This orzo risotto goes well with anything. It's so creamy and comforting. An easy side dish that will elevate your whole meal to the next level.
If you are looking for good orzo recipes to try, make this orzo risotto for dinner tonight.
You can serve this orzo risotto as a side dish for meat or fish. Or, serve it as a main dish by adding delicious toppings of your choice, such as sauteed mushrooms or other veggies.
Also, be sure to check this Shrimp scampi and orzo recipe on my site.
What is Risotto
Risotto is a classic Italian side dish that is oftentimes made of rice. The rice is usually cooked slowly to create a rich and velvety sauce, similar to mac n cheese but without dairy.
The traditional risotto calls for short-grain arborio rice as the main ingredient. But in this recipe, I will show you how to cook the risotto using orzo instead of rice. You really have to try it and I think you'll be surprised how it turns out.
What is Orzo
Orzo, also known as Risoni, is another type of short-cut pasta from Italy. Traditionally, orzo is made with wheat semolina flour, but it can also be made of whole grain.
Orzo is great on cold salad and soups. You can find Orzo at any grocery market for around $.99 per pound.
Ingredients for Orzo Risotto
This basic orzo risotto is made of orzo, white wine, low-sodium chicken broth, garlic, thyme, shallots, olive oil, butter, and parmesan cheese.
Broth. You can use chicken or vegetable broth or water.
Shallots. If you have no shallot at home, feel free to replace it with yellow onion.
How to Make the Creamiest Orzo Risotto
Step 1. Preheat the Broth
- In a stockpot, bring the broth to a simmer or heat it in a microwave.
Step 2. Cook the Aromatic Vegetables
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook shallots with a pinch of salt for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Step 3. Toast the Orzo
- Add orzo into the pot and keep stirring for about 4 minutes to prevent mushy risotto. Be careful not to burn the pasta.
Step 4. Add Wine
- Add the wine and bring to a simmer.
- Stir the mixture occasionally, until the wine is evaporated. This process should take about 2 minutes.
Step 5. Add the Broth
- Pour the hot broth into the pot. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Immediately reduce the heat back to medium, simmer, and stir often until the pasta al-dente (slightly firm in the center) for about 18 minutes.
Step 6. Add Butter and Parmesan Cheese
- Remove the pot from the heat. Add butter and stir until melted.
- Gradually add parmesan, stirring until the cheese is melted.
- Adjust the seasoning with salt and cheese if necessary.
FAQ and Cooking Tips
You can keep the leftover orzo risotto in an airtight container. The leftover will last 3-5 days in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer.
Be sure to cook the pasta until al dente. If the pasta is too mushy, might not survive reheating. The easiest way to reheat the risotto is to place it in a microwave. Simply add a splash of water or broth (or cover with a damp paper towel) to maintain moisture and reheat for a minute or two.
What to Serve with Risotto
- Pan-Fried Trout
- Pressure Cooker Beef Ribs
- Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- Baked Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs
- Roasted Half Chicken
- Braised Beef Brisket
I hope you'll enjoy this recipe and share it with friends! If you try it and don’t mind, please leave me a comment and/or give this recipe a rating. Be sure to subscribe to receive weekly recipes and follow me on Pinterest.
- 1 cup orzo
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup chopped shallots, (lightly packed)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, (add more according to your liking)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, (add more broth if needed). Put the broth in the microwave for about 2 minutes.
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, (lightly packed) use more or less according to your liking)
- 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Heat oil in a 3½ qt saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallots and a pinch of salt for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute.
- Add orzo and keep stirring until pasta is light golden for about 3-4 minutes.
- Add wine and stir the mixture occasionally, until the wine is evaporated then add thyme.
- Pour the preheated broth into the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat back to medium, simmer, uncovered, and stirring often until the pasta al-dente and most of the liquid is absorbed for about 18 minutes. Add more broth if needed.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add butter and stir until melted. Gradually add parmesan, stirring until the cheese is melted. Adjust the seasoning with salt and cheese if necessary. Serve immediately.
Enjoyed this with dinner last night and it was a hit all around the table! Quick, easy and delicious; my whole family loved it!
Thanks for sharing your feedback, Sara! I am glad that you and your family liked it.
Wow, this was absolutely AMAZING! The whole family loved it, including my picky 8 year old! A keeper for sure.
I am glad to hear that your whole family loved this orzo risotto, Eden! Thanks for reviewing this recipe.
I made this orzo risotto and it turns out perfect. It is creamy, cheesy and delicious. Definitely going to make it again.
Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. I am glad that this orzo risotto recipe turned out well for you.
I love that you used orzo for this. It looks so creamy and delicious.
I was thinking about what to do with the cheese on my ref. Will definitely try this!
What a fun twist on regular risotto. My family loved every bite and it was the perfect side dish since I discovered last minute that I was out of arborio rice!
I am glad that this recipe turned out well for you, Cyndy! Thanks for reviewing this recipe.
This recipe is FANTASTIC ¡ I made for lunch and everybody love it , definitely it’s my new favorite dish to repeat every week… greetings from Spain
I’m so pleased to hear the recipe was a hit! Abd from Spain too, one of my favorite food spots in the world. Let me know how it goes after adding to your rotation.. maybe you’ll make modifications here and there to keep it new and exciting. If you do please do share, I love hearing about those. Thanks again!
I made this wonderful recipe! We absolutely love it! We want to make it again, but would like to try it with the Arborio rice. Do you think this recipe will work? Thanks for the great recipe Rika!
You're welcome, Courtney! Also, you can definitely make this recipe using arborio rice. However, the cooking process takes a bit more work. Once you add the rice into the saucepan, add about 1/2 cup of broth then stir consistently until the liquid is fully absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time, and repeat this process until the rice is tender, usually about 18 minutes.
Let me know how it goes.
This was my first time making orzo and I truly appreciated your step by step instructions!!! The results were amazing and we loved it. Thanks so very much!!!
Thanks, so happy the step-by-step instructions helped out!
Keep it up, glad you’re trying new things in the kitchen. it’s so fun, isn’t it?