5 Ingredient Friday: Parmesan Orzo

*sauce is not included in recipe

This week’s 5 Ingredient Friday is something that I love to make: Orzo. It goes with so many different dishes and you can change up ingredients to fit your meal. If you need something to go with a Greek dish, add in some kalamata olives, lemon juice & zest, etc. If you need something to go with a steak, add in green scallions, dried cherries, and pecans. This specific dish is just something that I came up with when I wanted a pasta-like side dish to go with Chicken Parmesan, but didn’t want anything too heavy. Orzo is a type of pasta that is made in the shape of a grain of rice. I love how it’s so light and fluffy. There’s so much you can do with Orzo. Here’s my favorite recipe…


  • Orzo (as much as you want to make)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
  • salt & pepper, to taste


Bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to a boil and stir in the orzo; return to a boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 9-11 minutes; drain.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan (or skillet) over medium heat. Cook the onion for a few minutes until it’s translucent. Stir in the garlic and let it cook for about a minute or so.

Stir in your cooked Orzo and mix until everything is incorporated. Add in your grated Parmesan Cheese; stirring until it melts. Taste it for flavor, and add in salt & pepper as you see fit.

*The sauce in the picture above was not included in the recipe. I was trying to use up the extra sauce so that’s why it’s on there 🙂

So as you see this is a very easy recipe that can be changed up at any time. I love to do Orzo with sweet onions, garlic, lemon juice & zest, and fresh parsley when serving white fish such as Flounder or Tilapia. The possibilities are endless!

Share your favorite Orzo recipes!

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  1. My dad taught me a trick– toast half the orzo (dry) over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it starts to become brown. Then combine it with half untoasted and cook as usual– it creates a super nutty flavor and makes it prettier. The dried cherry/pecan combo sounds really good!

  2. I think I’m going to try A&J’s suggestion – this sounds so simple yet so good!

  3. I’ve never made Orzo! I will be trying this soon.

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