Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo Recipe - Peas and Crayons (2024)

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Published: August 1, 2018Updated: March 13, 2023Author: Jenn Laughlin

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Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo is a perfect side dish for dinner tonight! This tasty twist on mac and cheese will have you going back for seconds!

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo Recipe - Peas and Crayons (1)

Mornin’ loves! (<– that feels like cheating, I’m totally writing this the night before!)

I’m going to attempt to keep things short and sweet today because I have a huge stack of books next to my bed that are calling my name.

My book obsession is getting a bit out of hand as my TBR list increases almost daily. Right now I’m about halfway through What Alice Forgot and don’t want to put it down! I may start carving out designated binge-reading nights so I can catch up. Sleep? What’s that?

I don’t need no stinkin’ sleep!

Lies! I need all the sleep! And of course some cheesy pasta to dream about!

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo

This totally luscious one-pot garlic parmesan orzo pasta makes an all-star side dish. You may even want to go ahead and make it a main course!

I’m thinking a big piping hot bowl of cheesy, garlicky orzo with a side of roasted broccoli or asparagus… maybe even a little side salad action to pack in extra veg… YES PLEASE!

This jazzed up cheesy pasta is ready to rock your plate. Print out the recipe card below and meet me in the kitchen!

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo Recipe - Peas and Crayons (2)

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo is a perfect side dish for dinner tonight! This grown up twist on mac and cheese will have you going back for seconds.

4.99 from 50 votes

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Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: Parmesan Orzo

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Author: Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 large shallot* (1/4 cup minced)
  • 2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup dry orzo pasta
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach


  • Melt butter in a large pan (grab one that's deep enough for your orzo + sauce) over medium-high heat and sauté your shallot and garlic until tender, adding the garlic towards the end to prevent burning. If extra butter is needed, feel free to add as desired.

  • Add your milk, broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir with a whisk to deglaze the pan.

  • With your burner set to medium (I had mine set to 6) add the orzo and stir. Set timer for 10 minutes. Once the orzo starts to really boil and bubble, reduce heat to low (2 worked great on my stove) and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally.

  • Once the pasta is al-dente or your ideal softness, remove from heat. Sauce will be thin and thicken as it cools. Add your parmesan cheese and chopped spinach and fold into the orzo.

  • Season to taste as desired, garnish with any additional cheese your heart desires and dig in while it's hot!


* No shallot? No problem! Finely minced white or yellow onion will totally work here.

Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!


Calories: 272kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 957mg, Potassium: 294mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1981IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 321mg, Iron: 1mg

Did you make this recipe?I want to see! Tag @peasandcrayons on Instagram and Facebook!

If you get a chance to try this tasty garlic parmesan orzo recipe, let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

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Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo Recipe - Peas and Crayons (3)

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About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Hi! I’m Jenn and I’m here to help you eat your veggies! It'll be fun, painless, and pretty darn delicious as I teach you to plan your meals around fresh, seasonal produce with a little help from healthy freezer and pantry staples.

Learn More

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Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo Recipe - Peas and Crayons (2024)
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