Pesto Orzo (one pan, 30 minute meal)

Pesto Orzo is quick and easy to prepare meatless dinner that doubles as garnish which can be served alongside your favorite grilled meats and seafood. This colorful summertime recipe takes just 30 minutes and requires one skillet—perfect for busy weeknight family dinners. Make your own basil pesto or use a store-bought pesto. This popular pasta dish is great for sharing Picnics, potlucks and cookouts.

Pesto Orzo with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and pine nuts - in a cast iron skillet.

Pesto Orzo – meatless dinner or side dish

This recipe is a quick and easy mix of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, pine nuts, fresh basil, and of course, basil pesto. You can make your own basil pesto or use a store-bought variety. Pesto Orzo is packed with flavor and can be made at the last minute – it’s that easy! It is versatile and easily adaptable to any ingredient available. Various types of vegetables and cheeses can be used here. You can even add your favorite protein, e.g. B. boiled roast chicken, pan-fried shrimp, baked salmon or your favorite grilled meats.

Why you will love it

  • 30 minute pasta meal for the week in one pan. Pesto Orzo is my favorite quick dinner recipe. It requires simple ingredients, takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, and you only need one skillet! The cleaning effort is minimal. Store-bought basil pesto works great here!
  • Great for leftovers. This pasta dish is easy to reheat and makes a great lunch the next day!
  • Versatile recipe. Use your favorite veggies. I love cherry tomatoes with pesto orzo, but feel free to add roasted peppers, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, or artichokes.
  • Audience-loving supplement. Pesto Orzo is a must-have in your summer recipe repertoire. It can be prepared in advance, keeps well chilled and can be served at room temperature. Bring it to picnics, potlucks, cookouts, and other celebrations. It has become a staple at my family’s summer get togethers!

Pesto Orzo with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and pine nuts.

What is orzo?

Orzo is a short pasta shaped like long grain rice. It is made from flour, like ordinary pasta. Orzo is often made from semolina (durum wheat used to make pasta).

How do you cook orzo?

Typically, orzo is cooked in a 1:2 ratio to water, for example 1 cup orzo in 2 cups water, or 1.5 cups orzo in 3 cups water. Cook according to packet instructions, which usually means 10 minutes. If the orzo is too dry, you may need to add a small amount of liquid about five minutes into the cooking process to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. You can use water, chicken broth, beef broth, or vegetable broth to cook orzo.

Pesto Orzo with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and pine nuts - in a cast iron skillet.