Creamy Parmesan Orzo

"From Cooking Light, this is a wonderful side or light main dish. It is good even without the pine nuts if you don't have them on hand, also any herb will work for the basil, you just may need a little more or less depending on the herb."
photo by ChefLee photo by ChefLee
photo by ChefLee
photo by MsSally photo by MsSally
photo by Boomette photo by Boomette
Ready In:




  • Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is absorbed, and orzo is done, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; stir in cheese, basil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Questions & Replies

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  1. My family immediately fell in love with this easy-to-make dish.
  2. So easy my 3y/o DD helped me make it for lunch. The only difference was that we added garlic and it was a nice change to the mac&cheese she wanted :)
  3. My family really enjoyed this recipe. Great flavor and very simple to make. I didn't add a thing!
  4. Really, really good! Wouldn't change a thing! Served it with Halibut and feta asparagus. YUM!
  5. Really, REALLY good!!! It's also visually appealing. We will definitely be making this again! Thanks!


  1. Great recipe! I modified it a bit to fit ingredients we had on hand - substituted shallots for onions, some water with boullion flavoring for chicken broth, and white cheddar for the cheese. We also added mushrooms (while cooking shallots & garlic) and a bit of julienned spinach at the end giving it some nice color and texture. Our entire family *loved* it - kids included. Definitely not the last time this dish will grace our table. Thank You!
  2. This was great and really easy to make. I cook orzo often but usually as part of a main dish with some kind of meat. I had never thought of it as a potential side-dish until now. It's faster and easier than rice and tastes wonderful. I substituted fresh parsley instead of basil (personal preference) and sliced almonds instead of pine nuts as I didn't have any and it worked really well.


I am a former retail management slave who is now a stay at home mom who absolutely loves her job. I have an eight year old, a two year old and a nine month old who all bring their own kind of joy to my life. My favorite thing in the world is to cook. We have a real, from scratch family dinner almost every night. Please don't be offended if I somewhat change a recipe in my review. I look at recipes sort of as guidelines, and alter them according to inspiration. I've received alot of helpful advice from reviews, that's why I share what I've done differently. With my little ones I'm pretty busy, but I LOVE this site and plan on being even more active as they get older.
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