Craving for some risotto but you’ve run out of rice? We got you covered! It might sound weird, we get it, but you can actually make risotto without rice.
Starring: whole grains
Though similar in shape, orzo is a type of dry pasta made from wheat. It contains gluten and starch, and so it’s as good as rice when you want a creamy consistency, with the benefit of not needing constant stirring to achieve a thick texture. Easier and faster!
In addition, you can cook orzo in multiple ways: just like any other pasta, as if it were rice, you can bake it, you can combine it with a lot of vegetables and even meat.
Orzo is great for this faux risotto, but you can also use it to prepare salads, stews, soups and even filling and abundant casseroles.
To learn more about how to cook it, we have an easy and interesting orzo recipe for you. Keep on reading!
But what is risotto anyway?
In case all this is new to you, you must know that risotto is prepared with vegetables and broth. It’s quite a versatile dish, since you can include any vegetables of your preference and try out different combinations each time. It’s also very important to add parmesan cheese or other of your choice, because it enriches the overall creamy sensation.
Vegetables are mandatory in all risotto recipes, so if you’re not inspired, remember you can use onions, scallions, zucchini, carrots, spinach or kale as basic flavors. Add white beans or green beans if you want to create a filling risotto without including any meat.
In case you like meat, all types pair perfectly, be it pork, chicken, lamb or beef. Sausages are tasty too, and bacon is always welcome!
Cook now, save for later
You can keep your leftovers in your fridge for up to 3 or 4 days in an airtight container. When you need to reheat a bowl, add some extra broth so that the rice or orzo can absorb it and the flavors are enhanced. Microwave it or take to the stove and you’re good to go.
Unfortunately, freezing and reheating is not recommended if you used heavy cream in your recipe. Heavy cream is optional, so you may use it at your preference.
You will love this risotto with orzo pasta. We’ve chosen a mushroom version that is very creamy without leaving you feeling impossibly full. Sprinkle some herbs and this risotto will become your favorite!
Mushroom and orzo risotto
- 1 cups of dry orzo pasta.
- 1 onion.
- 1 small zucchini.
- 2 garlic cloves.
- ½ cup of green peas.
- 2 cups of spinach
- 4 cups of sliced mushrooms (any of your preference).
- 2 cups of vegetable broth.
- ½ cup of heavy cream.
- ¼ cup of white wine.
- Olive oil to add flavor
- Unsalted butter to sauté the ingredients.
- Parmesan cheese to taste.
- Parsley to sprinkle on top.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Start by adding some olive oil, butter and minced garlic cloves in a pan or pot at medium heat. Incorporate the mushrooms and let them release their liquid. Stir often until they reduce their size but are still a bit moist. They might get a brownish color.
- In the same pot, add the chopped onion and zucchini. Wait until the onion is transparent, stirring occasionally.
- Add the orzo and stir for some 3 minutes to toast it a little.
- Add the white wine. Although completely optional, it is quite recommendable for adding that particular flavor. Wait until the alcohol has evaporated and then pour in the vegetable broth. At this point, lower your heat to let the orzo cook slowly while it absorbs the liquids. Stir often.
- When half of the broth is already absorbed, add the heavy cream. You can include some parmesan cheese at this point too, if you like it melted. Avoid the mix from sticking to the bottom of the pot by stirring constantly.
- Incorporate the green peas and the spinach once you see the orzo is almost ready. Stir and wait until they look cooked.
- Add salt and pepper if you feel your risotto needs some. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and the parsley in your pot or after serving your individual bowls. Enjoy while still warm!
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