Here’s your new favorite side dish recipe! Creamy Orzo Pasta with Rosemary Browned Butter is currently a hot and trending TikTok sensation all around the globe. Rosemary and browned butter pair so well in this rich side dish, perfectly complimenting the tangy flavors of the creamy Asiago cheese and paprika.
Creamy Orzo Pasta with Rosemary Browned Butter Recipe
You are in for a treat with this orzo pasta recipe. This side dish is incredibly quick to make, and it turns out luscious and rich…..so elegantly easy, every single time. I love how creamy orzo pasta pairs well with meat dishes, whether beef, pork or chicken.
You could easily turn this orzo side dish into a main dish by adding cooked meat, such as grilled steak, rotisserie chicken, roasted pork tenderloin, or seafood. Yowza!!
ORZO PASTA IS SO VERSATILE
I love how it takes on the flavors of any cuisine and is delicious whether served hot or cold. One-Skillet Cheesy Enchilada Orzo is a delicious one-skillet meal that has all the Mexican inspiration you’ll need – we just love it.
And if you like orzo in a soup, give my Instant Pot Chicken Orzo Soup a whirl. I never dreamed I would enjoy a soup with hints of lemon, but I DO! And, it’s a delicious dairy-free soup, too. You can make it in just a few minutes in your Instant Pot.
And a favorite is this Shrimp Scampi Orzo.
WHAT IS ORZO PASTA?
Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta that is traditionally prepared in Italian soups. It is cooked and served much the same way as rice, but unlike rice, orzo becomes creamy in texture as it cooks. Orzo can be enjoyed hot, such as in soup or pasta dishes, or enjoyed chilled, as part of a salad.
ORZO PASTA IS SO EASY TO MAKE
I am a huge fan of orzo pasta. I love how incredibly quickly it cooks and the luscious, creamy texture it takes on as the broth is absorbed. Orzo is one of those dishes that looks and tastes like you’ve spent tons of time in the kitchen when in reality, you are talking mere minutes until done.
WHAT TO LOVE ABOUT ORZO PASTA RECIPES
- Orzo can be used to make pasta dishes, soups, side dishes, and also in salads.
- Because of it’s shape and size, orzo is one of the quickest cooking pastas available.
- Orzo is creamy and luscious. Talk about glorious COMFORT FOOD!
- Unsalted butter
- Fresh rosemary
- Vegetable broth
- Orzo pasta
- Sweet paprika
- Sour cream
- Asiago cheese
- Lemon zest
- Red pepper flakes
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING EASY BROWNED BUTTER ORZO PASTA WITH FRESH ROSEMARY
**PRINT THE FULL RECIPE FROM THE RECIPE CARD AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST
In a large, deep skillet or a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium low heat, melt the butter. Cook the butter, stirring occasionally, until it stops foaming and brown specks start to appear. Turn the heat to low as the butter begins to brown further and shares a nutty aroma.
Add the chopped shallots and rosemary sprig. Cook, over medium heat, stirring gently for 4-5 minutes, just until the shallots have softened and the rosemary is very fragrant; remove the rosemary sprig. Stir in the garlic, honey, paprika, and orzo pasta.
Slowly add the vegetable broth; bring to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat until the orzo is just simmering.
Cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender and most of the liquid has been fully absorbed; remove from heat.
Stir in the sour cream, Asiago cheese, minced rosemary, and lemon zest until well incorporated; fold in the lemon zest. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as desired, adding salt and pepper, if needed.
Serve the warm orzo with more shredded Asiago cheese, red pepper flakes and lemon zest, as desired.
ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS ASKED ABOUT THIS RECIPE
WHICH TOOLS ARE HELPFUL FOR MAKING ORZO PASTA AS A SIDE DISH?
Silicone Spatula Spoons – Of all the tools in my kitchen, silicone spatula spoons are what I use the most. They make stirring and sautéing a breeze and I love all the pretty silicone colors available. Silicone spatula spoons are completely heat-proof so they won’t melt, even when used over high temperatures. I like to have different sizes on hand for different kitchen tasks – soooo handy!
