Orzo with Parmesan and Peas

Skip the kids usual mac and cheese this week! Orzo with Parmesan and Peas is a quick and delicious side dish the entire family will enjoy.

Modification for this orzo recipe is easy peasy, simply use your preferred veggie of choice or proteins. Of course you may omit all veggies and simply serve the orzo with cheese (for those super picky eaters). Truly scrumptious with tiny pieces of warm pasta, cheese and peas in each bite.

Orzo with Parmesan and Peas

Elevate your typical week night pasta with Orzo with parmesan and peas.

So, I’m officially declaring this orzo dish the adult version of mac and cheese. Orzo with parmesan and peas is a side that satisfies many pallets. Personally, any time that my children indulge in vegetables it feels like a victory. The little peas in each bite add a pop of texture and extra layer of flavor. Typically, peas are a veggie either loved or tolerated by most kiddos, but you may substitute for any preferred veggie.

Also, this delicious orzo pairs beautifully with a multitude of main dishes. Below is my two favorite pork recipes to serve this orzo with- (The Best Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin and Grilled pork chops). Orzo with parmesan and peas may become your new favorite side that the entire family will love.

The Best Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
The Best Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
Grilled Pork Chops
Grilled Pork Chops

How To Cook Orzo

There are many methods for cooking orzo that you’ll find while searching the internet. My two favorite methods to cook the pasta are by using either the stove top or the Instant Pot. Another little tip, give the orzo a rich layer of flavor by cooking with chicken stock verses water. Just make sure to toast the orzo for about a minutes prior to adding you liquid. This quick additional step gives the orzo a layer of toasted flavor adding to the deliciousness.

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Orzo with Parmesan and Peas

Orzo with Parmesan and Peas

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 10 reviews


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic pressed or minced
  • 16 ounce package of orzo
  • 1 32 ounce container chicken stock
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups thawed frozen peas
  • 3/41 cup grated parmesan or parmesan romano blend cheese


  1. Melt butter and olive oil over medium heat in medium pot
  2. Add onions and stir continuously cooking till softened about 3-4 minutes
  3. Add garlic and orzo stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes
  4. Pour in chicken stock and salt and pepper to taste
  5. Cook uncovered stirring often and cook until all the liquid has absorbed into the pasta
  6. Add peas and parmesan and mix until incorporated
  7. Heat until parmesan is melted and peas are heated through
  8. At this point test to see if more salt or pepper is needed
  9. Serve immediately
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Side Dish


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 260
  • Sugar: 5.1g
  • Sodium: 811.8mg
  • Fat: 13.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.3g
  • Protein: 11.6g
  • Cholesterol: 21.9mg

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  1. Delicious and kid-friendly!! My kind of recipe!

  2. Delicious! My whole family loved it! 🙂

  3. Jessica Parise

    Do you add uncooked or cooked pasta in step 3?

  4. Fabulous side dish. Always looking for something other than potatoes to serve on the side and this truly fit the bill. This was a big hit with my hubby & m-i-l. Very tasty with the parmesan and the peas add the perfect touch. This is a keeper!

  5. I would like to serve the Orzo for company. Could I cook the pasta a couple hours early and warm back up to add the cheese and peas before serving?

  6. Recipe calls for broth but instructions say stock – which should I use?

  7. I’m making your pork tenderloin tonight and was looking to make this as well. My only problem is that I have my orzo stored in a ziplock bag rather than the original packaging. Do you by chance know how the 16 oz box translates to cups?

  8. Whisking Mama

    Thanks Rick Bates! That was 32 ounce and some how got changed when I was updating a few things on the page! My apologizes and thank you very much again!

  9. Can I sub rice for orzo? I’m making the pork and would like to pair it up, but sadley have no orzo. 🙁

  10. Cyrisse Russell

    I would like to cut down the recipe to 3-4 people how should I cut down the recipe? 16 ozs seems like a lot. Thx

  11. I made this using Arborio Rice, because I didn’t have Orzo. I also left out the peas, but it was so good!! I served it with your Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin (amazing). We put the drippings from the pork on the rice. My family loved it!!!! Thanks for the recipes.

  12. Do I continue to cook the orzo on medium heat or bring it to a rapid boil?

  13. Made this tonight and it was awesome. Thank you for the recipe!! I

  14. Suzette Vick

    Great recipe! My family loved it! I doubled the recipe for our big eaters(family of 6 with 4 boys)! I also bought the petite green peas which blended in better with the small orzo noodles!
    I made this side with the pork tenderloin recipe! Can’t wait to try more of your great recipes!!

  15. My grownup kids and I love this! I make it with the crock pot balsamic tenderloin and carrots. We don’t like peas, so I use a 14 oz bag of frozen shelled edamame instead and it is wonderful! 🙂

  16. I made this tonight for my daughter and I (we are a small household) and therefore have tons leftover.

    Could I freeze the remaining portion we won’t eat this week — and will it taste good the next time we thaw it?

    • Jeanie, I have not attempted to freeze this recipe before, I wish I could be of more help! Next time halve the recipe! Hope you enjoyed!

  17. I’ve made this recipe twice already. I can’t get enough. It is so delicious and very easy to make. Thanks for an awesome recipe.

  18. I have all the I gradients BUT the orzo. I have the little star pasta noodles though. I’m going to try those! Hope it works! The tenderloin smells awesome!

  19. Can I use risotto instead of the orzo pasta?

  20. Found a similar recipes but lost it. Googled it and this came up first. It came.out GREAT! The peas gave it a sweetness that was nice! I served turkey meatballs with this. Awesome. Definitely making this again! 5 stars but it inly let me pick 4

    • Syreeta, so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for your review and letting my know about the stars, I’ll have to look into what’s wrong asap!

  21. Pam Cunningham

    Yummy! Great flavor and would be good with any protein. Was a bit nervous because I served it with crab cakes. Used parm instead of the cheese combo. The flavor was very mild and didn’t overpower the crab. Going to try this with meatloaf instead of the normal mashed potato match. Will try more of your recipes. I am a huge “foodie” and would rather cook than breathe, so pretty critical of recipes. I usually modify the heck out of them, but not this one! Thanks!

  22. Jenni, not sure what went wrong either, but maybe try lower heat to cook and half the cheese to see if that helps.

  23. Hello WM,
    Just found your website this weekend and made the Orzo with Parm and peas which was not a big flavor explosion side dish but which was subtle and elegant with its Parmesan flavor. I paired it with your slow cooker pork which also had great flavor. I look forward to trying some more of the recipes from your site.

  24. Rachel Maddalone

    Kraft type parmesan or grated by hand/real parmesan? Thanks!

    • Rachel, I prefer freshly grated, but to save time I sometimes purchase fresh grated parmesan in a tub from my local Trader Joes. 🙂

  25. Anyone ever make this with a little white wine?

  26. Will the flavor be just as good with vegetable stock? I now have a vegetarian in the house. The crockpot pork has been on rotation in our house for some time. Thanks

  27. We’ve made this a few times with the crock pot pork tenderloin and it’s ANAZING!!! My hubby and kids (ages 6 years old, 3 years old and 8 months old) all love it. It gets made once every week or two.
    Thank you

  28. This was the best orzo I’ve had!

  29. It was good, I loved how simple and easy it was. I’m in college so it’s these kinds of recipes that I like to make for myself. I think I would add more garlic and parmesan next time (I like to measure those two with my heart lol!). Great recipe for a busy day and for just myself, it leaves tons of leftovers while still being filling!

  30. Totally delicious……my family loved it!

    • Trina Marie

      Wonderful to hear that you and your family enjoyed the recipe jackie! Thanks for leaving your review.

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