Orzo Rice is an easy and simple side dish that pairs well with various proteins. Plain rice is just… plain, pilaf requires chopping and takes an hour, but this simple Orzo Rice takes just 35 minutes and is packed with flavor from the butter toasted orzo and chicken broth.
Orzo Rice is a staple side dish in our home. Not only does the whole family love it for the flavor, but I love that I always have the ingredients on hand and it’s so easy to throw together. It’s our favorite side to eat with 20 Minute Simple Salmon & Asparagus, Amazing Ranch Chicken, and grilled chicken.
Kids and adults LOVE this Orzo Rice side dish! Children can be quite picky but if you have this on the table, you can be sure they at least won’t go to bed hungry. This rice served with salmon and Asparagus (or Quick & Easy Green Beans Almondine) is all of my children’s favorite dinner.
Ingredients for Orzo Rice:
- Orzo– This is not a type of rice but actually tiny, rice-shaped pasta.
- Rice– Jasmine Rice is my favorite to use. It’s a long-grain rice that has a fluffy texture but doesn’t clump together. It also has more flavor than other white rice varieties.
- Butter– Salted or unsalted works. Butter gives great flavor to the dish and helps brown the orzo.
- Chicken Broth– Chicken broth adds a lot of flavor to the rice as well as salt. This is an easy way to elevate any rice. I like to use Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base mixed with water. Get it for the best price at Costco!
How to make Orzo Rice:
Time needed: 35 minutes.
- Toast Orzo
Melt butter in a 2 quart sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add orzo and cook and stir until golden and toasted.
- Cook & Rest
Stir in the rice and broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn to low. Cook for 18 minutes. Take pot off the element (do not open lid!) and let the rice rest at least 10 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and serve.
Orzo is a small pasta, about twice the side of a grain of rice. When toasted in butter it creates a nutty flavor.
Letting the rice rest after cooking and before fluffing helps prevent clumping and achieve perfect texture. As the rice sits, it steams and allows any remaining liquid to be absorbed so all the rice is uniformly cooked. It also helps the rice on the bottom of the pan release. This resting method should be done when cooking any kind of rice.
Rice should be gently fluffed with a fork after cooking. Avoid stirring and agitating it too much as it can activate the starch and make it clump.
TOOLS USED TO MAKE THIS RICE DISH:
- Pot & Skillet Set– These are the skillets and pots I use. They have a heavy bottom making them sturdy and cook the food evenly. I use these multiple times a day.
- Liquid Measuring Cup– Liquid ingredients should be measured in this cup for accuracy. A glass one is nice because it’s doesn’t get stained, scratched, and it can go in the microwave.
- Stainless Steel Measuring Cups– I love these measuring cups! They’re sturdy, pretty and has every size measuring cup and spoon! I can’t stand sets that don’t come with 2/3 and 3/4 cups.
LOOKING FOR MORE STARCHY SIDE DISHES? CHECK OUT THESE:
- The Best Crispy Roasted Potatoes
- The Perfect Baked Potato
- Mushroom Rice
- Spanish Rice (Mexican Rice)
- No-Knead Bread
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup orzo
- 1 cup Jasmine rice
- 2 1/4 cups chicken broth*
- Melt butter in a 2 quart sauce pan over medium high heat. Add orzo and cook and stir until golden and toasted.
- Stir in the rice and broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn to low. Cook for 18 minutes. Take pot off element (do not open lid!) and let sit at least 10 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and serve.