Heavy Duty Skillet – My favorite type of heavy-duty skillet is a Lodge 12-inch cast iron skillet. I use mine all the time! Cast iron skillets provide nice, even heat without any hot spots. And I love how they get really hot to provide superior browning when searing meats. Enameled cast iron skillets are also very nice since they have a non-stick coating and can be used on smooth-top ranges. I use my 11-inch enamel cast iron skillet all the time – it’s a useful size.
Dutch Oven – For cooking soup on the stove top, I prefer to use my Lodge cast iron Dutch oven, but any large pot will work just fine. I find that a 6-quart soup pot or Dutch oven is a good size to work with.
Cutting Board – I prefer a large cutting board made of wood (bamboo or pressed wood particles) since that is a safe surface for cutlery and won’t dull the edge of your blade. One side of the cutting board should have a channel (also called a juice groove) so that is you’re slicing meats, the juices can gather there and won’t make a mess all over your counter. The opposite side of the cutting board is completely smooth which means it’s perfect to use as a charcuterie board or a serving platter for breads and cheese.
Chef’s Knife – I use my stainless steel Wusthof chef’s knife for slicing meat, but some cooks prefer a good carving knife since the blade is more narrow. **When purchasing good quality knives like these, know that it’s a great kitchen investment since if taken care of properly, good knives are a lifetime purchase.
Kitchen Shears – A good set of Kitchen shears are essential in the kitchen. They work super slick for cutting up the green onions and also for chopping bacon. I like kitchen shears that come completely apart so they are easier to wash and keep sanitary.
Box Grater – If you like to grate your own cheese, a good, sturdy box grater is a must. I love grating my own cheese with this style of box grater. If you’re grating just a small amount of cheese, a hand-held grate like this one works really well, too.
WHAT IS BROWNED BUTTER? IS BROWNED BUTTER JUST MELTED BUTTER?
Brown butter (aka browned butter) is melted butter, that’s for sure. However, browned butter is gently cooked in a skillet on the stove until it becomes lightly browned and speckled with a nutty aroma….much different (and way more flavorful) than just melted butter.
WHY DO YOU BROWN BUTTER?
Browned butter has a much deeper, more rich and intense flavor than melted or clarified butter. Because it has been slowly cooked, some of the water has evaporated making it more concentrated in flavor that really stands out in a dish.
DOES BROWNED BUTTER HAVE ANOTHER NAME?
Brown butter is also known as buerre noisette and is a staple ingredient in classic French recipes.
HOW DO YOU USE BROWNED BUTTER IN OTHER DISHES?
Brown butter can be used in a myriad of ways for all kinds of foods and recipes. I personally like it for making chocolate chip cookies (and Cowboy Cookies) as well as in granola. Browned butter is also delicious for roasting vegetables, toasting sandwiches (like grilled cheese), and even on popcorn!
WHAT IS ASIAGO CHEESE?
Asiago cheese is an Italian cheese made from whole cow’s milk. Fresh (young) Asiago cheese is very mild in flavor and has a smooth texture. Aged Asiago has more depth and a bite of a bite with a nutty sort of flavor. Asiago is a great melting cheese, too, making it perfect for this orzo recipe.
WHICH OTHER CHEESES COULD BE SUBSTITUTED FOR ASIAGO CHEESE IN THIS RECIPE?
Substitute any mild Italian cheese, such as Pecorino, Romano or Parmesan for Asiago. Or, feel free to even substitute Swiss or a mild white cheddar cheese in this orzo recipe.
IS ORZO THE SAME THING AS RICE?
No, though orzo and rice do have the same shape. Orzo may be shaped just like rice, but it is usually slightly larger in size and more elongated. Rice is classified as a grain and orzo is pasta, traditionally made from flour.
IS ORZO GLUTEN FREE?
Traditional orzo is not gluten-free. Most Orzo pasta is made with semolina flour which is very much full of gluten. However, there are gluten-free types of orzo available on the market – just check the ingredient list to be sure of what you are purchasing.
WHERE DO YOU FIND ORZO IN THE GROCERY STORE?
Because orzo is pasta (and not rice like it looks to be), you will find it in the dry pasta aisle, typically on the top shelf in a one pound box. But, because orzo is rice-shaped, sometimes grocery stores will have some of it in the rice aisle, too.
