This BroccThis Broccoli and Cheese Orzo is comfort food at its best! Loaded with lots of rich cheesy flavor this one pot dish is ready in just 10 minutes making it a weeknight staple in our house!
I feel like we all need that go to dinner recipe that is quick, easy, and so delicious even your pickiest eater won’t complain. This broccoli cheese orzo is a favorite of of the kids because of it’s creamy texture and cheesy flavor and we love how they happily eat their broccoli with zero complaints! Also CHEESE! If you enjoy broccoli cheddar soup you will love this delicious recipe!
Add some diced chicken to create an easy main dish your entire family will love!
Broccoli and Cheese Orzo Ingredients
- Orzo: The magical quick cooking base of this recipe that gives you the delicious creamy texture of a risotto in a quarter of the time.
- Broccoli florets: You can use fresh broccoli florets or cook frozen ones according to the package instructions and add it at the end with the cream and cheese.
- Onions and Garlic: Yellow onion and garlic sautéed in butter are the flavor base for this broccoli and cheese orzo.
- Chicken stock: Low sodium chicken broth adds a lot of flavor to this dish but vegetable broth or even water will work as well.
- Cream: We finish this orzo with a little heavy cream or half and half to give you a delicious velvety texture reminiscent of broccoli and cheese soup.
- Cheese: Whatever cheddar cheese you like will work for this recipe! I have used fresh grated from a block of sharp cheddar cheese, a pre grated cheddar blend, and in a pinch we have subbed with American cheese slices. They were all creamy, cheesy, and delicious!
- Butter: I like to cook the veggies in a little butter but you can use olive oil if you prefer.
- Salt and Pepper: A pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
How to make Broccoli and Cheese Orzo
In a large skillet, dutch oven, or large pot melt salted butter over medium-high heat.
Wait for the butter to melt and then add the diced onion and thyme. Cook until slightly the onions are slightly softened and fragrant.
Add the garlic, salt, pepper, broccoli florets and dry orzo pasta to the pot.
Cook the orzo stirring consistently until the orzo is toasted and golden.
Slowly pour in the broth while stirring the orzo to keep from sticking.
Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Be sure to stir regularly to keep the orzo from sticking.
Once the orzo is al dente, the broccoli is tender, and the liquid is reduced stir in the half and half until well combined and creamy.
Tips for making Broccoli and Cheese Orzo
Storing Broccoli and Cheese Orzo:
This broccoli and cheese orzo keeps really well in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to three days. I don’t recommend freezing this dish.
How do I reheat orzo?
My favorite way to reheat orzo is in a skillet over medium heat with a splash of water. If you don’t want to use the stovetop you can also microwave it with a little water to milk to help loosen it back up!
What can I use instead of Orzo?
The best replacements for orzo are Acini Di Pepe or Orecchiette. But I really recommend orzo for this recipe.
What can I use instead of broccoli?
You can definitely use a different vegetable. This recipe works great with all kinds of vegetables. We really love peas, trimmed asparagus, and broccoli the most!
Can I use frozen broccoli?
Yes! cook the broccoli to the package instructions and add to the orzo at the end with the cheese and cream.
What is orzo?
Orzo is a short-cut pasta made of durham wheat. While it looks rice orzo cooks in half the time. Orzo is versatile and useful in all kinds of recipe including pasta dishes, bakes, soups, and salads.
What to serve with Broccoli and Cheese Orzo:
This orzo makes the perfect side dish for grilled chicken breast, baked salmon, and panko crusted chicken. Or add diced chicken into the orzo to make a cheesy chicken orzo one skillet meal!
You can always add a treat like some Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies.