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We’re always looking for exciting new weeknight recipes, especially during the holidays. Our weekends are packed, and we’re spending tons of time in the kitchen baking up our favorite seasonal sweets and treats (like Giada De Laurentiis’ best cookie recipes), so there’s not much time for cooking after work. But we’re also kind of food snobs, so a packet of ramen or a box of mac and cheese doesn’t always cut it. That’s where Rachael Ray, the queen of 30 minute meals, comes in. She just shared her Greek twist on rice and beans, and it’s a hearty, flavorful dish that everyone in the family will love.
Ray’s Greek-Style Beans & Tomatoes with Orzo Pilaf puts a twist on a meal most of us have had hundreds of times: beans and rice.
Instead of regular rice, Ray whips up a pine nut-studded orzo pilaf. The orzo is toasted in butter until golden and fragrant (the smell of this alone will be enough to satisfy your hunger, it’s divine), then is cooked along with rice in a garlicky broth.
When the pilaf is done, it’s mixed with toasted pine nuts. Pine nuts, though delicious, can be a little pricey. Try swapping in toasted slivered almonds or chopped pistachios if they’re not in the budget for a weeknight meal.
For the beans, Ray makes a flavorful tomato-based stew. She uses two types of paprika, bay leaf, and cinnamon to season the mix, and two cans of creamy white beans (she recommends gigante, butter, or cannellini beans) add protein and fiber. A cup of feta cheese brings a salty tang to each bite.
Serve the tomato bean stew on top of the rice or next to it, and you’ve got a nutritious, tasty, and easy to cook meal on the table. It’s less expensive and more affordable than ordering takeout yet again, and it’s made with pantry staples. Ray’s Greek twist on rice and beans just might become a regular menu item around these parts.
Before you go, check out Ina Garten’s easy weeknight dinner recipes below:
Watch: We Tried Ina Garten’s Overnight Mac & Cheese & We Totally Get Why It Broke the Internet