WHAT IS ORZO ALSO CALLED?
Orzo is also knows as Risoni, another small semolina pasta that is very versatile and used in many Italian recipes.
DO DIFFERENT BRANDS OF ORZO COOK DIFFERENTLY? IS BARILLA ORZO THE BEST BRAND OF ORZO?
Most brands of orzo cook pretty much the same, but do refer to the package directions and cook accordingly. I use Barilla brand orzo and like it very much – it’s often my go-to brand of orzo pasta when I can find it locally.
CAN YOU ADD VEGETABLES TO ORZO?
Absolutely! You could add vegetables to this orzo recipe to add color, texture and to boost the nutrition of the dish. Broccoli or green beans would be delicious stirred into this orzo. Add them at the the same time you stir in the vegetable broth, letting the green beans or broccoli simmer with the orzo until done.
IS ORZO VEGAN?
Because orzo is typically made from just flour, water and salt, it IS considered to be plant-based. Most orzo pasta does not have eggs or dairy added so it is considered vegan-friendly.
IS ORZO HEALTHY?
Like most pasta, orzo is made from flour, water, and salt so there isn’t a lot of nutrients. The best way to boost the nutrition of pasta is to add your favorite vegetables. If you are looking for orzo with a bit more protein and fiber, you may want to seek out pasta made from chickpea flour.
CAN YOU MAKE ORZO IN THE INSTANT POT?
Yes! It’s fast and easy to make orzo in the Instant Pot. Once pressurized, orzo takes only about 2 minutes to cook. I like to cook my orzo in chicken or vegetable broth for added flavor, instead of just plain water.
CAN YOU COOK ORZO IN A RICE COOKER?
Yes, you can certainly cook orzo in a rice cooker. It will take 15-20 minutes to cook orzo in a rice cooker, about the same time it takes to get tender when simmering it on the stove, as in this recipe.
CAN ORZO BE A MAIN DISH RECIPE? OR IS ORZO JUST FOR SIDE DISHES?
All you have to do to turn an orzo side dish into an orzo main dish is to add some cooked meat for protein! You could stir in some chopped or shredded rotisserie chicken, leftover grilled steak, roasted pork tenderloin, or cooked seafood – talk about easy!
Adding cooked meats to orzo definitely boosts the nutrition of the dish and adding vegetables helps add pretty color, too.
MORE FAVORITE MAIN DISH RECIPES TO ENJOY ORZO AS A SIDE DISH WITH:
- Butternut Squash Orzo
- Cheesy Orzo Pasta
- HOW TO MAKE FOOL-PROOF PRIME RIB STEP-BY-STEP
- JUICY CAST IRON SKILLET STEAK
- EYE OF ROUND ROAST BEEF
- TRI TIP ROAST WITH CRISPY POTATOES
- AIR FRYER MARINATED STEAK BITES
Creamy Orzo with Rosemary Browned Butter
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 shallots finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves crushed or minced
- 1 Tbs. honey or to taste
- 1 medium fresh rosemary sprig whole
- 1 medium fresh rosemary sprig leaves finely minced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups orzo pasta
- 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 Tbs.
- 1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese, may substitute Parmesan or Romano
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- Asiago cheese freshly shredded
- Red pepper flakes if desired
- lemon zest
- In a large, deep skillet (12-inch is a good size) over medium low heat, melt the butter. Slowly cook the butter, stirring very gently and occasionally, until it stops foaming and golden brown specks start to appear. Turn the heat to low as the butter begins to brown further and offers a nutty aroma.
- Add the chopped shallots and the whole rosemary sprig to the butter in the skillet. Cook, over medium low heat, for 4-5 minutes, gently stirring every once in a while, until the shallots have softened and rosemary is fragrant; remove the rosemary sprig.
- Stir in the garlic, honey, paprika and orzo pasta; slowly add the vegetable broth. Bring the orzo to a rolling boil, then immediately reduce the heat until the orzo is just gently simmering.
- Cook the orzo for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender and most of the liquid has been fully absorbed; remove from the heat.
- Stir in the sour cream, lemon zest, minced rosemary, and shredded Asiago until well incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve the warm orzo topped with more shredded Asiago cheese, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest, as desired.
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