This one pan salmon and orzo bake is inspired by a classic Italian piccata, using white wine, capers and tons of lemon. The addition of spinach makes this a quick, healthy one pan dinner that cooks in under 30 minutes, and it’s gluten-free or low FODMAP optional.
This orzo and salmon piccata casserole is a huge one pan win on the gluten-free front.
In my pre gluten-free glory days, orzo used to be one of my favorite pasta shapes. Probably because it resembles my second favorite carb (rice) and because it generally cooks much quicker than tubes, spirals and the like. Which makes it perfect for one pan dishes like this salmon piccata bake.
It took me a long time to track down gluten-free orzo at the market, but I finally got my hands on this one from Italy. I also like this cassava flour option in a pinch. If you’re worried about cooking gluten-free pasta this recipe makes things particularly foolproof.
What makes the orzo so key in this salmon piccata recipe is that it adds lots of starchy thickness to the sauce without you having to use any flour to dredge your fish or make a béchamel.
Ordinarily, this little bit of flour is a signature of piccata preparations, which usually use pounded chicken breasts or a thin filet of fish as the protein of the choice. However, the salmon works wonderfully with the other core ingredients: lemon, white wine, capers and parsley. And it’s medium thickness makes it perfect for a casserole preparation that gets finished by baking in the oven.
As you know, I am the queen of a quick one pan meal, so let me tell you a few more ways that you can round out the fish and carbs. While I use a generous amount of fresh spinach, you can easily sub any other leafy green that you like, or opt for a frozen option.
I also think this would be wonderful with frozen (or canned) artichoke hearts, frozen peas, or dice zucchini in the summer months.
For the low FODMAP folks, this recipe is very easy to adapt: simply omit the garlic and shallot. You will also need to use a LF chicken stock. Water works too, but with simple recipes like this one, I think it helps to layer in as much flavor as possible, especially when removing other aromatics.
This salmon piccata recipe is so simple, I promise it is likely to become a staple in your rotation, especially when you don’t have a ton of fresh options to play with. We now always keep frozen salmon in our freezer, and I ordered my gluten-free orzo and capers in bulk these days.
Read on the recipe for this orzo and salmon piccata bake, and please let me know if you try it!
With health and hedonism,
One Pan Salmon and Orzo Bake (in 30 minutes!)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or ghee
- 4 six ounce salmon fillets
- Sea salt
- 1 lemon sliced
- ¼ cup capers
- 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 1 cup gluten-free orzo see note
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 1/2 cups chicken or fish stock
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet set over medium high heat. Season the salmon with salt. Add the fish to the skillet flesh-side down and sear on both sides until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side (It won’t be cooked through). Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add the butter or ghee to the skillet, along with the lemon slices and capers. Sauté until the lemon and capers are slightly frizzled and browned, 3 minutes (be careful not to burn the capers). Remove the lemon to the plate with the salmon (you can leave some of the capers behind).
- Drizzle a little more oil in the pan, if needed, then add the garlic, shallot and orzo. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the garlic is very fragrant and turning golden brown. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook until evaporated by half, 2 minutes. Fold in the spinach, until wilted, then add the chicken or fish broth, lemon juice and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered for 7 minutes or until the pasta had doubled in size and is al dente. Remove from the oven and nestle the salmon into the orzo and top with the lemon slices. Return to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through.
- Garnish with the parsley and serve directly in the pan family-style.