In less than an hour, you can sink your teeth into a plate of this incredible Broccoli Cheddar Orzo Bake. It’s the perfect one-pot meal that is comforting and pleasing to anyone who tastes it. It can be the star of any meal or a side dish to compliment your other dishes. Either way, you don’t want to miss this one!
If you have been out looking for new and healthy recipes, you have stumbled onto something amazing! This is one of the best orzo recipes I have ever tasted, and I am thrilled to be sharing it with you.
Never made orzo before? No worries! Trust me, it’s super easy, even if you are just learning your way around the kitchen. When that first fork full hits your tongue, you are bound to have a new favorite dish.
- Avocado Oil – You will see that I use avocado oil frequently. It’s a great way to get some added vitamin E, and it’s so user-friendly.
- Spices and Seasonings – I like to use salt, pepper, dried thyme, garlic powder, and a bay leaf to really amp up the flavors. You are always welcome to adjust those or add in more if you want.
- Onion – Half of a yellow onion is ideal for giving you flavor and great texture. Plus, yellow onions have vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium too.
- Butter – The key is using salted butter. If you don’t use salted butter, you may need to add a little extra kosher salt.
- Dry Orzo Pasta – Not every store carries it, but when possible, I like to use whole wheat orzo the best. But that is entirely up to you.
- Vegetable Broth – Using vegetable broth is so important, and it’s a key ingredient. It is going to give the orzo the perfect texture and flavor every time.
- Dry White Wine – Any variety of dry white wine will work well.
- Broccoli Florets – There is a good reason why they tell you to eat up that broccoli! It’s jam-packed with nutrients such as iron, vitamin K, fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
- Lemon Zest – Adding some lemon zest gives the orzo bake a gentle zest that is tantalizing to your taste buds! YUM!
- Milk – Use any milk that you like for this recipe. They will all work, but keep in mind the higher the fat content, the creamier the results will be.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese – In addition to giving you some much-needed calcium, cheddar cheese is the perfect ingredient to make it even more incredible.
HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI CHEDDAR ORZO BAKE
1. Get the oven preheated to 425 degrees F.
2. Use an oven-safe pan and add the avocado oil to it. Heat over medium heat, and after the oil has begun to shimmer, add in the onions. Sprinkle in salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until it’s fragrant.
3. Next, you’ll need to add in the butter, orzo, broccoli florets, and thyme. Cook until it’s golden and the broccoli and orzo are toasted about 5 minutes.
4. Pour in the dry white wine, vegetable broth, bay leaf, garlic powder, and some additional salt and pepper. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the orzo is al dente.
NOTE: Stir often, so the orzo doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.
5. After the orzo has cooked, add in the milk, 1/2 cup of cheese, and the lemon zest. Add the rest of the cheese on top, and don’t stir it in.
6. Place the pan in the oven, uncovered, and bake 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. When it’s done, go ahead and broil for 1-2 minutes to brown the cheese slightly. Once it’s the color you want, serve warm and enjoy!
FAQS ABOUT BROCCOLI CHEDDAR ORZO BAKE
WHAT IS ORZO?
Orzo is a very small pasta that resembles rice. You will often find orzo in dishes that are Italian or soups and casseroles. While it’s not gluten-free, it is actually low carb. It tastes best when you cook it, so it’s al dente, so it doesn’t break down and become mushy.
IS ORZO THE SAME AS RISOTTO?
While orzo does look very similar to risotto, it’s not the same thing at all. Risotto is made with rice and is very creamy. You can actually use orzo as a replacement for rice in many recipes.
HOW LONG DOES COOKED ORZO LAST?
After you have cooked and cooled the broccoli cheddar orzo bake, it will last in the fridge for 3-5 days. You will need to keep it airtight and reheat it before eating.
To reheat the orzo casserole, put it in a microwave-safe bowl and add in 1 tablespoon of water or vegetable broth. This will help prevent it from getting too sticky. You may need to add more if you are heating a lot.
You can also reheat the cooked orzo on the stove-top by using medium-low heat and adding a little bit of liquid to it. Once it’s hot, it’s ready to eat.
Can’t get enough casseroles and one-pot meals? They are a mom’s dream dinner! Check out these tasty dinner ideas: One Pot Lemon Parmesan Pasta, Spaghetti Squash Skillet Casserole, One Pot Penne and Broccoli, and this super easy Vegetarian Pot Pie.
If you make this recipe, please leave a star rating below! It’s so helpful for other readers to see which recipes are tried and true! I’d also love to see it–share your photo of this dish and tag me on Instagram and I’ll feature you!Print
Broccoli Cheddar Orzo Bake
This Broccoli Cheddar Orzo Bake is a simple, delicious, and comforting one-pot, vegetarian meal that is cozy and delicious.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: dinner recipes
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: american
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black black pepper
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 pound dry orzo pasta (whole wheat if you can find it)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine* (Note 1)
- 3 cups broccoli florets, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 cup milk* (Note 2)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese* (Note 3)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Heat the avocado oil in a large, oven-safe pot over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add the butter, orzo, broccoli, and thyme, and cook until golden and toasted, 5 minutes.
- Add the wine, broth, bay leaf, garlic powder, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Simmer 8-10 minutes until the orzo is al dente, stirring often.
- Once the orzo is cooked, stir in the lemon zest, milk, and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses overtop of the casserole.
- Transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered, 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Turn on the oven’s broiler and broil 1-2 minutes, until the cheese on top is starting to brown and become crispy. Enjoy!
Note 1: If you prefer to not use wine, just use more vegetable broth in its place.
Note 2: I used whole milk for this recipe, but you can use 2%, skim, or fat-free milk also. Whole milk yields a richer result.
Note 3: For the creamiest, best melting result, shred your own cheese from a block. In a pinch, preshredded cheese will work also.
I used this Zest 4 qt cast iron Dutch Oven from Italic and it worked beautifully!
- Calories: 450
Keywords: Broccoli orzo bake