Anyone else get stuck in a side dish rut? I feel like we always have the same three things.
I wanted to branch out, and needed something to go with our Parmesan Crusted Tilapia and a little pasta sounded so good.
This Parmesan Orzo is cheesy, filling, and kid-friendly to boot. Really, I promise. It’s basically like an adult version of mac ‘n cheese. 😉
What is orzo?
If you haven’t tried orzo before, you absolutely NEED to!
Orzo is a flat, rice-shaped pasta that is great served plain, in soups, or in salads.
The texture is similar to that of rice, but it cooks up a lot faster. It has double the protein of brown rice (and less fat).
How to Make Parmesan Orzo
This recipe comes together with just a few simple ingredients and under 30 minutes. You need:
- orzo pasta
- chicken broth
- parmesan cheese
- basil (we used dried, but fresh would be good, too)
It’s ready in 3 easy steps.
Step 1: Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add pasta and saute until lightly browned (about 3-5 minutes).
Step 2: Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, then cover and let it cook (stirring occasionally) until liquid is absorbed and orzo is tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Step 3: Mix in parmesan cheese, basil, and salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Add-Ins or Substitutions
This recipe is really easy to make your own. Here are some different ingredients you can add in or substitute:
- 1/2 cup cream in place of 1/2 cup chicken broth (it will make the entire recipe creamier and even more mac and cheesy)
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Grilled, diced chicken (and then you could serve it as the main dish)
- Minced garlic
- Chopped fresh spinach
- Shredded Romano cheese for topping
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More pasta side dishes
- Broccoli and Cheese Orzo
- The Best Homemade Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
Parmesan Orzo Side Dish
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 cup orzo pasta uncooked
- 14½ ounces chicken broth
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add pasta and saute until lightly browned (about 3-5 minutes).
- Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, then cover and let it cook (stirring occasionally) until liquid is absorbed and orzo is tender, about 10-12 minutes.
- Mix in parmesan cheese, basil, and salt and pepper. Serve warm.