7 Easy and Delicious Orzo Pasta Recipes You Need to Try

7 Easy Orzo Pasta Recipes - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

There are so many good reasons to love orzo – not only is it really easy to cook, it’s ready in far less time than other types of pasta, and it’s super versatile too. The tiny rice-like shape is sometimes called risoni, and it’s commonly used in a whole range of easy orzo recipes, from soups and stews to salads

We could eat orzo just about every day of the week, so it only seems fair that we round up our 7 favourite orzo pasta recipes to inspire you. To make things even easier, many of these delicious dishes are one pot wonders: which means they’re super simple to prep, and leave behind barely any washing up. Dinnertime doesn’t get any better than that.

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Spinach and Parmesan Orzo

We’re starting strong with this glorious meat-free Spinach and Parmesan Orzo. Sometimes we serve it as a side dish, but more often than not we gobble it up as a main meal. Those tender little grains of orzo are so filling, you’ll be left perfectly satisfied, even without adding meat or fish. 

Cooked with stock and cream cheese, this pasta dish ends up with a silky, rich, risotto-like texture. The trick with orzo is to be careful not to overcook it – you still want it to have a little bit of a bite by the time you dish up your dinner. 

Finished with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a good dusting of black pepper, this is one of the easiest meals you can make in 20 minutes!

Spinach and Parmesan Orzo - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo

Imagine throwing some chicken, pasta and vegetables into a pot and, an hour later, sitting down to tuck into this hearty One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo. You’ll need a pan that can go from the hob into the oven for this dish – it’s well worth the investment as it means you’ll only use one pan instead of two! 

There are bags of flavour in every bite with this recipe, from the succulent, well-seasoned chicken, through to the tender, fresh veggies. The orzo does a great job of soaking up all the juices as everything cooks together, until it’s infused with a moreish Mediterranean-inspired taste. 

At just 437 calories per portion, this is a beautifully balanced meal that deserves a spot on your meal plan every week!

One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Pesto and Chicken Orzo

Pasta and pesto is an iconic combo for a fuss-free midweek meal, and this Pesto and Chicken Orzo takes it to the next level. A true crowd-pleaser, it’s nice and budget-friendly, especially since it uses affordable chicken thighs. 

Juicier and more flavourful than chicken breast, this cut is perfect for our simple recipe. Brown the thighs in your ovenproof pan before roasting them until they’re fall-off-the-fork tender. Once the orzo, pesto, roasted tomatoes and parmesan cheese are all mixed in, you’re left with a mouthwatering, indulgent-tasting dinner for just 506 calories per serving. 

It’s lovely and filling all on its own, but if you’re feeling like pushing the boat out, you won’t regret adding a cheeky slice of Cheesy Garlic Bread on the side…

Pesto Chicken Orzo - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Piri Piri Chicken Orzo

If you’re after a recipe that’ll spice up dinnertime, look no further! Our Piri Piri Chicken Orzo brings a medium-spicy heat to your plate, and we’ve even used a readymade spice mix to help keep things as streamlined and simple as possible.

We like to use this Schwartz Piri Piri Seasoning, which you can find on Amazon, as well as on the supermarket shelves. Add as much or as little as you like to adjust the spiciness!

You guessed it – this is another one pot dish where you can let your oven do most of the hard work. You’ll want to get your chicken thighs and all those colourful vegetables in the oven first, as they need a bit longer than the orzo pasta. 

After half an hour, tip in your orzo and leave it to bubble away in the stock until it’s tender but not too soft. 

Piri Piri Chicken Orzo - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Cheesy Fajita Orzotto

We’re not picking favourites, but we completely understand why this Cheesy Fajita Orzotto is consistently one of our most popular recipes. It delivers on being exactly as cheesy and fajita-flavoured as the name suggests, so it’s guaranteed to never disappoint. 

You can rustle this up on the hob in just over half an hour, making it one of the speediest options on this list of easy orzo pasta recipes. To save calories, without losing any flavour, we’ve used turkey mince rather than beef. Turkey is ultra-lean and has a really mild taste, which makes it perfect for soaking up the spicy, Mexican-inspired flavours. 

When all your ingredients have simmered for around 20 minutes, it’s time to melt in the all-important Cheddar cheese. This transforms the mixture into a decadently-creamy dish, with a consistency that’s really similar to a risotto – especially since the orzo pasta is perfectly rice-sized!

Cheesy Fajita Orzotto - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

You’ll need a good-sized wok or large frying pan to make this recipe. This GonZalo GraCia 32cm Frying Pan with Lid works on gas, electric and induction hobs. 

Chilli Meatball Orzo

Can’t decide what to have for dinner? This Chilli Meatball Orzo is a tasty mash-up of chilli con carne and meatballs with pasta, but, because it uses orzo, it reminds us of a risotto too.

We’ve packed it to the brim with veggies, and made our meatballs from reduced-fat mince to keep it nice and slimming friendly. This means you can sit down and tuck into a gorgeous bowlful for just 358 calories. 

If you’re making this for the family you should find that the amount of spice we’ve used gives a subtle, mild heat. If you want to ramp up the fiery flavour, swap the mild chilli powder for hot and be as generous as you dare!

Chilli Meatball Orzo - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Ras el Hanout Chicken and Orzo Bake

We can’t end this orzo pasta recipe roundup without mentioning our Ras el Hanout Chicken and Orzo Bake. If you’re not familiar with Ras el Hanout, it’s a popular spice mix from Morocco, which can be made with up to 20 different herbs and spices. 

You should be able to pick the seasoning up from your usual supermarket, although you can always grab this Schwartz Ras el Hanout from Amazon if you can’t spot it on the shelves. 

To balance out the spicy kick, we’ve added mellow chopped tomatoes and a sprinkle of sultanas for sweetness. We know not everyone loves sultanas – so you can swap these for finely diced dried apricots if you prefer!

Just like the other recipes on this list, the orzo pasta can simply be poured into the pot and left to simmer along with all the other ingredients. Once you’ve tried it, this is an easy dinner you’ll come back to time and time again. 

Ras el Hanout Chicken and Orzo Bake - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

This recipe is exclusive to our cookbook Pinch of Nom: Enjoy. Flip to pages 126-127 to get started! (Psst…you can order a copy here if you don’t already have one!). 

What are your favourite orzo pasta recipes?

We’d love to hear from you! As well as sharing your ideas and stories over in our Facebook group, you can also upload photos and tips in the Pinch of Nom Gallery. All you need to do is sign up for a FREE website account, and then you can start sharing your pictures! Psst…did we mention there’s swag up for grabs?

If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget there’s more where this came from! Our blog is brimming with all kinds of handy recipe roundups, kitchen kit lists and slimming tips that you won’t want to miss.



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