success with this idea!
  • The chicken sausage I have found locally has no preservatives and all fresh ingredients. I feel good about feeding my family food without nitrates and nitrites.
  • Save money by making the pesto with leaves from your own basil plant.
  • Slice the other half of each of the peppers and onion and put them in a freezer bag in the freezer. These can be used as a great money and time saver for the future.

healthy inexpensive meals pesto orzo with chicken sausage 1

If you’re looking for other tips on healthy, inexpensive meals, check out:

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