Let’s face it. It can definitely be challenging to find the right complementary side dish for your main dish. However, I have just the answer! This Cheesy Parmesan Orzo is the perfect side dish to balance your serving’s main protein. It’s so delicious, and the cheesiness brings strings to your fork between bites! Another big bonus of this recipe is that it’s super easy to prepare and is ready in under 30 minutes. You can use that time to get other items prepared and ready for the table.
Where do you find Orzo?
As busy as we all get living our day-to-day lives, we tend to round our meals with the comforting staples of rice or potatoes. To switch it up, try this pasta called Orzo. Orzo is a pasta shape that resembles rice but is found with the other pasta in your favorite grocery aisle. It’s very inexpensive at under $2 and is a great pantry staple item in general as you can add it to soups or even make salads with too.
“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”MARK TWAIN
The best recipes often start with just a few key ingredients, and this Parmesan Orzo does just that. You may have all of them in your pantry ready to go. Let’s take a look.
What Ingredients Will You Need?
Cheesy Parmesan Orzo Ingredients
- Olive Oil
- Orzo pasta
- Chicken broth
- Parmesan cheese
- Dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking Tips For Making Cheesy Parmesan Orzo:
As mentioned, this dish is easy to make and only takes 30 minutes. Start with the preparation of this side dish, and while it finishes cooking, you can focus on the other dishes you are serving. Let’s review the steps!
- To a frying pan, add olive oil and butter over medium heat until butter melts.
- Add measured orzo pasta.
- Keeping a close eye on the pasta, sauté the pasta until the color turns varying shades of light brown, which should take 5 minutes or so.
- Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Be careful here, the pan is hot, and it may splash out when liquid hits. Gently pour in a bit until the pan’s bottom is covered and then add the remainder.
- Reduce the heat, so the orzo simmers and covers and cooks until liquid is absorbed and orzo is tender, so about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and mix in the parmesan cheese, basil, kosher salt, and pepper.
What can I serve with Cheesy Parmesan Orzo?
You can pair this with any meat that you’re making. I have served it with steak, chicken, and pork. Some chefs would tell you not to mix cheese with fish. My absolute favorite, however, IS to serve it with seafood. I found that this Cheesy Parmesan Orzo provides texture interest to the plate when I serve seafood. I also think that a pasta option helps fill up the stomach when the protein is expensive, like shrimp or salmon, saving you money.
The basil flavor in Cheesy Parmesan Orzo isn’t overpowering, so that it will complement any vegetable. Roasted carrots and asparagus are big favorites in our household. I always sprinkle a bit of parmesan on the vegetables to serve to bring the meal together.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cups orzo pasta, uncooked
- 2 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried basil kosher
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add olive oil and butter in the pan over medium heat until butter melts.
- Add orzo pasta .
- Keeping a close eye the pasta, sauté the pasta until the color turns varying colors of light brown which should take 5 minutes or so.
- Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Be careful here, the pan is hot and it may splash out when liquid hits. Gently poor in a bit until the bottom of the pan is covered and then add the remainder.
- Reduce the heat so the orzo simmers and cover. Let it cook until liquid is absorbed and orzo is tender about 10. minutes
- Remove from heat and mix in the parmesan cheese, basil, and kosher salt and pepper.
Once it is finished, keep the lid on the skillet and it will keep warm until you serve. Fluff with a fork and serve.
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