What’s for Dinner – Cheesy Orzo with Chicken and Broccoli

At one of the restaurants in San Francisco, I had a creamy orzo risotto for lunch, and it was divine. This was my attempt to recreate it.

Cheesy Orzo with Chicken and Broccoli

2 tbsp olive oil or butter
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped (or smooshed through a press)
4 cups of chicken stock
1 lb orzo pasta
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated (any cheese will do, but this is what the restaurant used)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup diced cooked chicken

Use a big pot – a small one will make it hard for you to stir the orzo well and you’ll get a stuck-on mess at the bottom. I did!

Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil or butter until the onions soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the orzo and stir to coat with the oil, then add about half of the stock and stir well. Bring up to a boil and then lower the heat. Keep an eye on it, stirring a lot so nothing sticks, and add more stock, about a half cup at a time, as the liquid gets absorbed. Note: you may not need all the stock! Add as needed and check orzo (taste it) each time just before adding more! After about 15 minutes, the orzo shouldn’t have any bite left to it, and the liquid should be absorbed leaving a creamy pile of tiny noodles. If it still seems too liquidy but the noodles are done, take it off the heat and let it rest, because a couple of extra minutes will help it absorb any leftover stock.

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli florets:
Put broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl, and add a splash of water. Cover the bowl and cook on high for 3 minutes. The broccoli will still have some crispness to them, so if you like mushy broccoli, leave it in for 4 minutes.

In a giant bowl, mix the orzo, cheese, chicken, and broccoli, and stir well. Eat and then put away your leftovers, because this recipe makes a lot.

3 thoughts on “What’s for Dinner – Cheesy Orzo with Chicken and Broccoli

  1. Antijen

    I would likely add more garlic and black pepper, because other than the cheesiness it was a bit bland. I also think it would be fantastic with mushrooms instead of broccoli, but it was already a hit with no tweaks, and we will have it for dinner again!


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