This Creamy Orzo recipe is the best way to prepare these tiny noodles. It’s perfectly cheesy and so rich – everyone will love it!
Table Of Contents
I love making this Creamy Orzo recipe because everyone in the family loves its great flavor. It’s so simple and it comes out tasting rich and delicious every time.
- TASTE: This Creamy Orzo is super cheesy with a delicious hint of garlic. The rich and creamy flavor is the best.
- TEXTURE: This dish is loaded with al dente pasta and gooey, melted cheeses.
- TIME: This recipe takes about 30 minutes.
- EASE: To make this cheesy side dish, you just need to follow a few very easy steps. It’s really simple to make.
What You’ll Need
- Heavy whipping cream- This ingredient adds lots of rich, creamy flavor and a smooth texture.
- Garlic cloves– For a delicious pungent flavor.
- Shredded Parmesan cheese– This cheese is nutty and a little salty.
- Shredded mozzarella cheese– This is a rich and creamy cheese that melts to gooey deliciousness.
- Orzo- This small rice-like pasta is perfect in this cheesy dish.
- Salt– To taste.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Substitute another pasta type- You can swap orzo for bow tie pasta or even angel hair pasta if you want. They all turn out tasting scrumptious.
- Add vegetables- Make this recipe with some spinach, diced tomatoes, onion, celery, carrot, or baby bella mushrooms.
- Make it with meat- Ground pork, beef, chicken breast, or shrimp would be a delicious addition to this Creamy Orzo.
- Add cream cheese- Make this dish extra creamy and thick with the addition of cream cheese.
How to Make Creamy Orzo
- Prepare the cheesy cream sauce. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan. Add in the grated garlic and the shredded Parmesan cheese.
- Prepare the pasta. Boil and drain the orzo pasta.
- Combine. Add the hot cheesy cream to the pot of pasta and stir to combine.
- Bake. Place the cheesy pasta mixture in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and sprinkle shredded mozzarella and parmesan on top. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until cheese becomes golden brown.
Pro Tip: Butter the baking dish before adding the creamy orzo so it doesn’t burn and stick to the pan. It’s so much easier to clean this way!
- Add the Parmesan when the cream is hot- Wait until the cream has gotten hot before adding the Parmesan cheese so it melts.
- Salt the pasta water- Adding salt to the water the orzo is cooked in will impart more flavor than adding salt afterward.
- Cook the orzo al dente- Be careful not to overcook the pasta because it will continue to cook in the oven when it’s mixed with the cream and cheeses. You don’t want it super mushy.
- Broil it- During the last few minutes of cooking, you can broil the Creamy Orzo. This will direct heat onto the cheese on top, giving you a lovely golden brown layer.
Orzo is basically pasta that is shaped like grains of rice. If you enjoy the texture of pasta, you’ll be a fan of how this Creamy Orzo turns out.
If you overcook the orzo, it will become very mushy. Only cook it to the package directions for al dente pasta so that when it finishes cooking in the oven, it doesn’t turn to mush.
This Creamy Orzo recipe makes an amazing side dish that goes great with so many flavors. You can serve it with meats, seafood, vegetables, or bread.
- Meats: Enjoy this as the side to a delicious meal of Grilled Chicken Kabobs, Breaded Air Fryer Chicken Tenders (VIDEO), Cast Iron Ribeye Steak, or Air Fryer Pork Chops (VIDEO).
- Seafood: Serve this Creamy Orzo with some Cajun Shrimp, Panko Crusted Salmon, Pan Fried Cod with Sautéed Vegetables, or Cilantro Lime Salmon.
- Vegetables: Pair this side dish with some Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts, Air Fryer Green Beans, Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, or Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli.
- Bread: Serve this pasta side dish with some Focaccia Bread, Rustic Bread (overnight), Super Soft Brioche Dinner Rolls, or Buttermilk Cornbread.
Make This Recipe in Advance
Make ahead: You can pre-cook the pasta and rinse it before storing it in the fridge. When you’re ready, make the cheesy cream, combine, and bake.
Storing: Store this Creamy Orzo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat it in the oven or microwave until warmed through.
Freeze: You can freeze this dish in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Bring it to room temperature before reheating it.
More Deliciously Cheesy Dishes!
This recipe was originally posted on May 27, 2016, we’ve tweaked it a bit since then.
Full Recipe Instructions
Creamy Orzo Recipe
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1-2 garlic cloves grated
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese divided
- 1 lb orzo uncooked
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Salt to taste
- Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in the grated garlic.
- Once the cream is hot, mix in 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese.
- Cook the orzo according to the package, making sure to salt the pasta water. Once cooked, drain the water out.
- Add the hot cheesy cream into the pot of pasta and stir to combine.
- Place the pasta in a buttered 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
- Shred the mozzarella and sprinkle 1 cup over the orzo along with 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until the cheese becomes golden brown.