Our 23 Favorite Orzo Recipes for Speedy, Satisfying Dinners

Orzo is pasta pretending to be rice, and nobody is upset about it. It’s a perfect shape for “grain” salads that won’t glop or go stiff after a few hours in the sun. The spoonable shape makes it a natural addition to warm soups and stews too, and it takes on the flavor of meaty entrees like a champ. In the spirit of orzo appreciation, here are 23 wonderful ways to use it.

Salads

1. Grilled Zucchini Orzo

Don’t have a grill or grill pan? Roast or broil the vegetables here instead, especially the garlic. I’ve written a love letter to this recipe before, specifically the contrast created by the orzo-to-zucchini ratio and the wildcard ingredient of sesame oil.

Read More >>

Orzo is pasta pretending to be rice, and nobody is upset about it. It’s a perfect shape for "grain" salads that won’t glop or go stiff after a few hours in the sun. The spoonable shape makes it a natural addition to warm soups and stews too, and it takes on the flavor of meaty entrees like a champ. In the spirit of orzo appreciation, here are 23 wonderful ways to use it.

Salads

1. Grilled Zucchini Orzo

Don’t have a grill or grill pan? Roast or broil the vegetables here instead, especially the garlic. I’ve written a love letter to this recipe before, specifically the contrast created by the orzo-to-zucchini ratio and the wildcard ingredient of sesame oil.

Read More >>

One Pot Garlic Butter Shrimp and Orzo.

This one pot shrimp orzo is so ridiculously delish! If you can’t tell, I’m having a little moment with shrimp and butter and lemon. I mean, at least it’s a delicious moment? This is weeknight dinner gold. I love a meal that can be thrown together in a few minutes and tastes like absolute heaven. […]

The post One Pot Garlic Butter Shrimp and Orzo. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This one pot shrimp orzo is so ridiculously delish!

one pot garlic butter shrimp and orzo

If you can’t tell, I’m having a little moment with shrimp and butter and lemon. I mean, at least it’s a delicious moment?

This is weeknight dinner gold. I love a meal that can be thrown together in a few minutes and tastes like absolute heaven. When I make this, we cannot stop eating it. Every bite is more incredible than the last.

orzo toasting in brown butter

Why is orzo just oh-so good?! Sure, it’s like rice, but even better. 

I love how it sticks to whatever you toss it with, in a good way. It makes a dish more satisfying too. Plus, it soaks up all the wonderful flavors in the pot.

marinating shrimp in lemon and garlic

Let’s make it tonight!

I toss the shrimp with some olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and garlic. Crushed red pepper flakes too! Just give it a bit of flavor.

one pot garlic butter shrimp and orzo

Then, the best part? Toasting the orzo in butter. Almost as if it’s arborio rice and you’re making risotto. Let it get a little toasty and golden. At the same time, the butter will brown too. THIS IS WHERE THE FLAVOR IS AT!

All the garlic butter feels start here. I’m all about layering flavor from the bottom up. The garlic butter is fragrant and wonderful and then the toasty orzo gives it even more of a nutty flavor. It’s perfect!

one pot garlic butter shrimp and orzo

The only thing left to do is add the stock, cover the pot and let it go. About 20 minutes later, dinner is ready! 

The beauty in this dish is that both the orzo and shrimp cook quickly. It tastes more flavorful than it looks, which is wild since there are only about ten ingredients in the entire dish.

one pot garlic butter shrimp and orzo

This isn’t an overly complicated dish and it’s certainly not anything groundbreaking. But it’s just one of those recipes that is darn good. Easy but shockingly good. Everyone loves it and you may be tempted to make a double batch. Leftovers are fantastic. It’s simple enough that you can throw a roasted vegetable in the oven if you wish. The best kind of recipe! (more…)

The post One Pot Garlic Butter Shrimp and Orzo. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Creamy Chicken and Orzo Soup.

This creamy chicken and orzo soup will warm your soul!  With so many of you under snow right now, this is the perfect hug in a bowl. The most comforting chicken orzo soup bowl that will keep you warm, that will bring happiness to a friend or family and all while tasting delicious! Oh and […]

The post Creamy Chicken and Orzo Soup. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This creamy chicken and orzo soup will warm your soul! 

creamy chicken and orzo soup

With so many of you under snow right now, this is the perfect hug in a bowl. The most comforting chicken orzo soup bowl that will keep you warm, that will bring happiness to a friend or family and all while tasting delicious!

Oh and it’s extra satisfying too. 

chopped celery, carrots and onion

We have had a ton of snow this week – and more snow the last few weeks that we’ve had in years. As a kid, I remember us having TONS of snow, the entire winter. Or at least it seemed the way. We haven’t had anything like this recently, so we’ve enjoyed lots of comfort food on repeat. No one is complaining about that. 

Enter, this creamy chicken and orzo soup!

pot of chicken orzo soup

This isn’t my first foray into creamy chicken noodle soup. I have a recipe for it in my book Seriously Delish – like the classic kind with egg noodles. When I make a creamy chicken soup, I prefer it to thicken it with a slurry instead of cream or starting with a roux. My mom uses this method for certain dishes and I love it! There are just some recipes that call for it, and this is it. The slurry adds a creaminess without making it feel overly heavy. It’s perfect!

And yes, why this might be one of the onnnnly recipes you’ll see here with celery. I can handle it in a chicken soup, but as you know, the remaining options are few and far between. Celery is usually a no go over here.

creamy chicken and orzo soup

One of the reasons that I love this dish so much for our family? It kind of gives me chopped salad vibes. I know that sounds absolutely insane – I mean, this is soup, not salad. 

BUT!

The orzo is such a lovely little cut of pasta that you can get a bit of everything in each bite. There isn’t a big noodle taking up your whole spoon with just a touch of broth. For this reason alone, my kids LOVE this.

Since making this, Emilia asks for “soup” constantly – she’s had other soups and likes them, but when she says soup, she means this one. She loves that she can eat it with her spoon and get a full spoonful of flavor, chicken and pasta is one bite! It’s seriously perfect for little ones. 

creamy chicken and orzo soup

I like to use some of the classic tricks to make chicken noodle soup come to life here. Definitely add a parmesan cheese rind if you have one. It adds a wonderful richness to the soup that you can’t find elsewhere. The flavor is divine.

Also, spritz some lemon in before serving! This brightens things up and while I love my classic lemon chicken soup, adding just a spritz here really enhances the flavor too.

creamy chicken and orzo soup

I highly suggest using a rotisserie chicken (or leftover shredded chicken) for ease here. When you do that, this soup comes together SO fast – like we are talking 30 minutes fast. Making it an ideal weeknight meal! I have some tips listed below in the recipe card if you want to meal prep this or use it for leftovers (i.e. cook the orzo separately) and it really makes a lovely meal to enjoy all times of year. 

You gotta try it!

creamy chicken and orzo soup

Creamy Chicken and Orzo Soup

Print

Creamy Chicken and Orzo Soup

This creamy chicken and orzo soup is like a hug in a bowl. Creamy chicken soup with orzo pasta and parmesan. Delicious and comforting!
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 ½ cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, plus more for topping
  • parmesan cheese, for topping
  • lemon wedges, for spritzing

Instructions

  • Heat the butter in a large stock pot over medium-low heat. Add in the onion, carrots, celery and garlic with a big pinch of salt and pepper - I’d say at least ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to start. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften. Stir in the garlic cloves and poultry seasoning. Stir in the shredded chicken.
  • Add in the chicken stock and the parmesan rind. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Stir in the orzo pasta. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is al dente, about 8 minutes.
  • In a shaker bottle even a bowl, shake (or whisk) together the milk and flour to form a slurry. Pour this into the soup and simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. If the parmesan rind didn’t melt entirely, you can scoop it out at this point. Stir in the fresh parsley.
  • Serve immediately with a lemon wedge for sprinkling, parmesan cheese for topping and parsley sprinkled on top.
  • Note: if you want to prep this for meals ahead of time, or want to have it for leftovers, I suggest cooking the orzo separately as it will soak up most of the broth as it sits overnight. Combine the soup and orzo and reheat to enjoy!

creamy chicken and orzo soup

Super cozy!

The post Creamy Chicken and Orzo Soup. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Easy Orzo Salad

This Easy Orzo Salad is light, fresh, and filled with veggies, chickpeas, and fresh herbs. It will quickly become a go-to pasta salad in your house! I love making and taking pasta salads to potlucks, barbecues, and get togethers. They are the perfect s…

This Easy Orzo Salad is light, fresh, and filled with veggies, chickpeas, and fresh herbs. It will quickly become a go-to pasta salad in your house! I love making and taking pasta salads to potlucks, barbecues, and get togethers. They are the perfect side dish for sharing. This Easy Orzo Pasta Salad is a summertime…

The post Easy Orzo Salad appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette.

This grilled vegetable orzo will be your new summer BFF. It’s loaded with flavor. Everyone loves it. It should be dinner tonight! Okay, but seriously? This orzo has been on repeat for weeks now. IT IS SO GOOD. First, let’s talk about how versatile it is. You can basically throw whatever veggies you have and […]

The post Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This grilled vegetable orzo will be your new summer BFF.

grilled vegetable orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

It’s loaded with flavor. Everyone loves it. It should be dinner tonight!

vegetables ready for the grill

Okay, but seriously? This orzo has been on repeat for weeks now. IT IS SO GOOD.

mushrooms with olive oil

First, let’s talk about how versatile it is. You can basically throw whatever veggies you have and love on the grill. There is no right or wrong here, as long as it’s vegetables you like. It’s a great way to do a clean-out-the-fridge meal and use up everything that’s about to spoil. 

orzo

The veggies that I always do for flavor purposes alone: mushrooms, bell peppers and broccoli.

