This creamy Tuscan orzo recipe is a one pot pasta that's incredibly flavorful, comforting, and makes an amazing side dish or meatless main course.
There's so many good things in this dish: garlic, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, butter, cream, orzo, basil... ahh I love this "Tuscan" flavor combo. It's more Italian American than authentic Italian, but it's delicious nonetheless.
One pot recipes = fewer dishes, and that's something I think we all need in our lives!
How to make creamy Tuscan orzo (overview):
Add the oil, butter, and onion to a soup pot and sauté for 3-4 minutes, then add in the garlic, Italian seasoning, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and orzo. Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes to help infuse the flavors into the orzo. Stir in the chicken (or veg) broth and cream. Once it starts to bubble, let it cook for 10 minutes, stirring fairly often (turn down the heat as needed). Stir in the parmesan cheese, spinach, and basil, then cover the pot for a few minutes. Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Recipe notes & tips:
- Not a fan of sun-dried tomatoes? Leave them out or make my Creamy Garlic Spinach Orzo instead.
- As always, I recommend grating your own parmesan cheese for the best flavor (and it melts better). I use my Microplane to easily grate it.
- Orzo is pasta (it's not rice even though it looks similar). If you want to make this with rice, you may have to adjust liquid measurements and cooking time.
- Use your discretion for ingredient substitutions. For example, subbing the cream with something lower fat may yield a less rich sauce that could potentially curdle. Half-and-half should be ok, but I haven't tested it.
- It may seem like there's a lot of liquid when you first add it, but the orzo will absorb it. If you find by the end of cooking that there's still too much liquid for your liking, just wait a few minutes and the pasta will soak it up. If it's too dry, simply add another splash of cream and/or chicken broth.
What to serve with this recipe?
Love this flavor combo? You may also like...
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken
- Creamy Tuscan Sausage Gnocchi (One Pan, 20 Minutes)
- Easy Creamy Tuscan Shrimp Recipe
- Tuscan Sausage Pasta
- Creamy Tuscan Salmon Recipe
Questions about this creamy Tuscan garlic orzo? Let me know in the comments below!
Creamy Tuscan Orzo
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes see note
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil sliced thin
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add the oil, butter, and onion to a pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and orzo. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often to infuse the orzo with the flavors.
- Add the chicken broth and cream. Once it starts to bubble, continue cooking for 10 minutes (uncovered), stirring fairly often. You will likely need to turn the heat down a bit (to medium or even medium-low). It should steadily bubble (not furiously boil), and you don't want the liquid to cook off too much before the pasta is done.
- Take the pot off the heat, and stir in the parmesan, spinach, and basil. Cover the pot for a few minutes until it has thickened up to your liking. The orzo will absorb the liquid quickly, so if it still seems like there's too much liquid, just wait a little bit longer. Season with salt & pepper as needed.
- Serves 6 as a side or 4 as a main course (you may want to serve it with garlic bread and/or a salad).
- I used sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in oil and drained the oil prior to adding them to the pan. You can always add more if you really love them!
- Troubleshooting tips: Since every stove and pot can vary, use your best judgement when making one pot pastas. If it looks like the liquid is running out before the pasta is cooked, add a little more broth in (a half cup or so at a time). Conversely, if the cooking time has elapsed and there's still too much liquid, just let it sit for a little longer and the orzo will absorb it.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.