Risotto-Style Orzo

2016-04-05 19.05.19RECIPE #216, DAY #284

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Cheesy Orzo” from Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals 2*

TIMING: 25 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Easy, as long as you don’t mess it up

TOOLS: Pretty much just a medium-large sauce pan

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: I can’t claim that this dish is going to add much nutritionally to any meal. It will probably get your kids(or picky eaters who enjoy bland, starchy foods) a little fuller. It’s also not the worst side dish you could make. White food.

2016-04-05 19.11.12EXPERIENCE: My first 30 minute meal from the cookbook I have borrowed from the library while my books are in storage and our lives are a tad insane.

This side dish was crazy easy to make, but I have many reservations about recommending it. I mean, we ate it (at least with the gravy from the pork chops). But it was such a gummy mess (which I knew it would be, based on the unconventional-for-pasta cooking technique). You could never really serve it as leftovers, as it becomes a gelatinous blob in about 15 minutes. It’s not pretty. It’s not fancy. And, as stated above, it doesn’t add much nutritionally.


NOTES: It might elevate this a little to substitute some dry, white wine for some of the stock and also to add lemon zest. Finish it off with lemon juice and a handful of green peas at the end and drizzle with a nice “EVOO.” Parsley to garnish really is a must.

Still don’t know if the gummy is worth it.


  1. Heat a medium-large sauce pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and minced 1/2 onion and saute until translucent. Add 2 cloves sliced garlic and saute 1 more minute.
  2. Add 4 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add 2 cups orzo, stir, and cover securely. Cook 15 minutes until pasta is done and liquid is absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately, garnished with plenty of parsley.


Serve immediately with Pork Chops with Gravy and Balsamic Glazed Veggies or with chicken parm or piccata or marsala. At least, not during a fancy Italian meal.

*Recipe has been changed from the original.


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