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Baked Orzo with Artichokes, Tomatoes, and Halloumi

Servings 4
Author Samantha Ferraro


  • 8 oz (226 g) dried orzo
  • 2 Tablespoon (30 ml) olive oil, plus 1 tsp, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 15 oz (425 g) canned or frozen and thawed artichoke hearts, cut in half
  • 8 oz (226 g) halloumi cheese, cut in small cubes
  • 4 oz (113 g) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4 oz (113 g) cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt, as needed


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and bring a pot of water to a boil. Add in orzo and cook until just about done, about 7-8 minutes. Once done, drain the orzo and set aside.

  2. In a small pan, heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of oil and add the garlic, Aleppo pepper, lemon zest, and artichoke hearts. Saute until the garlic is lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add the artichoke mixture to the cooked orzo, along with the halloumi and Parmesan, and toss everything together. Add salt and taste for seasoning.

  3. Transfer mixture to an oiled 12-inch by 8 1/2-inch (30 x 21-cm) casserole dish (or one of similar size) and top with cherry tomatoes, dried oregano, and an extra grating of Parmesan cheese. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on top and bake for 20 minutes until the tomatoes begin to char and get soft.

  4. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. 

Recipe Notes

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen (Page Street Publishing, 2018) by Samantha Ferraro

  • If you can't find halloumi, substitute in feta. Halloumi is not as salty as feta and it can withstand a higher cooking temperature.
  • Aleppo pepper has a moderate heat level. If you cannot find Aleppo pepper, substitute with 1/2 teaspoon standard red chili flakes. (Red chili flakes pack more heat, but less flavor than Aleppo)
  • Baked orzo can be enjoyed warm fresh from the oven, or chilled straight from the fridge.