bowl of cheesy broccoli orzo

Want to know what I find difficult? Besides finding a hair length I like, painting my own toes, and sleeping on airplanes?

Finding a good side dish recipe.

I’m the kind of person who can sit down with a big bowl of soup or piece of lasagna and be just fine, but Ben likes himself some options at dinnertime. Most nights though, after a long day of work (ie functioning brain cells are at their daily minimum,) all I can think of is tossing together a side salad. Easy but slightly boring.

cheesy broccoli orzo on a plate topped with sauteed chicken

The recipe for Cheesy Broccoli Orzo though? Easy and totally UN-boring! This creamy, cheesy, broccoli-studded pasta side dish cooks up in one pan in minutes. Serve with chicken, pork, or a huge salad. Honestly it doesn’t really matter – Cheesy Broccoli Orzo will steal the show.

overhead photo of a bowl of cheesy broccoli orzo

How to Make this Recipe

Start by boiling a cup of orzo for a three minutes. Orzo is pasta that looks like grains of rice. Use gluten free if you need it!

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After three minutes, add broccoli florets that have been chopped small, then continue to cook until the pasta is al dente.

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Drain the mixture very well — broccoli florets are notorious for holding onto water — then return the broccoli and orzo to the pot.

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Here’s where the magic happens. To the pot add shredded cheddar cheese, grated parmesan cheese, plus a pat of butter.

Now, I am NOT the cheese nor butter police, so if you want to add more cheese or butter? GO FOR IT!

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Drizzle in milk, any kind, then stir until smooth and creamy.

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Season with salt to taste (may not need it) then dish up and dine. I hope you love this incredibly simple yet super tasty side dish – enjoy!

bowl of cheesy broccoli orzo

Cheesy Broccoli Orzo

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5/5 (4 REVIEWS)

Description

Cheesy Broccoli Orzo is a crowd-pleasing, quick and easy side dish recipe for dinner. Serve with chicken, pork, or a big salad!

Ingredients

serves 3-4

  • 1 cup gluten free or regular orzo (dish will not be GF if using regular orzo)
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Add orzo to a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes then add chopped broccoli and cook for 2 more minutes, or until orzo is tender. Drain well (broccoli florets are notorious for holding onto water) then return to the pot. Add cheeses, butter, and 1/4 cup milk then stir well and add more milk if needed. Season with salt to taste.

Notes

  • Feel free to add more shredded cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, and/or butter to your liking. You may need a touch more milk to get the pasta smooth and creamy.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

photo collage of cheesy broccoli orzo