Those are my faves!

However, as you can see in the photos, I add in many many more vegetables too. Cauliflower, zucchini and scallions here. I also like to throw in asparagus and/or green beans.

Everything ends up tasting incredible thanks to the charred, smoky flavor from the grill, but I also add a dash of balsamic vinegar to make the flavor pop.

grilled vegetables

When it comes to grilling, the way you grill the vegetables may vary. I love using this grilling basket and this grilling pan for almost all the vegetables. But if you have mushrooms that are thinly sliced, then I suggest grilling them in foil. They will get very crisp and this is where you can add that balsamic flavor. 

Of course, if you don’t have a grill, this works just as well with roasted vegetables too. Winning all around right here!

smashed feta vinaigrette

Now this vinaigrette. Oh my gosh. This might be my favorite dressing of the summer. I’m calling it now. My new signature!

You make a classic vinaigrette with red wine vinegar, some herbs, salt, pepper and garlic, them smash feta into that mixture while bring it together. Add your olive oil and boom! It’s perfect.

orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

This reminds me a lot of a blue cheese vinaigrette I’ve been perfecting for a long time. The recipe will be in my next book! There’s just something about these soft cheeses that marinate in the dressing. Fantastic. 

grilled vegetable orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

More great news:

You can make this ahead of time. Yes! The entire thing. Even this past weekend I made it almost a full 24 hours ahead of time and served it as a cold pasta salad. The flavors become more pronounced and everything marries together even more.

grilled vegetable orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

So yes, that means you can serve this warm or cold. It’s totally your choice.

What I’ve been doing? If I want to make it for dinner, then we tend to eat it warm. I grilled the vegetables while making the orzo then toss it all together and serve. If you want to make it for a gathering with family or friends, I suggest taking it at room temp (so making it right before you leave) or serving it cold. All the ways are delicious. 

grilled vegetable orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

If you do go the dinner route, you can serve this alone, serve it as the main dish with a greens salad or serve it as a side with some grilled chicken or salmon. Of course, you can also add chicken or beans or whatever else you’d like right into the salad. 

What I’m really saying is take this and make it your own. You’ll have wonderful leftovers. And double the dressing because you will freak over it! 

grilled vegetable orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette

Print

Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette

This grilled vegetable orzo is the perfect dish to serve warm or cold! Tossed with feta vinaigrette, the flavor is incredible!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 12 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 medium zucchini squash, cut into rounds or spears
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • balsamic vinegar for drizzling
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder for sprinkling
  • crumbled feta for serving
  • fresh herbs, like dill and chives, for serving

smashed feta vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • salt and pepper
  • cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Note: there is no wrong way to do the vegetables here! Cut them as you wish (at least large enough so they don’t fall through grates/grill pan), use the vegetables you wish - whatever you love most!
  • Preheat the grill to high. Make the dressing first and set it aside.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orzo according to the package directions - usually around 8 minutes for al dente. If the orzo is finished before everything else is, toss with a spoonful of olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Grill the vegetables while the water boils and orzo cooks.
  • I find that I need 2 grill baskets/trays here to do all the vegetables. You can of course put vegetables right on the grill too - especially things like large pieces of bell peppers, asparagus, zucchini rounds or spears, etc. Toss the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If desired, you can also toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
  • If the mushrooms are sliced, I put them on a sheet of foil. (if they are whole, you can place them directly on the grill or grill plate.) Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. You can add cracked black pepper and garlic powder too. Wait to salt until the mushrooms cook.
  • Place the vegetables on the grill. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes total, tossing and turning some of the vegetables every few minutes. The length of time will depend on how small you cut your vegetables, so keep an eye on them. I check every 5 minutes or so.
  • Once the vegetables are done, toss them in a large bowl with the orzo. Pout the feta vinaigrette on top and toss. You can add in extra feta, fresh dill or chives if you wish. Either serve immediately, or store in the fridge until you serve. You can make this 24 hours ahead of time. Leftovers are great!

smashed feta vinaigrette

  • In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, herbs and feta. Use a spoon or whisk to smash some of the feta into the mixture. Whisk the olive oil into the dressing until combined. You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge. It will separate but whisking or shaking will bring it back together.

grilled vegetable orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

Holy.flavor.

The post Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Crispy Orzo with Artichokes and Lemon.

