Parmesan Orzo

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This Parmesan Orzo is creamy, cheesy and so quick, and easy to make! It makes a great side dish or top with rotisserie or grilled chicken for a main dish.

Overhead view of parmesan orzo in a large black skillet. Garnished with fresh parsley and black pepper.

If you have never tried cooking with orzo pasta you should. It cooks up extremely fast so you can have dinner on the table in a jiffy. And this parmesan orzo pasta is cheesy, creamy, and hard to stop at one bite.

We also really like this Creamy Chicken Orzo for a comforting meal. Another creamy and delicious comforting meal is this Poppy Seed Chicken Broccoli Casserole. It’s a twist on the classic casserole and it’s so much better! Or try this Creamy Chicken Stew for a hearty and warming dinner.

Reasons To Make This Parmesan Orzo

  • super quick and easy to make
  • a side dish that pairs well with so many dishes
  • all made in one pot
  • uses simple and easy to find ingredients
  • tastes like something from a restaurant
Ingredients for parmesan orzo: orzo pasta, broth, cream, garlic, butter, onion, and parmesan.


ORZO PASTA: it can be found in the pasta aisle in most grocery stores.
ONION AND GARLIC: Add loads of flavor to this creamy pasta dish.

CHICKEN BROTH: Used to cook the pasta. Look for reduced or low sodium if that is a concern.
CREAM: Just a little to give it that smooth velvety touch.

PARMESAN: If you can, grate your own but the kind in the green can will work for this recipe.
FRESH HERBS: Added at the end for freshness. I used parsley in this recipe.

Three pictures showing how to make this dish: cooking the pasta in broth, stirring in the remaining ingredients, and how it looks finished.

How To Make Parmesan Orzo

COOKING THE ORZO: In a large skillet or pot melt the butter and cook the onion just until it starts to soften. Add the broth, orzo, and garlic. Cover and cook until pasta is al dente.

FINISHING: Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.



Yes. Even though orzo is small and shaped like rice it is pasta.


Store cooled leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


As the orzo cools it will thicken considerably. When reheating you will need to add more broth. I like to reheat gently on the stove top adding a little broth at a time until warmed through.

Close up of this creamy pasta dish.

Suggestions and Tips

VARIATIONS: If you are looking to change up this dish try some of these suggestions.

  • spinach
  • shredded zucchini
  • peas
  • steamed veggies like broccoli, asparagus, carrots, just to name a few
  • cooked chicken, bacon, or even sausage
  • any fresh herbs you may have on hand
  • use vegetable broth if you would like a vegetarian version
Orzo served on a black plate with a spoon ready to take a bite. Garnished with fresh parsley , parmesan cheese, and black pepper.

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Parmesan Orzo
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

This Parmesan Orzo is creamy and cheesy and so quick and easy to make! It makes a great side dish or top with rotisserie or grilled chicken for a main dish.

Course: Pasta
Cuisine: American
Keyword: orzo pasta recipe
Servings: 6
Calories: 608 kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cups (945ml) chicken broth
  • 2 cups (380g) dry orzo pasta
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (120g) grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs
  1. In a large pot or skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the onions just until starting to soften. Stir in the broth, pasta, and garlic. Cover and simmer until pasta is al dente. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

  2. Once al dente remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.

Recipe Notes
  1. STORAGE: Store cooled leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
Nutrition Facts
Parmesan Orzo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 608 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 72mg24%
Sodium 794mg35%
Potassium 435mg12%
Carbohydrates 68g23%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 919IU18%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 393mg39%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.

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