The easiest and most delicious side dish you’ll ever make: this easy one pot orzo with peas is even kid-approved. Starting with flavorful sauteed shallots, this dish features orzo pasta cooked in vegetable broth and finished simply with peas and parmesan cheese. This side dish is vegetarian on its own, but also great served alongside a protein like grilled chicken or shrimp. This dish is ready in under twenty minutes, making it a quick and easy dish to prepare for busy weeknights.
What you will need to make this recipe
This is the shortest ingredient list ever! Just a handful of ingredients transform into this flavorful, savory dish.
- olive oil spray
- uncooked orzo
- This recipe requires 4 ounces of orzo, weighed uncooked and raw. I use a simple kitchen scale to measure this.
- Orzo is sold in the pasta aisle of most grocery stores; it is pasta, not rice.
- vegetable broth
- I love the flavor vegetable broth gives this dish, and also, it makes this dish vegetarian. If you would prefer to use a different broth, you absolutely can.
- parmesan cheese
- Finely grated works best here.
- frozen peas
It’s hard to believe that just a handful of ingredients can transform into a delicious side dish, but I promise the simplicity of the flavors come together perfectly in this dish. The flavors are mellow and subtle, but comforting at the same time.
What is orzo and why do you use it?
Orzo is really pasta, and originates from Italy. But the shape is reminiscent of the shape of rice, which makes it a great pasta to use for side dishes like this one, or in soups that require pasta, or even in fun pasta salads. I love using orzo, especially when cooked in flavorful broth instead of water, because it soaks up all of that delicious flavor, and it really permeates the dish. This dish is no exception; the orzo is very simply cooked in chicken broth, and flavored with the simple and delicious ingredients of shallots and sweet peas, with salty, nutty parmesan cheese.
How to make this easy one pot orzo with peas
This recipe is made entirely in one pot, which is one of my favorite ways to cook! It makes for an easy to execute recipe, and the easiest clean up ever. This is the perfect side dish to pair with a protein, like grilled chicken or shrimp. To make this recipe, start out by slicing the shallots. Preheat the pan over medium heat, and add the olive oil spray and shallots. Cook for 5 minutes Then, add the dry orzo. Toss the orzo around with the shallots and olive oil spray until they absorb some of the flavor and get toasted lightly (about 2-3 minutes). Then, add the broth and stir to combine. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to low.
Simmer for 13-15 minutes (check after 13minutes) and then stir in the peas and parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Can I double or triple this recipe?
Yes! This recipe is incredibly easy to double or triple to feed more people, or to make larger servings. To calculate the ingredients required to double or triple this recipe, simply use the toggle bar on the recipe card in this blog post, and increase it to the number of portions you want to make. It is as simple as that!
Does this store and reheat well?
Well, like most pasta or rice dishes, this will clump up if you make it in advance or store it in the fridge. If you plan on going that route, I recommend reheating and rehydrating the orzo using more chicken broth. This will add moisture back into the pasta and prevent it from becoming dry and clumpy. This dish is best served right away, though.
Can I add other ingredients?
Absolutely! You can add any other ingredients you enjoy; some recommendations are a pork product like bacon, prosciutto or pancetta sauteed with the shallots in the beginning of the recipe. Or, you can add a different vegetable such as spinach, and stir it in at the end just like the peas. You can make this recipe your own, truly!
Easy One Pot Orzo with Peas
- sauce pan
- olive oil spray
- 2 shallots
- 4 oz orzo weighed dry, uncooked
- 1.5 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Slice the shallots.
- Measure out the orzo pasta (weighed uncooked).
- Preheat the pan over medium heat. Add olive oil spray.
- Add the shallots to the pan.
- Cook the shallots for 5 minutes.
- Add the dry orzo, and toss it around in the olive oil spray and shallots to toast and get flavor, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the broth, and stir the ingredients to combine.
- Cover the pot with a lid, and reduce the heat to low.
- Cook for 13-15 minutes (check after 13) or until the liquid is absorbed, and the orzo is tender.
- Stir in the peas and the cheese; stir to combine.
- Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper as desired.
- 4 WW points (all plans)
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