It’s here!! This crispy orzo pot, a flavor explosion, is fiiiinally here. Crispy orzo with artichokes and creamy goat cheese and zesty lemon and crunchy prosciutto. Doesn’t that sound like the best party in your mouth? Come watch me make it on instagram today! Gosh I just love anything with artichokes. Okay so I promise […]

The post Crispy Orzo with Artichokes and Lemon. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

It’s here!! This crispy orzo pot, a flavor explosion, is fiiiinally here.

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.

Crispy orzo with artichokes and creamy goat cheese and zesty lemon and crunchy prosciutto. Doesn’t that sound like the best party in your mouth?

Come watch me make it on instagram today!

crispy orzo

Gosh I just love anything with artichokes.

Okay so I promise I’m not turning into a pasta blog. This is another dish that I made waaaay before our quarantine, but it works out well if you have a few pantry ingredients! You can sub rice or even couscous for the orzo, so there’s that.

I’m such a seasonal cook so coming up with meals that can be made with ingredients in our pantry right now has been HARD. I want to cook all the fresh asparagus and spring produce and prepare delicious Easter dishes!

Luckily, this one fits the quarantine bill. You may need to skip an ingredient or two if you don’t have it, but that’s totally okay!

crispy prosciutto

So let’s do it. 

You have to cook the orzo first (and you can totally do this ahead of time) but once it’s cooked? It comes together quickly!

The other thing you want to do is crisp up some prosciutto. This is my FAVORITE part. One of my favorite salads ever is a simple greens salad with tons of lemon, parmesan and crispy prosciutto.

Besides being delicious, obviously, one of the main reasons I love this prosciutto is because once it’s crisped up (pan fried like bacon), it becomes so delicately crisp that it literally crumbles at the touch. This means that you can easily crumble it over salads and pastas. It’s much thinner than bacon or pancetta, so it truly SHATTERS.

Yes, shattered prosciutto pasta. We should make that a thing!

artichoke

And the other great thing – because the prosciutto is so thin, it doesn’t get soft and gross in the fridge. Meaning leftovers of this are INCREDIBLE. Super good with possibly even more flavor? 

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.

ANYWAY.

After the cooking of the orzo and the crumbling of the prosciutto, it comes together.

The most important part is to crisp up the orzo! Considering this is a crispy orzo dish, that part is important. Take a big old pan or skillet, add some olive oil and toss in the cooked orzo. Almost as if you’re making fried rice. You want to alternate between stirring occasionally and flattening the orzo against the pan, allowing it to cook a few minutes before tossing. 

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.

There will be bits of crispy orzo, some chunks will stick together and some pieces will remain soft, which makes this a texture lover’s dream. 

Like me! That’s me. Give me alllll the texture. 

You’re going to add canned/jarred artichoke hearts, a bunch of fresh lemon zest, goat cheese (or feta, or parm, or whatever you have on hand), and a few mint leaves. Spring in a dish, if I do say so myself.

Oh and don’t be freaked by the mint! It adds this refreshing bite that works so well. If you don’t have it right now, any other herb that you enjoy will work.

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.

I know that Easter celebrations with friends and family are up in the air for most of us. Either way, this would make a fantastic side dish. But in the meantime, it makes an incredible dinner for you, tonight!

And let’s be real – the crispy orzo can be the base for just about ANY flavor. Whatever you have in your pantry or fridge, add it in. 

Make.it.your.own.

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.

Crispy Orzo with Artichokes and Lemon

Print

Crispy Orzo with Artichokes and Lemon

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 as a meal, 4 as a side dish
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked orzo
  • 4 ounces prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 12 ounce jars artichoke hearts, drained (and chopped if you wish)
  • 1 lemon, zest grated and juiced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 to 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • fresh mint or herbs for garnish

Instructions

  • If you haven’t cooked the orzo yet, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook 1 ½ cups according to the package directions. This is usually to boil for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook until crisp and golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the prosciutto and place it on a paper towel to cool. Prosciutto does not render as much fat as bacon, so you will most likely need olive oil here. If you use bacon instead, there may be enough fat in the skillet to cook the orzo. Ideally you want about 2 tablespoons.
  • In the same skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add in the shallots and the garlic with a pinch of salt and stir. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add in the orzo and toss well. Press the orzo into an even layer in the pan so it covers the entire bottom. Let it cook and crispy for a few minutes, then toss and repeat the process, pressing it into the bottom of the pan to cook. You want to do this a few times over, until the orzo is a bit crisp and golden in color.
  • Once the orzo is finished, add in the artichoke hearts. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat.
  • Crumble the goat cheese into the orzo and toss. Stir in the fresh mint. Crumble the prosciutto on top and serve immediately.

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.

Crunch crunch crunch.

The post Crispy Orzo with Artichokes and Lemon. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.