This Broccoli and Orzo Skillet is a delicious one-pan dinner that cooks in just 20 minutes! It’s creamy, cheesy, and loaded with vegetables for a healthy, filling meal.

Broccoli and orzo pasta
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I’ve been hooked on orzo lately because it cooks quickly and it’s small shape makes it perfect for soups and salads. This particular recipe reminds me of a cross between rice pilaf and risotto, but with much less effort. The orzo cooks with the broccoli and the starch from the pasta creates a deliciously creamy sauce. A little sharp cheddar cheese adds a salty, savory flavor making this a perfect recipe for the whole family.

Broccoli and orzo pasta ingredients

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Orzo– This short pasta resembles large grains of rice, but it’s actually made from wheat, like most pasta. Since it’s pasta, it does contain gluten. DeLallo makes a gluten-free orzo pasta that you can order online!
  • Onion– I used a small white onion but a sweet onion or yellow onion is fine. You can also substitute with two large shallots.
  • Butter– A little butter helps create a rich and creamy base.
  • Sharp Cheddar– I used Cabot’s extra sharp cheddar cheese. I recommend buying a block of cheese and shredding it rather than buying pre-shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese doesn’t melt as smoothly.
  • Broth– I recommend using a vegan “chicken” style broth, which has more flavor than vegetable broth.
  • Broccoli– You can use fresh or frozen broccoli in this recipe. If you have extra broccoli, try this roasted broccoli salad!

What is orzo?

Orzo is a small rice-shaped pasta. Most of the orzo you’ll find at the grocery store is made with white flour, but there are a few brands that make whole wheat orzo. Whole wheat orzo will have a slightly nuttier taste and a heartier texture but it also has more protein and fiber. If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, check out Banza’s chickpea rice. I actually think it tastes more like orzo than rice and it’s the perfect shape for this recipe! Keep in mind, this dish won’t be quite as creamy if you use a gluten-free pasta, since the starch from the pasta is part of what gives this dish such a rich texture.

How to Make this Broccoli and Orzo Skillet