15 Ways to Eat Orzo for Dinner

updated Aug 23, 2023
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Chicken sausage with orzo and broccoli rabe in a cast iron pan

Keep a stash of orzo in your pantry and you can feel confident that an easy dinner the whole family will love is never far from reach. The small, rice-shaped pasta cooks up quickly and can be turned into an infinite number of meals, which makes it a superhero in the kitchen — especially on busy weeknights.

These 15 recipes show just how capable this little pasta is, whether it’s tossed into soups, cooked like risotto, or baked into a casserole.

Orzo Dinner

1 / 15
How To Make Greek Egg and Lemon Soup (Avgolemono)
Assembled from just a few ingredients, this vibrant lemon and egg soup might be better than grandma's chicken noodle.
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2 / 15
Italian Wedding Soup

It’s known as zuppa di scarola or minestra marinata (Italian wedding soup) because of the way the ingredients combine, like a happy love. It is simple to prepare, but has enough flourishes — herby meatballs and a last-minute addition of cheesy egg ribbons — to make it special enough for guests.

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3 / 15
Crispy Chicken Caesar Orzo Salad
This crispy chicken Caesar orzo salad is a dinner salad for pasta lovers as much as it is for anyone who wants a generous dose of greens.
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4 / 15
Orzo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Pine Nuts, and Parsley

This amazing version includes caramelized cauliflower for flavor, toasted pine nuts for subtle crunch, and raisins and sultanas for a perfect hint of sweet.

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5 / 15
Orzo Salad with Spinach Pesto, Olives & Feta

This one is particularly well-suited to the potluck table. The bright green pasta beckons from across the lawn, and the pungent flavors of olives and crumbly feta make an irresistible companion to grilled chicken and grilled fish. Yup, this salad is destined for picnic glory.

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6 / 15
Creamy Spinach Parmesan Orzo
A recipe for quick and easy creamy orzo pasta made with spinach and Parmesan cheese. It's a perfect vegetarian dinner or simple side side.
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7 / 15
Broccolini, Chicken Sausage, and Orzo Skillet
Turn chicken sausage, quick-cooking orzo, and broccolini into an easy one-skillet pasta dinner with this weeknight-friendly recipe.
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8 / 15
Creamy Carbonara Orzotto
This creamy pasta dish takes its cues from carbonara for a quick-cooking dinner with all the flavor and none of the fuss.
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9 / 15
Stovetop Tuna Orzo Casserole with Broccoli

To make this casserole feasible for a weeknight dinner, it’s made all in one pot on the stovetop. After sautéeing onions and thyme together, orzo pasta is cooked in a mixture of milk and water until rich and creamy.

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10 / 15
Creamy Corn and Basil Orzotto
A recipe for quick and easy orzo pasta "risotto" made with fresh corn and basil.
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11 / 15
One-Pot Mediterranean Orzo Pasta

This simple orzo dish is packed with fresh and zesty flavors, but still satisfies that need for “comfort” food in January.

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12 / 15
Orzo with Caramelized Fall Vegetables & Ginger
An easy recipe for orzo pasta with sweet potato, mushrooms, leafy greens, and fresh ginger.
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13 / 15
Creamy Baked Orzo with Ham, Peas and Leeks

While orzo works well for this recipe because it cooks down into the custard base to create a true spring casserole, you could use any small pasta you really like here. And certainly any seasonal vegetable: in the summer, fresh corn and leeks would be wonderful; in the fall or winter, I might even go with hearty greens and gruyere.

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14 / 15
Orzo with Butternut Squash, Spinach & Blue Cheese

When you just want a quick pasta dish you can get to the table without much fuss. That’s where this orzo pasta with sweet winter squash and wilted spinach comes in.

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15 / 15
Scallops with White Wine Beurre Blanc & Lemon Orzo

This recipe for scallops with orzo is the ultimate “30-minute meal.” Scallops are available year round and don’t require the technical know-how that might deter folks from other fish and shellfish. Just pluck off the abductor muscle (the small, tough patch used to clamp themselves shut), pat them dry, and pan sear for a minute or two. Seriously, it’s that easy.

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