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cheesy orzo close-up in a serving bowl with a golden spoon

Cheesy Orzo

This cheesy orzo recipe is comforting, creamy, and simple to make in one pot! It's a delicious side dish for a variety of main courses.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cheddar orzo, cheesy orzo, orzo with cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 480kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 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 sharp cheddar grated
  • 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 and orzo. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often (this infuses the orzo with more flavor and toasts it a bit).
  • Stir in 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). You want it to gently bubble vs. furiously boil, and you don't want the liquid to reduce too much before the pasta has cooked.
  • Take the pot off the heat, stir in the cheeses, and cover the pot for 4-5 minutes or until it has thickened up to your liking (this recipe is meant to have a lot of sauce but will thicken a little more as it cools - orzo absorbs liquid quite fast). Season with salt & pepper as needed.


  • Orzo is pasta. If you want to make this with rice, you may have to adjust liquid measurements and cooking time (it would be a different recipe).
  • 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.


Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 699mg | Potassium: 214mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1151IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 405mg | Iron: 1mg