Cheesy Orzo Pasta with Basil

I love orzo pasta and I really don’t make it often enough.  When on the search for side dishes at, I found a recipe for Orzo with Parmesan and Basil.  This is a quick and easy to throw together, and with the right ingredients mixed in, it is super flavorful!  When I told Grumpy I was making orzo his first assumption when he saw the package it came in was I was making rice.  About the only rice he cares to eat is fried rice!  I explained it was a type of pasta and that made things better :)

This was the perfect side dish for the sirloin I broiled for Grumpy, served with roasted asparagus and sauteed steak mushrooms with a couple shakes of mushroom soy sauce.  Perfect comfort dinner for a nasty weather day.

This dinner fits in with the “Meet MyPlate:  A Guide for Healthy Eating” produced by the USDA and based ont he 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  See more on this program at

The next time you want a pasta side dish, instead of reaching for those pre-packaged, full of who knows what side dishes, think about this one.  It takes very little time and is so much tastier and better for you :)

Cheesy Orzo Pasta with Basil
adapted slightly from
Printable Recipe

1 cup orzo pasta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups vegetable broth (you can use whatever flavor broth you prefer)
1 cup shredded asiago cheese (I use a microplane zester and get a fine shred.  If you are doing a coarser shred you may want to use less cheese)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Melt butter in heavy skillet.  Once hot, add orzo and toast until pasta starts to brown.  Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat and simmer about 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and pasta is cooked.  Stir in cheese and basil.  Serve.


  1. says

    Love this simple, but so delicious side dish! We just realized this summer how much we love asiago cheese (grated ourselves from a block) so I think I'll be buying another block of it soon to make this. Thank you for the recipe.

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