Cheesy Baked Orzo Pasta is a comforting pasta dish made with orzo pasta, parmesan cheese, mozzarella, garlic, and a creamy sauce. This easy-to-follow baked pasta recipe is perfect for any occasion. A surprisingly light dinner recipe.
Orzo Pasta Bake
Cheesy Baked Orzo is a delicious pasta bake with creamy sauce, crusty cheese, and a hint of garlic.
Indulge in the creamy, cheesy goodness of this Cheesy Baked Orzo. The combination of Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses creates a crispy cheese crust on top, while the tender orzo pasta is coated in a rich and flavorful sauce.
Serve this as a main dish alongside a green salad, or as a side dish to accompany your favorite protein.
What is Orzo?
- Orzo is a type of pasta that looks like fat rice. It is made from durum wheat and has a firm texture and a slightly nutty flavor.
- Orzo is commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines in dishes like salads, soups, and pilafs.
- When cooked, orzo keeps its shape and has a tender, slightly chewy texture. It's versatile and will absorb flavors well.
Can I Add Veggies to This Recipe?
Yes you can. This recipe is versatile, so you can add vegetables like peas or spinach, zucchini, and more.
Can Meat be Added?
• Yes. This would be the perfect recipe to add a shredded rotisserie chicken to.
• You might also consider adding leftover turkey meat, cooked sausage, or other cooked ground meat.
• Let it cool completely.
• Cover tightly and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
• Reheat individual portions in the microwave or reheat the whole dish in the oven until heated through.
• I don't recommend freezing this orzo pasta dish.
If you make this cheesy pasta bake let me know! You can leave a comment with a star rating below.
- 1 cup Orzo uncooked
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Small Sweet Onion finely diced
- Pinch Salt
- Pinch Pepper
- 2 Cloves Garlic pressed or finely minced
- 3 Tbsp Flour
- 1 ¾ cups Chicken Stock
- ½ cup Heavy Cream or half and half
- 2 cups Parmesan Cheese grated or shredded, and divided
- 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese shredded
- 1 Tbsp Green Onion chopped, for garnish
Cook the orzo in salted water according to package directions, usually 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.
While pasta water is heating up you can begin the sauce.
Heat a frying pan to medium heat.
Add olive oil and butter.
Add the onion and stir.
Add salt & pepper.
Cook until tender and translucent, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the garlic.
Whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. This will make a paste.
Very slowly at first, start pouring in some of the chicken stock, while whisking constantly. Gradually add the entire 2 cups. This helps prevent lumps from forming. Using a flat whisk helps a lot!
Increase heat to Medium High, while still whisking constantly. Don’t let it stick to the bottom! Mixture will thicken as it gets hotter and starts to simmer.
Cook until it gets about as thick as a loose gravy (it won’t be really thick).
Whisk in the half and half.
Turn off the burner and move the pan off of the heat.
Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Remember, the parmesan you'll be adding is a bit salty, so keep that in mind!
Stir in 1 cup of the parmesan cheese.
Pour the cooked & drained orzo into the sauce and stir until incorporated.
Transfer to a sprayed 8” x 8” baking dish.
Mix the remaining ½ cup of parmesan and the 1 cup of mozzarella cheese together and sprinkle over the orzo mixture. Cover the entire surface.
Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.
Garnish with chopped green onion.
RESOURCES TO MAKE this recipe and more
This post contains Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Great Kitchen Tools