Crispy Skin Salmon & Orzo with Lemon-Caper Sauce

Crispy Skin Salmon & Orzo

with Lemon-Caper Sauce

40 MIN
2 Servings
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  • with Salmon
    includes two 5-oz Sustainably Sourced Skin-On Salmon Fillets
  • with Shrimp
    includes 10 oz Sustainably Sourced Tail-On Shrimp (Peeled & Deveined) View recipe
  • with Salmon

    From the Test Kitchen

    This bright, flavorful dish features flaky, crispy skin salmon served over a bed of tender orzo—tossed with sautéed vegetables and a rich, tangy sauce made from butter, lemon, and briny capers.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      750 Cals (est.)
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    ingredients
    Crispy Skin Salmon & Orzo with Lemon-Caper Sauce
    Title
    • 2 Skin-On Salmon Fillets
    • 4 oz Orzo Pasta
    • 1 Lemon
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • 1 Zucchini
    • 1 Tbsp Capers
    • 1 oz Salted Butter
    • 1 Tbsp Weeknight Hero Spice Blend (Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Smoked Paprika & Whole Dried Parsley)
    • 1 Bell Pepper
    time-saving
    tips & techniques
    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the zucchini. Cut off and discard the stem of the pepper. Halve lengthwise; remove the ribs and seeds, then thinly slice. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Roughly chop the capers. Quarter and deseed the lemon.

    Cook the pasta
    2 Cook the pasta

    Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 7 to 9 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    Cook the vegetables
    3 Cook the vegetables

    Meanwhile, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the diced zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced pepper and chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a plate. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

    Cook the salmon
    4 Cook the salmon

    Pat the salmon dry with paper towels; season only on the skinless side with salt, pepper, and enough of the spice blend to coat (you may have extra). In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned salmon, skin side down. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until the skin is browned and crispy. Flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.* Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate. 

    *The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 145°F for fish.

    Make the sauce
    5 Make the sauce

    To the pan of reserved fond, add the butter, chopped capers, and the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly and scraping up any fond, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined and the butter is melted. Turn off the heat.

    Finish & serve your dish
    6 Finish & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked vegetables and sauce; stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta with the cooked salmon. Serve the remaining lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

    Tips from Home Chefs

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    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the zucchini. Cut off and discard the stem of the pepper. Halve lengthwise; remove the ribs and seeds, then thinly slice. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Roughly chop the capers. Quarter and deseed the lemon.

    2 Cook the pasta

    Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 7 to 9 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    Cook the pasta
    Cook the vegetables
    3 Cook the vegetables

    Meanwhile, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the diced zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced pepper and chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a plate. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

    4 Cook the salmon

    Pat the salmon dry with paper towels; season only on the skinless side with salt, pepper, and enough of the spice blend to coat (you may have extra). In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned salmon, skin side down. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until the skin is browned and crispy. Flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.* Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate. 

    *The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 145°F for fish.

    Cook the salmon
    Make the sauce
    5 Make the sauce

    To the pan of reserved fond, add the butter, chopped capers, and the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly and scraping up any fond, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined and the butter is melted. Turn off the heat.

    6 Finish & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked vegetables and sauce; stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta with the cooked salmon. Serve the remaining lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

    Finish & serve your dish
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