With just one pot and 20 minutes, you can have a complete meal on the table that’s loaded with flavor and full of veggies thanks to this One Pot Mediterranean Orzo Pasta! Serve it on its own for a filling plant-based dish. Or, add your favorite protein for a hearty feast.
Why We Love This Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Recipe
Growing up, our mom often made Mediterranean-inspired recipes such as Greek Rice Bake and Greek Pasta Bake, and we always looked forward to the unique ingredients and incredible tastes that the cuisine would bring. Today, we do our best to recreate similar dishes and instill a love of the Mediterranean in our own families. However, we don’t have time to wait around the stove all day! So, we take our mom’s recipes and transform them into a still super tasty meal that’s just a little easier to make like with this Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Recipe! A new favorite, it’s:
- Made in one pot
- Filling enough to be served on its own
- Loaded with veggies
- Easy to make in bulk and enjoy all week
What Is Orzo?
Often mistaken for a type of rice, orzo is actually a type of small, oval, rice-shaped pasta popular in Italy! Most commonly it is made with semolina flour but can also be found in whole wheat and gluten-free varieties.
Flavorful Ingredients You’ll Need
A handful of veggies and fresh herbs combine with cheese and cream for a refreshing pasta dish that’s also creamy and delicious. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Orzo Pasta – Make sure your orzo is uncooked. Or, swap it out for any other pasta noodle you prefer.
- Olives – A great source of healthy fats, olives add a salty, savory flavor we love.
- Broth – We like chicken broth, but veggie or beef broth would work, too. However, we recommend using an unsalted or low-sodium version so you can more easily control the flavor of your dish.
- Veggies – Red onion and canned tomatoes combine to add a pop of color and plenty of nutrients.
- Flavor Enhancers and Seasonings – Salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, lemon, and Italian seasonings combine for a zesty herbaceous taste.
- Olive Oil – A drizzle of oil enhances the natural flavors of this orzo pasta recipe and provides a boost of healthy fats to keep you satisfied.
- Heavy Cream – This takes your pasta to the next level, creating a smooth texture and rich flavor.
- Cheese – Parmesan and feta cheese combine for plant-based protein and an ultra indulgent Mediterranean pasta.
How to Make Mediterranean Orzo Pasta
This orzo pasta is so easy to make that it almost can’t even be considered a recipe. Take a look at the steps below, and scroll down to the bottom to find the full details.
- Pour the uncooked orzo into the bottom of a large pot or dutch oven.
- Add the olives, garlic, red onion, and tomatoes.
- Squeeze some lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil on top followed by the seasonings and broth.
- Boil, cover the pot, and let the ingredients simmer until the orzo is tender.
- Stir in the Parmesan and heavy cream.
- Garnish, and serve!
What If I Don’t Like Olives?
No worries! We know olives are a huge hit or miss. You either love ‘em or hate ‘em, and there’s no in between. If you’re not a fan, you can easily replace them with a salty alternative like anchovies or capers. Or, just leave them out entirely.
Can I Make This Recipe Vegan?
The amazing part about this orzo pasta recipe is that it is super easy to adapt to a plant-based diet. Simply swap out the chicken broth for your favorite veggie broth or vegetable stock. Then, skip all the cheese, and substitute plant-based milk for the heavy cream. We find that the mild flavor and thick texture of oat milk makes for a great dairy substitute for savory cooking.
If you want to create a feast, serve this Mediterranean pasta with proteins, appetizers, sides, and salads! Some of our favorite pairings include:
If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Then, just warm it up in the microwave, or heat it on the stovetop when you’re ready to eat.
More Comforting One Pot Pasta Recipes
- Savory and comforting, this Egyptian Orzo Pasta is a fun twist on a classic Egyptian orzo pasta recipe.
- This One Pot Greek
Spaghettiis guaranteed to become your new favorite dinner!
- This One Pot Couscous is quick, easy, and bursting with Moroccan flavors you’ll love.
- Spice up meal times with this hands-off One Pot Spicy Rigatoni Recipe.
One Pot Mediterranean Orzo Pasta
- 16 ounces uncooked orzo pasta
- 1 cup kalamata olives (sliced)
- 1 red onion (chopped)
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (14 ounce) canned diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (more or less to taste)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup Italian parsley (chopped)
- 3 cups chicken broth (or broth of choice)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- In a large pot or dutch oven, add the uncooked orzo, olives, red onion, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, diced tomatoes, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, and broth.
- Bring the ingredients to a boil. Then, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 12-14 minutes or until pasta is soft and the broth has evaporated.
- As soon as the pasta is cooked add the cream, cheeses, and parsley. Stir until combined. Serve immediately.