This Garlic Parmesan Orzo is a great way to impress your family and friends. It is something typically served in classy restaurants that you can whip it up in under 30 minutes. This recipe can be made 100% plant-based with substitutions.
Orzo has become a new favorite in my household. It’s a fun texture and shape. It makes a great main or side dish. The nutty flavor of Orzo makes it a perfect canvas for many great flavors. I always forget about Orzo until I step into a fun restaurant that serves it. Make a treat for you or your family tonight and serve this Garlic Parmesan Orzo!
Why Make This Recipe:
Customizable for dietary needs: Vegetarian, vegan options, nut allergy options
Skills Needed: Fool Proof! Anyone with any level of skill can make this dish.
Can be served in multiple ways: You can serve this dish as a main or a side dish!
Orzo is a form of shortcut pasta that is shaped like a large grain of rice. It has a wonderful nutty flavor to it and the texture makes it feel like you are eating something so decadent. I picked up a bag of Orzo from my local sprouts along with Silk® plant based Oat Yeah™ oatmilk.
- Orzo: a form of shortcut pasta that is shaped like a large grain of rice. Grab some here.
- Garlic: Fresh chopped
- Milk: Nut milk, oat milk or cow milk it will all be equally delicious
- Butter: I use unsalted. The butter brings this dish to a rich decadent level! Plant based butter or ghee will also work
- Mushrooms: Any kind will do, I prefer sliced button or crimini mushrooms. You may sub out the mushrooms for peas or chopped broccoli.
- Fresh Parsley: Do not skip this one! The parsley adds a touch of color and brings out the garlic in the dish.
- Starch. Corn starch or arrowroot.
How To Make This Recipe:
Step 1: Make the roux Roux is a flour/fat mix that is cooked together in order to thicken liquid. In this case we are using starch instead of flour. You may substitute flour for starch should that suit you! You will start with adding the butter to a medium heat sauce pan.
A roux needs some attention. Make sure you aren't distracted whenever you are whipping up a roux. It only takes a few minutes however it can easily burn if you walk away for a quick minute. Use a whisk to really get the clumps out and get a high quality smooth roux ready to thicken up your sauces and soups!
Step 2: Add the starch to the pan, whisk briskly and be sure to get all the clumps out.
Step 3: Add in the milk, garlic, onions, salt, pepper and parsley. Slowly add in the parmesan. Whisk well.
Step 4: While orzo is still simmering in water, add mushrooms to the pot with the orzo and blanch them lightly. Drain both orzo & mushrooms together.
Step 5: Add in cooked orzo and blanch mushrooms and mix well.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Yes! I highly suggest peas or small bits of chopped broccoli if you'd like to use a different veggie. Sun dried tomatoes are also very good in this.
Yes, any milk of choice will do great. Make sure you use unflavored nut milk if you should go that route. I would avoid coconut milk however, it has a little sweetness to it that might not go well with this recipe.
Never leave the room or get distracted when making a roux
Cut down on the dishes by adding the veggies of your choice to the boiling water that the orzo is cooking in. Give them a good blanch.
STORING TIPS: This recipe is a great dish to make for meal prep. It serves as a great side dish for multiple main courses, can be enjoyed for lunch or on salads. I suggest you keep any leftovers in a glass Tupperware in the refrigerator. It should last for about 7 days.
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Garlic Parmesan Orzo
- 3 Tbsp melted butter
- 1 tbsp Arrow root or corn starch *
- 1½ cup milk I used Silk Oat Yeah milk
- 2 ½ Tbsp minced garlic fresh is always best
- ¼ tsp salt & pepper
- 1 Tbsp chopped onion
- 2 Tbsp parsley + extra for garnish
- 1½ cup cooked orzo
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 6 Tbsp parmesan peccorino will work as well.
- ¼ Tbsp italian seasoning
- ¼ cup chopped sundried tomatoes optional
- In a pan, melt butter and slowly add starch to make roux. Once butter starts to lightly brown and thicken, add the oat milk or any milk in and slowly and whisk. While whisking, add garlic, seasonings, onions, parmesan and simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- Once orzo is almost cooked in boiling water, add the mushrooms to the water to get them blanched. Drain water. Add the sauce from the pan and mix well *it using sundried tomatoes ass them here* orzo should be completely covered. If needed, add some olive oil to the top of the orzo to help spread the garlic sauce. Sprinkle with parsley for garnish. Enjoy!