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

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

Serving Suggestions and Side Dish Ideas

Looking for the perfect side dish to pair with this orzo recipe? Try this warm kale salad or this chopped vegetable salad. Both of those recipes are a great way to add more vegetables to your plate! You could also pair this dish with my air fryer broccoli or baked zucchini fries for a tasty meal. This recipe can also be served as a side dish along side your favorite protein.

How to Store Leftovers

You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave cooking at 50% power in 1-minute intervals until heated. You can also reheat this recipe on the stovetop. You may want to add a splash of broth if it starts to dry out. I do not recommend freezing this recipe.

More Orzo Recipes

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Broccoli Orzo Skillet

Broccoli and Orzo Skillet

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


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


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, 4-5 minutes until the onion is softened.
  3. Add the garlic and orzo and continue to cook for 1 minute
  4. Add the broccoli and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the broth and simmer for 8-9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until orzo is tender
  6. Remove from heat and stir in milk and cheese.

Keywords: broccoli and orzo pasta