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Top down shot of a bowl of parmesan orzo garnished with shaved parmesan and chopped parsley with a fork sticking out.

Parmesan Orzo

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  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired


Parmesan Orzo – a creamy, delicious and easy parmesan orzo recipe that is the perfect side dish for any meal!


  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • reserved pasta water


  1. Add chicken broth and water to a medium-saucepan. 
  2. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Add orzo and let simmer, uncovered, 8-10 minutes or until cooked al dente. 
  4. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
  5. Drain and return orzo to the pan but remove from heat. 
  6. Add butter, salt, pepper, a little lemon zest and cheese. Gently stir to combine – the cheese will take a minute to fully melt. Add splashes of the reserved pasta water to thin out and make the consistency more creamy. 
  7. Taste and add any additional salt, pepper, or lemon zest. 


  • Storage: store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
  • Serving: we love serving these with pretty much anything, but it is especially good with these Saucy Italian Meatballs!


  • Serving Size: 1 scoop
  • Calories: 121
  • Sugar: 0.8 g
  • Sodium: 483 mg
  • Fat: 4.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.4 g
  • Protein: 6.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 12.3 mg