Brown Butter Corn and Feta Orzo with Crispy Prosciutto.
This quick and simple Brown Butter Corn and Feta Orzo with Crispy Prosciutto is the best any night of the week summer dinner. Quick-cooking orzo pasta is tossed in a browned butter pan sauce with sweet caramelized shallots, charred corn, cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and salty feta cheese. Every bite is layered with delicious summer flavors. Finish this pasta off with extra crispy prosciutto and creamy avocado slices. When in need of a quick and simple summer meal…that’s also bright and colorful…make this orzo!
Honest truth? I had a very different recipe planned for today that looked nothing like this summery bowl of orzo pasta. Some weeks I’ll have not one recipe that fails. Other weeks I’ll have recipe after recipe that’s either challenging or just not working out the way I had envisioned. This week has been a mix. After multiple rounds of recipe testing, I decided I was done with the recipe I had planned for today. I’d been working on it too long and I needed to move on. Sometimes recipes are worth the time and effort. And then other recipes are just not great and I have to move on from them.
So, at the eleventh hour (so typical of me), I switched gears completely, and that’s when this orzo recipe happened.
Was it planned or thought out? Nope, it sure wasn’t, but as I often say, my “spur of the moment of recipes” often end up being my most loved.
They tend to be quick and simple, but yet delicious, and exactly what I’m craving at that very moment in time. And that was clearly the case with this orzo. It’s kind of like a summery pasta salad, but with additions like browned butter and extra crispy prosciutto. They elevate the dish and make it so much more than a pasta salad.
Here are the details.
This is pretty quick. Start by boiling off the orzo. Once it’s done cooking I like to add it right back to the hot pot so that we can toss in all of the remaining ingredients and save on dishes.
While the orzo is cooking, crisp up plenty of prosciutto in a dry skillet. I’m currently loving crispy prosciutto and can’t stop using it. I love the layer of salty flavor it adds, and of course, the crunch too.
Once the prosciutto is crisp, remove it from the skillet. Then add butter, preferably salted cultured butter, to the same skillet. This is key to this pasta. You’ll brown the butter which gives it a nice nutty flavor that I find particularly delicious with the sweet grilled corn. As the butter browns, toss in the chopped shallot, a spicy jalapeño pepper, and some fresh thyme. The shallots become caramelized, the jalapeño adds a little heat, and the thyme adds a nice herby touch. And I love browned butter with thyme.
Now pour the browned butter over the orzo and toss. Add the fresh basil and chives and toss, toss, toss, I like to do this while everything is still pretty hot. The heat from the orzo and browned butter really help to infuse the herbs and mend the flavors into the pasta…adding yet another layer of deliciousness to this simple meal.
Now, add lots of grilled or roasted corn, fresh cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese…so much feta cheese.
Top the pasta with thin slices of creamy avocado and all that crispy prosciutto. Maybe add some fresh chives on top too. Again, SO GOOD. It’s kind of amazing how something so simple and fresh can taste so delicious.
How do you eat this orzo pasta? There are many ways.
Option 1: eat this just as directed, nice and hot with extra herbs and maybe even some extra browned butter on top. Easiest summer dinner you’ll make this week, and just mouth-watering.
Option 2: MEAL PREP! Make this on Sunday night, leave the prosciutto and avocado out, portion it out for lunch or dinner. Then simply toss and add the prosciutto and avocado in before serving. You’ll then have a very well seasoned pasta that’s so very delicious. Love a pasta that actually gets better over time. It’s very rare when a pasta that sits actually gets better, but this pasta is just extra special.
Option 4: serve this up chilled at your next summer BBQ. Of course. Personally, I love this warm, but even chilled this is just as delicious. It’s a great option for summer and even upcoming fall entertaining with the fam or small group of friends.
Either way, you serve this up, it’s going to be very well-loved!
And lastly, a family review….
The day I made this recipe, I sent the leftovers to my parents and later that night received the following from my mom…
“This food is DELICIOUS!!!!!!”
So there ya go. This one is DELICIOUS. Enjoy!! Enjoy!!
Looking for other simple 30 minute dinners? These few are always a favorite.
Lastly, if you make this brown butter corn and feta orzo salad with crispy prosciutto, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Brown Butter Corn and Feta Orzo with Crispy Prosciutto
When you’re in need of a quick and simple summer meal that's also bright and colorful, make this orzo!
- 1 pound dry orzo pasta
- 3 ounces prosciutto, torn
- 4 tablespoon salted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded if desired, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons champagne or apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped chives
- 4 ears grilled or steamed corn, kernels removed from the cobb
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 2 avocados, sliced
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and add the pasta right back to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, cook the prosciutto in a large skillet set over medium heat until crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the prosciutto from the skillet.
3. To the skillet, add the butter. Allow the butter to brown until it smells toasted and is a deep golden color, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the olive oil, shallot, jalapeño, and thyme. Cook 1-2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Pour the browned butter over the hot orzo. Toss to combine.
4. To the orzo, add the basil, chives, lemon juice, vinegar, and honey. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Stir in the corn, tomatoes, and feta. Top the pasta with crispy prosciutto and avocado. Serve warm or at room temp.
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