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Creamy Lemon Pepper Ground Turkey and Broccoli Orzo

Looking for something to make with that ground turkey in your refrigerator? Well you’re in the right place. This creamy lemon pepper ground turkey and broccoli orzo is a simple one-pan recipe that’s packed with 32 grams of filling protein per serving.

How to Make Creamy Ground Turkey and Broccoli Orzo

You’ll find a visual recipe walkthrough in the post below, and a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post. If you skip down and have an ingredient substitution or recipe question, it’s probably answered between here and there.

1. Sauté broccoli in olive oil for 5-6 minutes until vibrant green and slightly charred.

pan roasted broccoli

This recipe starts out just like my honey sriracha chicken and broccoli, with lightly pan charred broccoli florets. Cut the broccoli florets into small pieces for the best eating experience and a faster cook time.

Set the broccoli aside until the very end.

For an alternative veggie check out my ground turkey and mushroom orzo recipe, which uses brown butter sage mushrooms instead of broccoli, or my Italian chicken and zucchini with its parmesan roasted zucchini.

2. Brown and fully cook ground turkey and toast orzo in the pan for 1-2 minutes.

cooked ground turkey in a skillet with orzo and lemon pepper seasoning

Orzo may look like rice, but it’s actually pasta. Toasting it before adding liquid gives it a nutty flavor that goes perfectly with this creamy lemon pepper sauce.

If you don’t have orzo, you could swap it for instant rice or a higher protein option like Right Rice. Check out my Greek ground chicken skillet or Thai curry ground chicken and Right Rice for two examples. You could also use another pasta like the chickpea pasta in my one-pan cheeseburger pasta.

Other rice and pasta options should have similar cook times to the orzo.

3. Add lemon pepper seasoning, dijon mustard, chicken broth, and lemon juice. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

chicken broth and dijon mustard added to the skillet

While the recipe calls for two and a half cups of chicken broth, you may need slightly more or less depending on the size of your pan. You’re looking to fully cook the orzo while reducing the liquid in 8-10 minutes.

pan before cooking orzo

If the orzo isn’t fully cooked before the liquid is absorbed by the ground turkey and lost to evaporation, add more and continue cooking.

pan with cooked orzo after 8-10 minutes

It’s also worth mentioning, other rice and pasta options may require slight adjustments to liquid and cook times. But don’t stress, this recipe is nearly impossible to mess up.

If you have a little too much liquid left in the pan or pot, reduce the milk in the next step. The butter and parmesan will thicken everything.

4. Reduce the heat and stir in butter, milk, and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

grated parmesan on top of cooked orzo and ground turkey mixed with butter and milk

In that order. Be sure the butter is fully melted and incorporated before adding the milk. Once the milk is incorporated, add the parmesan. This should prevent any clumps.

You can also add a handful or two of chopped parsley here, but that’s totally optional.

Note: For an extra cheesy sauce, check out the lemon ricotta sauce from my Italian ground turkey soup and creamy broccoli and ground turkey pasta recipes.

5. Add the broccoli to the ground turkey and orzo.

pan roasted broccoli added to the creamy lemon pepper ground turkey and orzo

Ah, there’s our cruciferous friend. Stir everything together and you have something resembling ground turkey and broccoli rice casserole, but with a hearty pasta twist.

finished creamy ground turkey and broccoli orzo

I serve this with fresh black pepper and parmesan, a teaspoon or two of Calabrian chili oil, and a tiny drizzle of quality olive oil. You could also throw some mozzarella or another cheese on top and pop the entire pan under the broiler for an extra cheesy situation.

And that’s a wrap. Enjoy your creamy ground turkey and broccoli orzo!

More Kinda Healthy Ground Turkey Recipes

holding a bowl of ground turkey and broccoli orzo topped with grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes

One Pan Ground Turkey and Broccoli Orzo

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Lean ground turkey and pan roasted broccoli with orzo in a creamy lemon pepper and parmesan sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Ground Turkey (99/1)
  • 12 oz Broccoli Florets, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon (24g) Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 1/3 cup (220g) Orzo
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup (60g) Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) Dijon Mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth

For Finishing

  • 1 cup Skim Milk
  • 1 oz Unsalted Butter
  • 2 oz Parmesan Cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add the broccoli and toss in the oil. Pan roast until the broccoli turns dark green and is slightly charred in places, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Add the remaining 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and the ground turkey. Brown one side for 3-4 minutes before breaking apart and fully cooking.
  3. Once cooked, push to one side of the pan and add the orzo. Toast for 1-2 minutes until golden before adding the lemon pepper seasoning, lemon juice, dijon, and chicken broth. Stir everything together, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes, until the broth is absorbed.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the butter, milk, and freshly grated parmesan. Add the roasted broccoli and stir everything together.
  5. Serve with freshly grated black pepper and parmesan, chili flakes, a drizzle of olive oil or Calabrian chili oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 10 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355Total Fat: 11gCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 32g

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Stefany Fetterolf

Monday 28th of August 2023

I’ve had this twice already since finding this recipe and I crave it regularly!! I do find that mine takes a few extra minutes before adding the milk butter etc to fully absorb. Love this fish nonetheless!!!

Megan

Sunday 13th of August 2023

This is one of my favorites!!!!! So easy and so much flavor!

Terri

Sunday 16th of April 2023

This was so easy to make and the flavor is amazing!

Nadine

Monday 27th of February 2023

Wondering what brand of lemon pepper you used?

Mason Woodruff

Tuesday 28th of February 2023

I believe it was Lawry's lemon pepper seasoning.

TobiElle

Sunday 30th of October 2022

Made this last night as written (with unsweetened almond milk) and it is both so easy and seriously delicious! It’s not often I come across a recipe in which I don’t have to double the seasonings. Very impressed and will try others. Thanks Mason!

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