Pea and Ham Orzo with Kale Pesto Recipe

Pea and Ham Orzo with Kale Pesto Recipe from Coxy’s Kitchen

Pea and Ham Orzo with Kale Pesto is one of the easiest dinners you’ll ever make without scrimping on flavour.

With minimal prep, this dish can be served up in under half an hour – and if you make a batch of kale pesto in advance to keep in the freezer, you’ll have it on hand for whenever the mood takes you, ready to stir into pasta, lentils or potatoes, or to serve on top of your favourite meat or fish.

Pea and Ham Orzo recipe

This beautiful spring/summer recipe really packs a punch thanks to the kale pesto which holds the dish together. It’s the perfect speedy meal for to serve at the end of a busy day.

Serves: 2

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


For the pesto: [Approx. 10 servings]

  • 90g kale
  • 90g pine nuts, toasted
  • 90g Pecorino, Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 160ml olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper

Other ingredients:

  • 400ml hot veg or chicken stock
  • 175g orzo pasta
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 100g diced cooked ham
  • 60g finely grated pecorino
  • Salt and pepper


Pea and Ham Orzo recipe

Step 1: Make the pesto

If you can’t get hold of toasted pine nuts, you can toast them by adding them to a dry frying pan and toasting them until they start to colour and give off a nutty, toastie smell.

Once toasted place all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blitz until you have a paste consistency. If necessary, loosen the mixture with a splash of water to get the blender going. Once done, season with salt and pepper to taste and further adjust the flavour by adding a bit more olive oil or lemon juice.

Transfer the pesto into an air-tight container and set aside

Step 2:

Add the hot stock to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once the stock is boiling, add the orzo and lower the heat to medium.

Halfway through cooking, stir the orzo to make sure it’s not sticking, then add the frozen peas and continue cooking until the pasta has absorbed all the stock; the pasta should be al dente.

Stir in the cooked ham and 2-3 tablespoons of the kale pesto. Stir in the pecorino and season with pepper to taste – you shouldn’t need salt as this will come from the stock, ham and pecorino.

Pea and Ham Orzo recipe

Serve into warm bowls and finish with a final grating of pecorino.

About Coxy’s Kitchen

Coxy’s Kitchen provides a dinner party and private dining service throughout Yorkshire. If you love having dinner parties but don’t fancy the cooking, contact Coxy’s Kitchen to cook your next dinner party. To make an enquiry or for an initial consultation, please email [email protected]

Images supplied

For more delicious recipes from Sarah



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