Get ready for the ultimate fusion of healthy side dish vibes and satisfying comfort food with this Caprese Baked Orzo Pasta recipe! Fresh tomatoes, creamy cheese, and a symphony of herbs and seasonings join forces with hearty orzo to create an easy dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you savor it solo or team it up with your favorite proteins, get ready for a filling dinner that’s oh-so-delicious!

caprese baked orzo pasta in a casserole dish topped with fresh herbs

Why We Love This Caprese Baked Orzo Pasta

Is there anything more classic than caprese? There’s just something about the combination of refreshing tomatoes and creamy cheese that always hits the spot! However, while we love a traditional caprese salad, we also enjoy incorporating the ingredients into more filling recipes like our favorite turkey caprese sandwiches, caprese avocado toast, and this baked orzo pasta! There are so many reasons why we love this dish, but we’ll just name a few. It’s: 

  • Quick to toss together and a breeze to clean up. 
  • Great to serve on its own or as a side. 
  • Loaded with nutrients and flavor. 
  • Perfect for feeding a crowd. 

Is Baked Orzo Healthy? 

Relatively speaking, this baked orzo is a pretty healthy dish! It’s full of vitamins, nutrients, and protein thanks to the use of fresh tomatoes and cheese. Plus, the orzo provides a good source of fiber to keep you full! 

Grape tomatoes in a baking dish tossed with oil and seasonings and topped with fresh herbs

How Is Orzo Different from Pasta? 

Often mistaken for rice, orzo is actually a type of pasta that just looks like rice. A common ingredient in Italian recipes, orzo is traditionally made with whole-wheat, semolina, white, or whole-grain flour and cut into its tiny rice-like shape. As a result, it is used in a white variety of recipes like this Greek orzo pasta salad, creamy parmesan spinach orzo pasta, and our favorite Middle Eastern orzo soup

Simple Ingredients You’ll Need

We love to keep it simple while also keeping it delicious! The ingredient list for this baked orzo is as straightforward as it gets. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Veggies – Grape tomatoes, garlic cloves, and chopped shallot add vibrant flavor and extra nutrients to the dish. 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Helps caramelize the tomatoes while also adding a boost of healthy fats. 
  • Seasonings – Basil, chili pepper, salt, and pepper add extra flavor and just a bit of spice. 
  • Orzo – Orzo can be found in the pasta section at your local grocery store. Or, if preferred, you could use any pasta you have on hand in its place. Just adjust the cooking time as needed. 
  • Broth – Low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth helps cook the orzo while also adding extra savory goodness. 
  • Cheese – Just like regular caprese, plenty of Mozzarella is included for a creamy texture, and salty, savory, satisfying taste. 
overhead image of caprese baked orzo pasta in a casserole dish with melted mozzarella on top

How to Make Caprese Baked Orzo 

Get ready for the epitome of ease with this baked orzo! Combining all the goodness in one casserole dish and tossing it in the oven makes this recipe one of the simplest and most hassle-free creations you’ll ever whip up.

  1. Cook the veggies. Add the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, and seasonings to a casserole dish. Toss with olive oil until the ingredients are completely coated. Then, bake for 25 minutes. Gently press the tomatoes down with the back of the spoon until they burst. 
  2. Add the pasta. Place the orzo and broth in the casserole dish with the rest of the ingredients. Then, cover it with foil, and continue to bake until the pasta is al dente. 
  3. Layer the cheese. Remove the dish from the oven, and carefully layer the Mozzarella on top. Then, place it back in to broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Be sure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn! 
  4. Serve. Top your baked orzo with fresh basil, serve warm, and enjoy! 
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Serving Suggestions

If you want to bulk this baked orzo up and turn it into a complete meal, try mixing in shredded chicken, ground beef, or ground turkey for a bit of extra protein! 

Or, serve it as a side dish with your favorite main courses like chipotle chicken skewers, crispy baked chicken nuggets, and beef kofta meatballs!

Storage and Make Ahead Options 

We don’t recommend freezing this recipe as the taste and texture will change once thawed. However, if you want to make it ahead of time, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days

a serving of caprese baked orzo pasta being lifted from a casserole dish

More Easy Pasta Recipes 

Hungry for more family-friendly pasta options to keep everyone smiling at the dinner table? Dive into a collection of our favorites listed below.

a serving of caprese baked orzo pasta being lifted out of a casserole dish

Caprese Baked Orzo Pasta

4.08 from 14 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 6
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 42 minutes
Total: 44 minutes
Healthy side dish meets satisfying comfort food with this caprese baked orzo pasta recipe! Fresh tomatoes, creamy cheese, and plenty of herbs and seasonings combine with hearty orzo for an easy recipe perfect for every occasion. Serve it on its own or with your favorite proteins for a filling dinner!

Ingredients  

  • 3 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1 pound dry orzo pasta
  • 1/2 teapoons chili pepper more or less to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella slices

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  • In an 11×7 baking dish, add the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Toss to combine.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until the tomatoes caramelize and burst.
  • Remove the dish from the oven, and gently flatten the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.
  • In the baking dish, add the uncooked orzo and broth.
  • Cover with foil, and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the pasta is al-dente.
  • Remove the foil, and layer the cheese on top. Continue to bake for 1-2 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Keep a close eye on the dish so it does not burn!
  • Top with fresh basil, and serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 478mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 867IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 2 stars
    this recipe wasn’t bad, it just didn’t really come together. I added half a cup of broth and cooked after adding the orzo for 25 minutes after reading the comments and the orzo was fine. also it never actually says in the recipe to add the cheese. I did after the orzo was cooked and it took a long time to get melted, at least 5 minutes.

    1. Thank you for your feedback, Bailie! We have updated the recipe to include the cheese and will revisit the cooking times. We hope you give our other recipes a try!

      Xo,
      Alia & Radwa

  2. 3 stars
    I had the same experience as Erin! I love you Food Dolls! I’ve made so many recipes of yours and they’re perfect. This just needs a little tweaking . Thank you for bringing so many yummy and easy dishes to us!

    1. We’re extremely sorry to hear that. Could you please share with us the details of what didn’t work? We appreciate your feedback, and we will look into it. Thank you so much! xo, Alia and Radwa.

  3. 3 stars
    Definitely needed WAY more time than 15 mins in the oven for the orzo to get Al dente. I’m on 25 Mins now and added more stock to make sure it did not turn mushy. Honestly this is the first FoodDolls recipe I’ve tried that didn’t turn out exactly as they said.

    1. Oh no! We are so sorry to hear you had trouble with this recipe! What brand orzo did you use? We did use a thinner, longer orzo pasta, which may be the reason. We will make note of it in the recipe. Hope it ended up turning out okay. xo, Alia & Radwa

    2. 3 stars
      I had the same experience! I love you Food Dolls! I’ve made so many recipes of yours and they’re perfect. This just needs a little tweaking . Thank you for bringing so many yummy and easy dishes to us!