Orzo pasta

Serve as a side or all on its own on a bed of salad greens, this creamy orzo pasta is a more herbalicious version of cacio e pepe. The best part of this recipe: It all takes place in just one pot, which means more flavor and fewer dishes to wash.

For this recipe, you need ⅓ cup of herbs. I used a mix of rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme for a winter comfort food theme, but you can just as easily swap them out for basil, scallions, chives, or dill. It's totally dependent on personal taste and what you have on hand at the moment.

The amount of liquids called for is measured to create a creamy bite. If you are vegetarian, feel free to skip the chicken broth and go in with water, vegetable broth, or more milk. Serve alongside some salad greens and you've got a meal!

Once you’ve made this recipe, drop a comment down below about the herb mix you used and let us know how you liked it!

Yields: 4 - 6 servings

Prep Time: 0 hours 15 mins

Total Time: 0 hours 30 mins


2 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

3 small shallots, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 c. finely chopped herbs of your choice

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, plus more for serving (optional)

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. ground white pepper

1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1 lb. orzo

4 c. low-sodium chicken broth, divided

1 c. half-and-half

2 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino, plus more for serving

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp. lemon juice

Arugula, for serving


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and oil. Add shallots, garlic, herbs, pepper flakes (if using), salt, black pepper, white pepper, and nutmeg, and stir until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add orzo, 3 cups broth, and half-and-half.
  2. Stirring frequently, bring to a simmer and cook until pasta is al dente and liquid is mostly absorbed, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses ½ cup at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in lemon zest and juice, then gradually add remaining broth until creamy and desired consistency is reached.
  3. Top with more cheese and pepper flakes before serving with arugula.

By June Xie / Senior Food Producer

June Xie is the current Senior Food Producer for Delish, where she hosts recipe videos and the wildly popular YouTube show, Budget Eats. She previous worked in numerous restaurant kitchens throughout NYC before first joining Delish as our Test Kitchen Assistant and chief baking expert with a passion for bread dough, peanut butter, whipped cream, and gluten free cookies. She also loves staring at alpacas. When she's not testing the thousands of recipes on site, she's developing them!

(Source: delish.com; April 21, 2022; https://tinyurl.com/2ampea92)
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