This creamy Parmesan orzo pasta can be made in just 15 minutes! It’s a perfect side dish and you only need a handful of pantry staples to prepare it!

parmesan orzo pasta

I’ve been trying to brainstorm new side dish recipes and this one might be a new favorite because it’s so quick and easy! This parmesan orzo almost reminded me a little bit of risotto, except that it was so much easier.

parmesan orzo pasta

How to Cook Orzo Pasta

To be totally honest, the first time I picked up a package of orzo pasta, I thought it was going to be complicated to prepare. But it’s just as simple as any other pasta shape!

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
  • Add the Orzo pasta
  • Stir and reduce heat. Cook for 7-9 minutes.
  • Drain the pasta in a colander and serve!

parmesan orzo pasta

Is Orzo Pasta Gluten-Free?

Traditionally, orzo pasta contains gluten. However, Delallo makes a gluten-free version out of corn and rice, which you can substitute in this recipe if needed. They also make a whole wheat version, which contains more protein and fiber than refined orzo. That can be a great healthier option! Banza makes chickpea “rice” which is actually pretty similar to orzo pasta, but it’s made from chickpeas. It works really well in this recipe!

Best Brands of Orzo Pasta

I love Delallo or De Cecco brands, but Barilla also makes a great orzo pasta. As I mentioned, if you need gluten-free orzo, check out Delallo’s gluten-free option. You can find orzo in the pasta section of the grocery store, but you may also see it in the rice section. It typically costs between $2-$3 dollars per pound.

parmesan orzo pasta

Is Orzo Good For You?

Orzo is just like any other pasta! It’s made with refined flour, so it doesn’t have a lot of nutrients, but you can still enjoy it in moderation. This recipe has a boost of protein from the Parmesan cheese, and you can pair it with your favorite vegetables. Unfortunately, it is hard to find whole wheat versions of orzo. But if you’re looking for an option with more protein and fiber, definitely check out Banza’s “chickpea rice”.

Substitution Ideas

  • As I mentioned, you can substitute gluten-free pasta, if needed.
  • If you don’t like things spicy, try using chopped basil instead of crushed red pepper.
  • You can substitute fresh garlic for garlic powder if you prefer, but keep in mind that raw garlic can have a bit of a bite to it. That’s why I prefer garlic powder in this recipe.
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parmesan orzo pasta

Parmesan Orzo Pasta

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Pasta

Description

This creamy Parmesan orzo pasta can be made in just 15 minutes! It’s a perfect side dish and you only need a handful of pantry staples to prepare it!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 oz)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the orzo according to the package directions, typically 8-9 minutes.
  2. Drain the pasta, then add in the olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and salt.
  3. Sprinkle with red pepper and serve warm.

Keywords: parmesan orzo pasta

parmesan orzo pasta

We had this with a very simple version of this warm kale salad, plus a few cherry tomatoes. It was an easy way to transform a random assortment of leftover veggies and pasta into a complete meal!

parmesan orzo pasta

Other Orzo Pasta Recipes

Looking for other ways to use orzo pasta? Try this Orzo and Feta salad recipe!orzo pasta salad

Or try a bowl of this Orzo Vegetable Soup! It’s loaded with so many tasty vegetables.

orzo vegetable soup

Did you try anything new over the weekend?

This post was originally published in May 2014. Updated January 2019.