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Creamy orzo pasta loaded with Parmesan cheese and butter, what could be better? Our Cheesy Orzo Risotto Recipe is easy to make with 4 ingredients. It’s a perfect side dish, lunch, or dinner, and kids love it, too!
Creamy Cheese Orzo
When it comes to side dishes, my family loves their rice. But a very close second is creamy parmesan orzo.
There is something 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! That’s this cheesy orzo risotto recipe!
What is orzo risotto?
Orzo risotto, sometimes also called orzotto, is an easy, delicious way to enjoy risotto with minimum effort, and it comes together so quickly!
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.
Is orzo pasta or rice?
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 recipes are some of my favorites. I love to make it into pasta salad, use it in soup like Italian Wedding Soup, and I even use it as a substitute for rice in dishes like this cheesy orzo risotto.
My family and I both love it! It has a delectable creamy texture that we just find irresistible. If you haven’t tried it yet, then this Parmesan orzo recipe is a great introduction. If you have, I know you’ll love this dish!
What does orzo taste like?
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.
How long is orzo good for?
Leftover cheesy orzo risotto will last up to 5 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Can Parmesan Orzo be made ahead of time?
Yes! You can make an orzo bake 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 chicken broth to the dish. Bake orzo at 200°F for 20 minutes – and there you have it! The most delicious baked orzo casserole!
👪 How many servings is this recipe?
Our cheesy orzo pasta recipe makes enough for about 4, so it’s perfect for serving with a family meal.
🧾 What can I add to this dish?
We use only Parmesan cheese in our cheesy orzo risotto recipe, but you can add extra cheese, 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! – for 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!
Can you substitute chicken broth for chicken bouillon?
Yes. We use 4 chicken bouillon cubes (or 2 Tbsp. chicken flavored bouillon) in this dish. If you don’t have chicken bouillon, use 4 cups of chicken broth.
⌚ 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.
⭐ Family Foodie 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.
🍝 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:
Our Favorite Orzo Pasta Recipes
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Cheesy Orzo Risotto Recipe
- 16 oz. orzo
- 6 cups water
- 2 Tbsp. chicken flavored bouillon or 4 chicken bouillon cubes
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 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 in 4 Tbsp. butter and stir well.
- Stir in 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Serve, and enjoy!
- If you don’t have chicken bouillon, use 4 cups of chicken broth.