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Creamy Orzo Pasta

One pot creamy orzo pasta with plenty of veggies and an easy parmesan cream sauce. Kid-friendly and simple to make!

Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword creamy orzo pasta
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 507 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 12 ounces (~1 large) chicken breast, cut into small bite size pieces
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper (or use lemon pepper if desired)
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen diced vegetables (I use the blend of carrots, sweet peas, corn, & green beans)
  • 1 and 3/4 cup broccoli (~1 floret), chopped into very small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock (chicken broth works)
  • 2 and 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 and 1/2 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 1 cup freshly (and finely) grated Parmesan cheese, separated
  • fresh parsley, optional

Instructions

  1. PREP: cut veggies and chicken before starting to cook; the process goes quick! Finely chop the onion, finely mince the garlic, cut the chicken breast into small pieces, and chop the broccoli into small pieces. Grab out the rest of the ingredients.

  2. COOK: Heat olive oil in a large (nonstick) pot over high heat. Add onion and stir around for 1-2 minutes and then add in garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the chopped chicken. Season with salt and pepper and cook until mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add in all the frozen vegetables (no need to thaw) and finely chopped broccoli. Stir for 2-3 minutes or until veggies are thawed and chicken is cooked through. Broccoli should be crisp tender. Transfer this entire mixture to a plate and cover with foil.

  3. COOK CONT.: Return pot to burner. Add butter and melt over medium high heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk for 1 minute. Gradually add in the stock, whisking constantly. Add in the milk and all the UNCOOKED orzo. Add in the Italian seasoning.

  4. FINISH COOKING: Bring mixture to a simmer then lower the heat until it is just barely and gently bubbling. Cook for 7 minutes without a lid, stirring occasionally and making sure to scrape the bottom so orzo does not stick. After 7 minutes the pasta should be almost tender (mixture will still be liquidy). Add the plate of set aside ingredients into the pot and stir. Add 3/4 cup parmesan and stir to melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Don't be afraid to add a bit, the salt and pepper really pulls all the flavors together.

  5. SERVE: Consistency should be similar to risotto and very creamy. (Add a splash of milk if needed to thin consistency a bit.) Serve with additional 1/4 cup parmesan if desired and some freshly chopped parsley. Enjoy while hot.