Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta traditionally used in Italian soups, but it’s very versatile and can be used as a main ingredient for side dishes or in cold salads. We love it because it’s easy to fix for a fast weeknight meal and it dresses up nicely with simple ingredients. This time we had it as a hot side with our chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, and thyme, another simple dish.
In this version, I browned the orzo lightly in unsalted butter, then added low-sodium chicken broth and water and brought to a boil. After simmering, I stirred in the Parmesan, basil, pine nuts, and seasonings. I recommend preparing the dish right before serving because it tastes better fresh rather than warmed over, though I have been known to enjoy the leftovers for breakfast the next morning.
3 quart pot with lid
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup orzo
1-1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken broth
1-1/4 cups water
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons pine nuts, toasted
1. Melt the butter in the saucepan over medium heat. Add the orzo and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. The orzo will start to brown and take on a nutty fragrance.
2. Stir in the broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and orzo is al dente, about 15 minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Stir in the cheese, basil, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve immediately.
Other Good Orzo Recipes