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Creamy orzo pasta loaded with Parmesan cheese and butter, there is nothing better. My Cheesy Orzo Risotto Recipe is easy to make with only 4 ingredients. It’s a perfect side dish, lunch, or dinner, and kids love it, too!
Best Orzotto Recipe
When it comes to side dishes, my family loves their rice. But a very close second is creamy cheesy orzo. There is something so special about the silky smooth texture of this recipe. It pairs with almost anything and even makes a memorable holiday side dish that is so easy to prepare.
Imagine a delicious, creamy risotto without any fuss, but with all of the flavor! Orzotto is made all in one pot in less than 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for entertaining over the holidays or as an easy weeknight dinner and is so creamy and delicious. It is absolutely amazing when topped with lemon butter sauce.
Orzo Recipes FAQs
Orzo risotto, sometimes also called orzotto, is a take on risotto using orzo pasta instead of rice. It is an easy way to enjoy risotto with minimum effort, and it comes together so quickly – in less than 30 minutes.
Orzo is named after the Italian word for barley, and is also known as risoni, which literally means “large grains of rice”. But orzo isn’t rice, it’s pasta!
Orzo, like other pasta, does not have much of a flavor to it on its own. What makes orzo really special is actually its texture, which is unique thanks to its size and shape. Unlike al dente pasta, which can be a little hard, orzo is a little firm while still being tender and so creamy.
Leftover cheesy orzo risotto will last up to 4 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Chicken flavored bouillon or 4 chicken bouillon cubes
- Parmesan cheese
How to Make Orzo Risotto
- Add water to a pot over high heat. Then, add chicken bouillon. Once water is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and add orzo pasta. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and your pasta is fully cooked. Add in butter and stir well.
- Stir in Parmesan cheese and mix to fully incorporate.
- Serve, and enjoy!
Orzo Make-Ahead Instructions
You can make an orzo bake ahead of time to serve later as a casserole.
- Prepare the recipe as instructed and add it to a casserole dish. Store in the refrigerator.
- When ready to bake, add ¼ cup of chicken broth to the dish. Bake orzo at 200°F for 20 minutes – and there you have it! The most delicious baked orzo casserole!
Can you substitute chicken broth for chicken bouillon?
You can use chicken broth instead of chicken bouillon if you prefer. I use 4 chicken bouillon cubes (or 2 tablespoons of chicken-flavored bouillon) in this dish. If you don’t have chicken bouillon, use 4 cups of chicken broth with 2 cups of water.
How Long to Cook Orzo
16 oz. of Orzo takes about 20 minutes to cook. It’s so quick and easy, I love to whip it up as a simple side for dinner or even just on its own for a meal.
Orzo Recipes Tips
- When you first add the pasta to the water, let it sit until it becomes soft. Then stir it to give it its creaminess.
- We use only Parmesan cheese in our cheesy orzo risotto recipe, but you can add other cheeses if you like!
- A popular choice for adding to orzo pasta is cheddar cheese. Mix in some shredded cheddar – white cheddar would be especially yummy! This makes an even cheesier pasta recipe.
- You can also add goat cheese. Goat cheese is one of my personal favorites to add to orzo. It is so delicious!
What to Serve with Orzo
Serve cheesy orzo pasta as a main dish or as a side dish for your favorite dinners! Here are some suggestions of what to serve it with:
- Sous Vide Salmon
- Pan Seared Pork Chops
- Lemon Butter Chicken
- Pork Chop Recipes
- Grilled Chicken Breasts
- Peri Peri Chicken
Best Orzo Recipes
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Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment and a rating below to let us know what you think! We love to hear from you!
Cheesy Orzo Risotto Recipe
- A pot on the stove
- 16 ounces orzo pasta
- 6 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons chicken flavored bouillon or 4 chicken bouillon cubes
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
See our Cooking Conversions Chart for help converting measurements!
- Add 6 cups water to a pot over high heat. Then, add 2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon (equal to 4 cubes). Once water is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and add 16 oz. orzo pasta. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and your pasta is fully cooked. TIP: When you first add the pasta, let it sit until it becomes soft. Then stir it to give it its creaminess.Add 4 Tablespoons butter and stir well to incorporate.
- Stir in 1 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Fully mix through and top with fresh chopped parsley if desired. Serve, and enjoy!
- If you don’t have chicken bouillon, use 4 cups of chicken broth.
I love the butternut squash in here!! thanks for sharing
Ellen Folkman says
This dish looks so warm and comforting. Perfect for cooler days.
I don’t use orzo enough! It’s one type of pasta I forget about. This looks like a great meal!
Wanda Lopez says
I love orzo and every ingredient in this dish. Looks amazing and I can already taste it. Can’t wait to try your recipe!
Ellen Daly says
Great recipe! I did the casserole version and it came out perfectly, creamy and full of flavor. I served it with baked scampi. Delicious
Em Beitel says
That is awesome, Ellen! Thank you so much for your comment! We’re so glad you enjoyed it.
Delicious. Wonder about how much liquid- I did the 6c water w bouillon cubes from recipe but above that you say “or you can use 4 c chicken stock”
Maybe 4 c would have been enough? It’s very tasty thanks
Isabel Laessig says
Hi Ann! Thank you for pointing this out. It should say to still use partly water – so 4 cups broth, 2 cups water. You could use all broth, but the water balances out the flavor better, in my experience. Glad you enjoyed it!