Creamy Broccoli Orzo

This Creamy Broccoli Orzo is so easy to make and tastes delicious. Creamy and filling, it can be a side dish or the main course, and is versatile enough to work with most other dishes.

This Creamy Broccoli Orzo is such an easy dish to make and only uses one pot! It’s got great flavor and a creamy texture that’s filling and satisfying. It works great as a main dish with some salad or you can serve it as a side. This is a good recipe to serve at family dinners because the kids will barely notice that they’re eating vegetables with this yummy pasta dish.

Orzo has the shape of rice, but it is pasta made of semolina flour, which comes from durum wheat. Unfortunately, this means it’s not gluten-free, but you can use a gluten-free version if you need to. Because of its versatility, you can easily substitute and add ingredients to this recipe so it fits your family’s needs and preferences. It’s creamy and cheesy, and also quick enough to be made fresh even on busy weeknights. Let’s talk about the ingredients that you’ll need for it.

Main Ingredients

  • Broccoli. We’ll chop the florets into very small pieces.
  • Veggie Broth. Use homemade or store-bought vegetable broth. If you’re using store-bought, pay attention to how much sodium it contains, so you can adjust how much extra salt you add, if any at all.
  • Milk. Whole milk is the way to go. Reduced-fat and nonfat milk will not make this orzo creamy.
  • Orzo Pasta. Or other small pasta cuts.
  • Parmesan Cheese. Finely grated.
  • Turmeric. For color. Optional.
  • Salt & Pepper. To taste.

How to make it

1. Combine the vegetable broth, milk, and broccoli in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes.

2. Add the orzo, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Now add the Parmesan and keep cooking for another minute. Turn off the heat and serve.

Tips for the best Creamy Broccoli Orzo

  • Use a non-stick pot. Because this recipe requires milk, orzo pasta may stick to the bottom of the pan. Use non-stick and stir as often as needed.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste. Depending on how salty your vegetable broth is, I recommend adding salt in the final step, after you have tasted the dish, to avoid over-salting.
  • Use a milk with higher fat content. This recipe will not come out right with low-fat milk because the creamy thickness can’t be achieved without that milk fat. So opt for whole milk here.
  • Chop the broccoli small. Broccoli can be very fibrous, so chop it thoroughly so it will cook until nice and soft, adding flavor and texture that works well with this creamy dish.

Variations to this Recipe

  • Substitute different types of pasta. Small pasta types, such as acini di pepe, midolline, alphabet pasta, anelli, fideo, or pastina, would all work as substitutes for orzo. Gluten-free pasta as well.
  • Add extra vegetables. Try this dish with more vegetables, like peas, carrots, asparagus, spinach, cauliflower, or mushrooms. Just chop them very small as you do with the broccoli.
  • Add fresh herbs. Add extra nutrients and flavor by chopping fresh parsley, chives, cilantro, or dill into this Creamy Broccoli Orzo.
  • Make this recipe vegan. Use your favorite unsweetened nut milk or full-fat coconut milk, and a vegan Parmesan cheese alternative to make this vegetarian dish vegan.

How to Store and Reheat it

Store any leftover Creamy Broccoli Orzo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing it because the creaminess becomes grainy as it thaws. When you’re ready to reheat it, do so in a skillet with a little water, milk, or veggie broth to prevent the pasta from drying out or becoming gummy.

What to Serve this with

This vegetarian Creamy Broccoli Orzo is quick, easy, and flavorful. Made in one pot and with lots of broccoli, you’ll be glad you gave this tasty recipe a try.

More tasty pasta recipes to try:

Video Tutorial

Creamy Broccoli Orzo

Tania Sheff

This Creamy Broccoli Orzo is so easy to make and tastes delicious. Creamy and filling, it can be a side dish or the main course, and is versatile enough to work with most other dishes.

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Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 20 mins

Course Main Course

Cuisine American

Servings 4 servings

Calories 165 kcal

Ingredients  

  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups finely chopped broccoli
  • ¾ cup orzo
  • tsp. sea salt or to taste
  • ¼ tsp. pepper or to taste
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder optional (for color)

Instructions 

  • Combine the vegetable broth, milk, and broccoli in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes.

  • Add the orzo, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Now add the Parmesan and keep cooking for another minute. Turn off the heat and serve.

Notes

Tips for the best Creamy Broccoli Orzo

  • Use a non-stick pot. Because this recipe requires milk, orzo pasta may stick to the bottom of the pan. Use non-stick and stir as often as needed.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste. Depending on how salty your vegetable broth is, I recommend adding salt in the final step, after you have tasted the dish, to avoid over-salting.
  • Use a milk with higher fat content. This recipe will not come out right with low-fat milk because the creamy thickness can’t be achieved without that milk fat. So opt for whole milk here.
  • Chop the broccoli small. Broccoli can be very fibrous, so chop it thoroughly so it will cook until nice and soft, adding flavor and texture that works well with this creamy dish.

How to store and reheat it

Store any leftover Creamy Broccoli Orzo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing it because the creaminess becomes grainy as it thaws. When you’re ready to reheat it, do so in a skillet with a little water, milk, or veggie broth to prevent the pasta from drying out or becoming gummy.

Nutrition

Calories: 165kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 7gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 672mgPotassium: 299mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 634IUVitamin C: 41mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 1mg

Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below, I can’t wait to hear from you!




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