Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo Recipe: This Buttery Side Dish Is to Die For by 30Seconds Food

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo Recipe: This Buttery Side Dish Is to Die For

We think of pasta for main dishes, but pasta can also be a hearty side dish, too. This garlic Parmesan orzo recipe is buttery, creamy and cooks up in no time. It's a welcome change of pace for your side dish rotation.

Orzo is a short pasta that's shaped like a grain of rice. Also called risoni, it's traditionally made with flour. Orzo can be used in main dish recipes, salads, soups and side dishes, and served hot or cold. For this easy, budget-friendly garlic Parmesan orzo recipe you will need orzo, fresh garlic, butter, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, milk and fresh parsley or basil. The garlic is cooked until fragrant in the butter, then all the remaining ingredients join the party. Stir to combine and season with salt and black pepper. For some freshness, top it with some lemon zest.

Serve this orzo side dish recipe with chicken, pork, beef or seafood, or eat it as a vegetarian lunch or dinner (think risotto). 

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Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 cups uncooked orzo, cooked according to package directions
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons butter 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or basil
  • lemon zest, for garnish (optional)

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Recipe Notes

  • If you don't have orzo for this recipe, try ditalini, elbow macaroni, couscous, quinoa or arborio rice.
  • Love lemon? Stir in some lemon juice and garnish with lemon zest. 
  • Store the orzo in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave. 

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. 
  2. Add the cooked orzo, cheese, milk, parsley or basil, and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir and heat through. Garnish with fresh lemon zest and basil or parsley leaves. 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 220

Total Fat: 14.1g

Saturated Fat: 8.6g

Cholesterol: 37mg

Sodium: 180mg

Total Carbohydrate: 18.8g

Dietary Fiber: 2.3g

Total Sugars: 1.9g

Protein: 6.6g

Vitamin D: 8mcg

Calcium: 137mg

Iron: 3mg

Potassium: 221mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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