In my house, as much as my husband and kids love pasta, it gets tiring seeing spaghetti over and over again. If you’re looking for a new way to do pasta, try this homemade orzo recipe. Brimming with savory flavors and a finish of parmesan cheese, it’s elegant enough for guests yet perfect for any busy night of the week!
Best Orzo Recipe
Change up your pasta night with the best orzo recipe around! Using simple and fresh ingredients you likely have on-hand, you’ll create a delicious dinner that everyone will love. And you’ll feel good about serving these fresh and wholesome flavors too!
- Orzo pasta – Look for it in the pasta aisle!
- Butter – You’ll want to separate the 6 tablespoons.
- Olive oil – More healthy fat to make this Italian classic!
- Mushrooms – A delicious way to add umami.
- Garlic – Mince it up and add it in!
- Lemon zest – Your secret weapon for the best orzo recipe!
- Chicken broth – To cook the orzo to perfection.
- Parmesan cheese – Parmesan orzo is a brilliant combination. Grate fresh Parmesan for the best savory taste in your orzo.
- Fresh basil – This takes it up a notch.
- Salt and pepper – To taste.
Easy Orzo Recipe
You might not have cooked orzo yourself before, but it’s so easy. This recipe is on your table in about 34 minutes, making it a quick, nutritious, and delicious meal that everyone will crowd around the table to devour!
You had me at orzo.
How do you Make Orzo from Scratch
When cooking orzo pasta, start by melting your butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Toast the orzo so it becomes lightly browned, then add in the chicken stock and boil. Once boiling, cover the skillet and reduce so it simmers. Do this until all the liquid has absorbed, about 20 minutes. Then, add the parmesan, basil, and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste and use the basil as a garnish, along with more parmesan if desired.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Orzo Every Time
- Don’t skip the toasting. This will give the orzo a magnificent restaurant-quality taste.
- Experiment with add-ins. Don’t like mushrooms? You can add something else or even keep it mushroom-free. There’s nothing wrong with just cheesy orzo!
- Use real cheese. I know the shelf-stable parmesan is convenient, but real cheese is far superior. You can save yourself time by buying real shredded parmesan or just get a block and grate it.
What is orzo pasta used for?
Since it’s a petite pasta, orzo is great for soups, pasta dishes, and grain bowls. Orzo makes a great main dish or you can make an orzo side dish.
Is orzo a pasta or rice?
Orzo is a pasta even though it looks more like a rice. It is only a rice shaped pasta. Orzo is made with semolina flour and shaped to resemble barley, the meaning of its namesake.
How is orzo different from pasta?
Orzo is a pasta that looks like rice. It is made using semolina flour just like many other traditional pastas.
What is the difference between orzo and pasta?
Orzo IS pasta. It just has a unique petite shape that makes it look like barley.
Is orzo pasta healthier than rice?
Orzo will have more calories than rice, however if you choose a whole wheat variety, it can pack plenty of nutrition that brings balance to your meal.
Should you soak orzo before cooking?
There’s no need to soak your orzo. It will cook up in the skillet with the broth.
How do you Cook Orzo?
Orzo is cooked on the stovetop. This recipe is a one-skillet creation so you have less cleanup!
What is the ratio of water to orzo?
The rule of thumb is 2:1 with water to dried orzo pasta. This should give it that delicious creamy texture.
How long do you cook orzo for al dente?
The best way is to follow this recipe. You’ll toast the orzo first, then add the liquid in with it for about 20 minutes until it’s tender.
How long should you boil orzo?
You should aim to boil it about 20 minutes to ensure it gets the right texture without turning to mush.
What goes well with Orzo?
You can’t go wrong with a caprese salad to accompany this orzo recipe. Starting with a minestrone soup and adding in some garlic bread will be a delightful match for this. Want some more protein? Consider butter-broiled shrimp to add on the side.
How do you Store Orzo?
Cooked orzo needs to be stowed in an airtight container in your fridge.
How Long Does Orzo Last?
If you have any leftover orzo, you’ll enjoy eating it for 3 to 5 days from the fridge. It makes a great lunch to pack for work too!
Can You Freeze Orzo?
Orzo freezes well with this sauce. Put it in airtight containers or freezer bags and you should be able to keep it for up to 2 months.
How to Reheat Orzo?
You’ll gently heat it on the stovetop, though make sure you add liquid to it little by little to keep it from sticking and liven up the texture again. Chicken broth is best to add flavor.
Watch How To Make Orzo (Video)
Homemade Orzo Recipe
- 6 tbsp butter (separated)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 tbsp garlic (minced)
- 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 15 oz can chicken broth
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/3 cup fresh basil (chopped)
- salt (to taste)
- black pepper (to taste)
- 3 tbsp fresh basil (for garnish)
- fresh grated parmesan cheese (for garnish)
- In a large skillet, melt the butter on medium-high heat. Toast the orzo until it is lightly browned. Once the orzo is toasted, add in the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Once the chicken stock is boiling, cover the skillet and reduce to a simmer until all liquid has been absorbed about 20-22 minutes.
- Once the orzo is soft and the liquid has been absorbed, add in the parmesan cheese, basil, and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the fresh chopped basil.
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