My Recipe Box

Orzo with Lemon, Garlic, Parmigiano & Herbs


Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish

  • To learn more, read:
    Pasta on the Side
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 90

Similar in texture to risotto, this dish is simple yet rich.

  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
  • 1 lb. orzo
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, lightly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the lemon juice, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, put the chicken broth in a medium (3-quart) saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the broth has reduced to 1 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add the lemon-garlic mixture and whisk in the butter one piece at a time. Keep warm.

Cook the orzo in the boiling water until barely al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and immediately toss with the broth mixture. Add the 1/2 cup Parmigiano and the parsley and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss well to combine. Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional Parmigiano.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings, Calories (kcal): 310, Fat (kcal): 9, Fat Calories (g): 80, Saturated Fat (g): 5, Protein (g): 11, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5, Carbohydrates (mg): 45, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 360, Cholesterol (g): 20, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is my "go to" recipe when I want something special. I have made it so many times over the years that it is now requested. It is always delicious as the original recipe stands.

I made this dish for my family and it was a hit. I did do a few things different after reading that people were having texture problems. I first made doubly sure the stock was reduced to 1 cup. I cooked the orzo for 7 minutes only and after draining it I put the pot with the orzo back on the hot burner while tossing the pasta just to dry it a bit more. I then added the rest of the ingredients. The orzo turned out al dente and there was no problem with soupiness.

I make this dish often because it is easy and tastes great. I don't generally use the full amount of chicken stock, so I have never had problem with it being soupy. Sometimes I use feta instead of parmesan and add some red bell peppers for color or pine nuts for texture. It's pretty versatile.

This recipe was tastless. I took one persons advice and did not add all of the liquid or it would have been a soupy mess. The only thing that might save it is to add twice the parmesean.

Easy summer risotto like dish. This came together very quickly and tasted great. My 5 yr old loved it.

This is a wonderful, tasty , easy side dish. I like the other reviewer's idea of simmering the lemon (zested and squeezed) in the chicken stock, and will try that next time. Also could do with less butter, I used 2 T for 1/2 the recipe and it was rich enough. A big hit, and I'll be happy to have it as standard orzo recipe.

Very tasty, good complement to grilled steaks we cooked. Easy too. Next time, I might try and cut the butter by a couple of tablespoons to make a lower fat dish.

Although the flavor of the broth was good, the consistency of the dish was slimy and more like wet rice-a-roni than a risotto.

I have also used this recipe numerous times with outstanding results. This has become a favorite with family and friends.

This is a wonderful side dish. It's easy and delicious.

We have tried this recipe five times now and we have never had a negative comment. The proof is that when we have guests over seconds are often requested. The secret is reducing the chicken broth and using a good Parmigiano Reggiano. Enjoy!

made as side dish to osso buco. guests kept going for seconds on the orzo - great leftover as well.

I really like this recipe a lot. I added more Parmesan and thyme.

Outstanding. I've made this 6 times. I've not had all the fresh herbs. Substituted with dried Fines Herbs. I used two lemons for the juice. But first I took off the zest, and put the shells into the chicken broth simmered until reduced, Then mixed the Fines Herbs with the lemon zest. This is my outstanding basic Orzo recipe. Your can play around with any of your flavor choices. I think the winner in this recipe is reducing the stock then go from there.

This dish was not a success

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