This one pot cheesy orzo recipe is inspired by broccoli cheddar soup. It’s super easy to make, comes together in under 30 minutes, is packed full of veggies all while being very kid friendly!
What is Cheesy Orzo With Broccoli?
Cheesy orzo with broccoli is a delicious and comforting dish that combines orzo pasta, broccoli, and a creamy cheese sauce.
I originally made it for my kids but my husband and I love it!
Orzo is a type of pasta that is shaped like rice grains, and it has a tender almost rice-like texture when cooked.
Broccoli, one of my kids favorite vegetables, is added to the dish to provide color, flavor, and some added health benefits.... because toddlers!
Ingredients and Substitutions to make Cheesy Orzo With Broccoli
- Butter - Salty butter is best. If you want to skip it, just add a little more olive oil.
- Olive Oil - I love the Get Graza Sizzle Olive Oil but you could use avocado oil if you didn't want to use olive oil.
- Onion - Sweet or white onions are best but shallots also work for a substitution.
- Garlic - Fresh is best but the jarred variety is also ok if you're in a pinch.
- Carrots - I recommend using matchstick carrots from the grocery store for convenience sake but you could also grate your carrots yourself.
- Orzo - This is the pasta that I use that works with this proportion of broth/milk. If you change the pasta, you might not get the right consistency.
- Chicken Broth - You could also use bone broth or vegetable broth.
- Broccoli - Since this is the best part, I don't recommend subbing it out but you could use frozen if you had to.
- Whole Milk - Heavy cream also works. I don't recommend low fat milk as it might seperate.
- Sharp Cheddar - I love sharp cheddar in this recipe but any other melting cheese like white cheddar, asiago, pepperjack, etc works well too.
- Parmigiano - You could also use grana padano or pecorino or another italian style blend.
How to make Cheesy Orzo With Broccoli
Making cheesy orzo in one pot is super easy!
To start, just add olive oil and butter to a heavy bottomed pan (I’m using a braiser) over medium heat.
Once hot, add onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Next, add the garlic and shredded carrots and cook down for another few minutes or until the garlic is starting to get tender and fragrant.
Add uncooked orzo and the stock and stir.
Once simmering, put the lid on and let cook for about 6 minutes.
Remove the lid and add broccoli and milk and stir once more.
Put the lid back on and let the dish cook for 4 more minutes or until the pasta is al dente and the broccoli is tender.
Add the cheese and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
What goes with Cheesy Orzo With Broccoli?
This Cheesy Orzo With Broccoli pairs really well with these mediterranean chicken meatballs, a Ciabatta Caprese Sandwich, or this California Veggie Bowl with crispy rice, soft boiled egg+ the most delicious shallot lime vinaigrette!
If you'd like more super easy pasta recipes, check these out!
- Creamy Pesto Pasta
- Original Baked Feta Pasta
- Baked Feta Pasta with Butternut Squash, Hot Honey & Sage
- Spaghetti Squash Baked Feta
- Springtime Baked Goat Cheese Pasta with Asparagus, Peas and Herbs
Frequently asked questions about Orzo
How long does it take to cook orzo?
Even though this is a one pot dish, the orzo still takes the same amount of time as it would by itself which is about 8-10 minutes.
The easiest way to prepare orzo is to heat a pot of salted water and add the pasta once the water begins to boil. Cook until the pasta reaches al dente, approximately 8 to 10 minutes or as the package indicates.
Is orzo different than pasta?
Often mistaken for rice because of its shape, orzo is actually a type of pasta. Orzo falls into the category of small-shaped pasta known as "pastina." It's used widely in soups, but it's also great for salads and one pot dishes since it cooks so fast.
Does orzo need to be rinsed?
The short answer is no. But feel free to rinse the orzo only if it will be served cool in a salad. Otherwise, there's no need to rinse; rinsing removes a light coating of starch that helps sauces and seasonings cling to the pasta.
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One Pot Broccoli Cheese Orzo
- 2 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 whole sweet onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 2 cups chicken stock or veg broth
- 2 cups finely chopped broccoli
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1.5 cups sharp cheddar shredded
- ½ cup parm grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add olive oil and butter to a heavy bottomed pan (I’m using a braiser) over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Add garlic and shredded carrots and cook down for another few minutes or until the garlic is starting to get tender and fragrant.
- Add uncooked orzo and the stock and stir. Once simmering, put the lid on and let cook for about 6 minutes.
- Remove lid and add broccoli and milk and stir once more. Put the lid back on and let the dish cook for 4 more minutes or until the pasta is al dente and the broccoli is tender.
- Add the cheese and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!