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One Pot Mediterranean Orzo Pasta

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With just one pot and 30 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. 

overhead orzo pasta in dutch oven

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
  • Budget-friendly
  • 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. 

overhead of orzo pasta, olives, tomatoes and onions

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. 

  1. Pour the uncooked orzo into the bottom of a large pot or dutch oven.
  2. Add the olives, garlic, red onion, and tomatoes. 
  3. Squeeze some lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil on top followed by the seasonings and broth. 
  4. Boil, cover the pot, and let the ingredients simmer until the orzo is tender. 
  5. Stir in the Parmesan and heavy cream.
  6. 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.

side view on One Pot Mediterranean Orzo Pasta

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.

Serving Suggestions

If you want to create a feast, serve this Mediterranean pasta with proteins, appetizers, sides, and salads! Some of our favorite pairings include: 

Make Ahead

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. 

overhead plated One Pot Mediterranean Orzo Pasta

More Comforting One Pot Pasta Recipes

a spoonful of Mediterranean Orzo Pasta

One Pot Mediterranean Orzo Pasta

Food Dolls
With just one pot and 30 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.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course dinner, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American, greek, Italian, Mediterranean, middle eastern
Servings 6
Calories 520 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 1948mg | Potassium: 441mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1217IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 251mg | Iron: 3mg
Keyword baked pasta, easy pasta recipe, greek pasta, healthy pasta recipe, italian pasta, one pot pasta, orzo pasta
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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. Husband doesn’t love red onion, should
    I soak it in water before to get some bitterness out or is that unnecessary?

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this today, and threw in some spinach as well. So delicious! I’m really excited to add this to my recipe repertoire.💜

  3. 4 stars
    This was very good, but in the instructions you don’t have adding the lemon & oil. I r remembered the lemon from the ingredients list but missed the oil. And my orzo stuck to the bottom of the pot. Otherwise, great recipe & would make it again with the oil!!!

  4. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe. Love the ease of it.
    The only thing that was modified we only put 2 teaspoons in and it called for 3 teaspoons. Next time will cut it down to 1-1.5 teaspoons.
    Cheers!