I recently made a recipe that I found on Pinterest called Orzo with Parmesan and Basil, originally from a contributor to Tasty Kitchen. I feel like coming up with side dishes is sometimes a struggle for me, so I love discovering options that are low-effort but unique and delicious. Plus, having fresh herbs makes me want to find ways to use them!

Here’s the recipe as it was posted:

  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1-½ cup Orzo
  • 3 cups Chicken Or Vegetable Stock
  • 6 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Pepper

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo and saute for a few minutes, until the orzo starts to get golden brown. Add the broth and cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the broth has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, add the basil and Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

It turned out unbelievably creamy! I definitely would have thought it had more “bad for you” stuff than just a small amount of butter and parmesan cheese. As advertised, it seems like a great alternative to pasta side pouches (like we used on our camping trip). I’ve always thought those were unfortunately delicious, so I’m glad to have a somewhat healthier replacement!

The first time I made this I added about a cup of frozen peas a minute or so before I turned off the heat. I’ve since made it a second time, and I chose to add some diced zucchini. I bet you could also add chicken, or maybe even shrimp, if you wanted to make it more substantial. I love recipes that are versatile and can use ingredients you have on hand, and this one did not disappoint. Plus, the leftovers were just as good if not better! Next time you’re looking for a side to try,  I would highly recommend this one.


Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman