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Easy Orzo Pasta Recipe

5 from 3 votes

posted: 07/31/17

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Easy Orzo Pasta Recipe comes together so fast with only three ingredients and is the perfect side dish for just about any meal!

a bowl of cheesy orzo

You will love this super easy orzo pasta recipe! When Nathan and I were first married, we ate this cheesy orzo dish all.the.time. This was back in the days when Nathan was a pickier eater than he is now. But this Parmesan orzo was definitely within the range of acceptable foods so we ate it often. I even went out of the country for a full month and Nathan lived on it. Because in addition to being a picky eater, he is not the most amazing chef, but this is so easy that it fell well within his wheel house.


This is a recipe I got from Rachael Ray, but it barely even counts as a recipe, it’s that easy. Here’s all you need:

  • Orzo Pasta You can find it next to the other dried boxed pastas in your grocery store. Because the grains are so tiny, they cook up in no time!
  • Chicken Stock This is actually a pretty fundamental ingredient to this dish. Cooking the orzo in chicken broth or stock gives the little pasta huge flavor and adds a creaminess to it that water just doesn’t. It’s so delicious.
  • Parmesan Cheese We love to splurge and use freshly shredded Parmesan cheese for this dish. It gives the pasta a buttery, slightly tangy flavor that just can’t be beat! You stir it in right at the end and serve it immediately. So delicious!
A spoon is digging out some of the Cheesy Orzo showing some cheese pull


Orzo pasta is just that – pasta. The word “orzo” is Italian for “barley” because it looks like a long grain of rice. While it doesn’t contain barley at all, orzo is made from wheat semolina flower, which is a coarser type of flour which is relatively high in gluten. So this dish is definitely NOT gluten free. It looks like rice, and this recipe definitely treats it like rice, but it is most definitely a pasta. A good gluten-free option for this recipe would be quinoa or short grain brown rice, and of course use a gluten free chicken stock to cook it in.

There are gluten free brands of orzo out there, but I have not tried them so can’t vouch for how good they are. I would love to hear if you have tried any GF orzo pasta. Please leave me a comment below!

a fork digging into cheesy orzo


This Parmesan orzo is the perfect side dish to so many meals! From ordinary chicken to steak to meatloaf to fish, it complements just about any dinner. Try serving it alongside some of my favorite dishes:


Once you cook with orzo once, it’ll become one of your favorite side dishes. It’s so versatile and easy to cook! Try some of my favorite orzo recipes:

I hope you enjoy this easy orzo recipe as much as we have! Give yourself a break and cook up this delicious and simple dish tonight, then please leave a comment and let me know what you think! Happy cooking!

5 from 3 votes

Easy Orzo Pasta Recipe

Serves: 4
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
This Easy Orzo Pasta Recipe comes together so fast with only three ingredients and is the perfect side dish for just about any meal!


  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated


  • Bring the orzo and chicken stock to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Stir regularly and continue cooking until the chicken stock is completely absorbed, about 12 minutes.
  • Stir in the parmesan cheese until completely melted. Serve immediately.
Serving: 4g Calories: 205kcal (10%) Carbohydrates: 33g (11%) Protein: 10g (20%) Fat: 4g (6%) Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 11mg (4%) Sodium: 481mg (21%) Potassium: 23mg (1%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 1g (1%) Vitamin A: 33IU (1%) Calcium: 107mg (11%) Iron: 3mg (17%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Side Dish

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Easy Orzo Pasta Recipe

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Caroline says

    Yummy! Very healthy and delicious recipe! I will make it. Thanks for sharing.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners