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side view shot of a spoon taking a scoop of creamy garlic parmesan orzo
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4.51 from 167 votes

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo

This Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo can be on your table in 15 minutes! While it's perfect as a side dish, I prefer this as a meal on its own because it's cheesy, creamy and really hits the spot.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 30 minute meals, orzo
Servings: 6
Calories: 518kcal


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoon butter unsalted
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups orzo dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste
  • 2 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped


  • In a large skillet add the olive oil, butter and cook for about 30 seconds until the butter melts. Stir in the onion and garlic and let it cook for about 2 minutes until the onion softens and the garlic becomes aromatic.
  • Add the orzo to the skillet and let it cook for about 2 minutes just in the oil so that it starts to toast lightly, this will give it a nutty flavor.
  • Season with salt and pepper then stir in the chicken broth and half and half. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a medium-low, cover with a lid and let it cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and stir in the Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
  • Serve immediately.



Half and half is equal parts whole milk and light cream and it usually averages 10 to 12% fat, which is usually less than light cream. 
This dish is quite versatile. Add more nutrition to it by adding in spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, peas or asparagus. Also add some protein but adding some chicken, make sure you add it when you cook the onion and give it enough time to cook through.
You'll want to store this dish in an airtight container to ensure it lasts for up to 3 - 4 days in the fridge. Unfortunately this cream based pasta dish doesn't thaw well after being frozen so I don't recommend storing it in the freezer.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Calories: 518kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 657mg | Potassium: 339mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 824IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 405mg | Iron: 1mg