This easy Parmesan Orzo Side Dish is my favorite pasta side. It’s quick and easy to make, so creamy, and absolutely delicious.
Looking for more easy sides? You might also like my Apple Stuffing for Two, Parmesan and Panko Broccoli, and Potato Gratin for Two.
You know those times when you’re putting together a plate, and you have your protein, lots of yummy veggies (maybe in the form or some super amazing Butter and Garlic Green Beans) and then just a big boring white space where your carbs should be?
You could dig out your rice cooker and add some rice, or throw on a couple slices of bread, but if you want something a little extra special, I recommend today’s recipe, my very favorite Easy Parmesan Orzo Side Dish.
Folks, I love this recipe SO much. It’s basically the perfect pasta side, because it’s quick and easy to make, tastes fab, and is sooooooo creamy and cheesy. You can serve it alongside anything, chicken, beef, pork, a nice tofu steak (okay I don’t actually know about that last one, but I’m sure it would be great too).
To make it, all you need is about 15 minutes, one pot, some orzo, butter, cream or milk, Parmesan, and a little salt and pepper. That’s it. Then you cook your pasta, drain it, stir in the butter and then throw the rest of the ingredients at it. Then try to actually get it to your plates and not just eat giant spoonfuls of it from the pot under the guise of taste testing… 😉
As written, this Parmesan Orzo Side Dish recipe serves 2 to 3. To change the recipe yield, hover over the number of servings (or click if you are on mobile) and slide the slider–no preparation changes are necessary for doubling.
My Favorite Easy Parmesan Orzo Side Dish
- 4 ounces (2/3 cup) orzo
- 1 tablespoon (14g) butter
- 2 tablespoons cream or milk
- 1/4 cup (1oz) shredded Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parsley for garnish optional
- Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook orzo according to package instructions.
- Drain and add butter. Stir butter into the pasta until melted and add cream (or milk) and cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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I love orzo pasta, never thought of having it as a side…genius!
Lol! Thanks, Emily!
This is so easy to make yet so delicious! Love the pictures!
Kelly @ trial and eater says
What a great easy side dish! I don’t use orzo nearly enough, I’ll have to try this!
Thanks, Kelly! I hope you enjoy it!
What a simple and easy recipe. Sounds like a nice comfort dish.
Edyta at Innocent Delight says
I love all the ingredients it this simple dish. I will be definitely making it all summer long.
Thanks, Edyta! I hope you enjoy it all summer long! 😉
Looks like the perfect dish of pasta to me! Love the stretching cheese in that one picture!
This is great! I also put extra cheese on top and popped it in the broiler for a few to crust the top. Yummy!! Thank you for the inspiration!!
So glad you enjoyed it, and the broiler tip is genius. I’m totally trying it the next time I make this!
I have found a similar recipe that utilizes 1 cup of orzo, butter to brown it in, bringing to a boil in 1.5 cups each of water and chicken broth, simmering for 15 minutes, then adding Parm! You can mix in toasted pine nuts, chopped mushrooms, roasted toms…options are endless!!! Sometimes I use Asiago, and even also awesome is the whole wheat orzo option! I heart orzo forever!!! Weeee
Agreed, orzo is the best! 😉
My wife could eat this with a meal or as a snack every day..
We love your small portion recipes.. :O)
LOL, me too. This is one of my favorites. 🙂 I’m so glad you both enjoy the recipes!!
I made the parmesan orzo side dish last night. Too delicious, too easy! I used yogurt instead of milk as I didn’t have any milk, it worked perfectly. I also added a little of the pasta water, otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. I’ll certainly make it again.
Ooo, I love that idea! So glad you enjoyed it!
Made this last night – now its my favorite orzo side dish, too!
Yay! So glad you enjoyed it!!
Billie Jo says
Simple, Easy, Tasty and way berrer than any prepackaged noodle kit.
Thanks, Billie Jo!
Jean M Leen says
Can this be reheated? If so, use the microwave?
It can be, but it’s not as smooth and creamy after being reheated. If you have leftover cream and parmesan, adding a splash of cream and bit of parmesan while reheating in the microwave helps to improve the texture.