….That is how many hits come up when you search the term “mexican orzo.”
And this post will make #1721!
I have to say I thought maybe I had an original on my hands one night, when I decided to make “mexican rice” and used orzo pasta instead of actual rice. But it looks like I was beat out of the gate.
That’s okay – because I still think mine was easiest!
Of course I had a little help from my friends——————->
To be honest, I had rice on hand – several kinds. I could have gone all healthy and high-brow using brown rice. But the truth is…(by the way isn’t that the name of some new internet facebook thing the kids are all doing these days?)…I had two boxes of orzo in the pantry to use up and I thought “why not?”
So I cooked the pasta (stopping it at very al dente) and poured it into a sprayed casserole dish and mixed in: 1 can ro*tel ( 10 oz -mild or hot) 1 can (80z) tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp +/- ground cumin, 1/2 tsp +/- seasoned salt, black pepper to taste, 1 medium onion that had been diced and sautéed in a little butter. You can also spice this up by adding more of any of the above ingredients, some of your favorite hot sauce or even sliced jalapenos. Not everybody in my house loves spicy so I kept it conservative.
Bake in the oven, covered in foil, for 25-30 mins on 350 degrees. Pull out, remove foil and add as much shredded cheese on top as you dare and bake another 5-10 mins until cheese bubbly and brown.
Tip: This can be made ahead, cooled and refrigerated and re-heated when it is time for the party! Or make it Gluten free by using the rice instead of the orzo pasta.
Serve with some “old standbys” like grilled chicken and fresh avocado salsa.