Simple Basil Parmesan Orzo (Easy-Under 30 minutes)

Simple Basil Parmesan Orzo
Posted On: August 30, 2017
Last updated: January 4th, 2024

Simple Basil Parmesan Orzo is an easy family favorite side dish at home.  I like making this easy basil parmesan orzo because I know all my boys will eat it and it’s so easy I can decide to make it last minute on a busy night.  I always have a block of parmesan on hand in my refrigerator and if I don’t have fresh basil, I use some dried basil to get the job done, but fresh is truly ideal.  This savory orzo side dish never lasts long.  My husband even complains when I don’t double the recipe because it can disappear so fast some nights with no leftovers.

Simple Basil Parmesan Orzo in serving bowl with bail on table

Simple Satisfying Hot Side Dish

It’s been a long day, you’ve got a protein and vegetable for dinner, but are tired of serving up pasta and rice.  Orzo is your answer!  It’s a delicious solution to boring starches for dinner.  With only a little prep this dish will be done in less than 30 minutes.  What’s not to love?!  Delicious, yet easy and not out of a box or the freezer is always a winner in my book!

Orzo-The Other comfort food

This orzo dish is like the comfort food you might have never thought of to serve on a stressful day.  It’s great because it’s easy to make, not much prep and is much lighter than the ordinary comfort food dish.  The first few times I made this my family was amazed at how much they loved it.  I will admit though my husband has trouble not getting thirds or fourths on this dish.

Simple Basil Parmesan Orzo with basil and cheese shredder

Basil Parmesan Pasta

My kids love pasta in any shape or form.  I have one child who is rice hater, so the first few times I served this dish he refused to try it because he thought orzo was “big rice.”  He’d try one tiny piece and not eat any more.  Now being more adventurous with his eating lately he actually had a good forkful of it and now loves it!

Simple Basil Parmesan Orzo step by step collage

Give this super easy and delicious Basil Parmesan Orzo a try and let me know what you think!


Simple Basil Parmesan Orzo top view with fresh basil and parmesan

Simple Basil Parmesan Orzo (Easy-Under 30 minutes)

This is a 5 ingredient (not including salt & pepper) hot side dish that can be made in under 30 minutes! It's simple, yet tastes gourmet.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 153 kcal


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 cups organic chicken broth I like to use Better than Bouillon, but I usually buy it from Costco
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped (or 3 tsp dried basil)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup parmesan shredded (amount depending on your preference, but I find 1/3 cup to be enough)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • A few twists of fresh ground pepper


  • Heat a skillet on Medium high heat and melt butter.
  • Once butter melted add uncooked orzo to skillet and sauté until some orzo lightly browned, stirring frequently.
  • Now add broth to skillet, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook orzo about 15 minutes or until most liquid is absorbed, but still moist. (Cooking varies with skillet temperature, so if too much liquid not absorbed, cook for up to another 5 minutes covered)
  • Remove Orzo from heat and stir in parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Adjust salt and pepper to your preference.
  • Serve and enjoy!


This is a great starchy hot side dish to replace a usual pasta or rich dish.

Nutrition Disclaimer:

The nutritional information provided is only an estimate based on a third party nutritional plugin. Different online calculators may give different results depending on their own sources. The estimates may also change based on the ingredients you use. If you have dietary restrictions and need to accurately calculate the nutrition of this recipe, Whole Made Living recommends consulting a professional nutritionist.


Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 153kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 6gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 575mgPotassium: 79mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 214IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword easy orzo, under 30 minutes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Simple Basil Parmesan Orzo Pinterest Pin


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