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.
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 stockpot 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 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 stirring 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.
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
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.
- 1 cup orzo
- 3 tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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.