This simple orzo pilaf is a stovetop side dish that is perfect for a wide variety of meals and doesn’t heat up the house like a baked pilaf.

I hinted in my post last Friday about my goal this summer. I’m going to attempt what seems an impossible feat and avoid turning on my oven during the sweltering, humid months of June, July and August.

My house heats up abnormally in the afternoon since we get the brunt of the setting sun and I don’t want to add to the sauna that forms in my kitchen (along with my oven, I’m also avoiding the A/C to keep down the cost of our utilities – heaven help me – I love my cool air).

Black bowl with cooked orzo and chopped chives.

It’s either keep the oven off or prance around in my kitchen in a bikini while preparing dinner. And trust me, no one wants to witness the latter option (including my love-handled self).

What this means is I’ll be doing a lot of grilling, some stovetop cooking, and simplifying a whole heck of a lot. I may have to cheat in the cooler mornings and still bake my family’s bread, but other than that, and the occasional cookie craving, my oven will be off!

This orzo pilaf is a simple stovetop side dish that is perfect for a wide variety of meals and doesn’t heat up the house like a baked pilaf. I served it with the grilled Island Chicken, and it would be perfect with just about any grilled or baked meat.

We love orzo around these parts and the delicious combination of the pasta and parmesan cheese was a huge hit with the whole family.

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Simple Orzo Pilaf

4.53 stars (17 ratings)


  • 3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, I love Swanson’s Natural Goodness 33% Less Sodium Broth
  • 1 pound orzo pasta, usually comes in little bags or boxes by the pasta
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste


  • In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the orzo and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Simmer the orzo and broth uncovered, stirring now and then to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pot, about 8-10 minutes, until the orzo is tender. The orzo mixture should be thick and syrupy when it is finished cooking – not dry. If it seems as though the orzo isn’t finished cooking but looks dry, add 1/4 cup chicken broth and continue to cook.
  • When the orzo is tender, remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the green onions and cheese. Add the pepper and additional salt to taste, if needed. Garnish with additional green onions and serve immediately!
  • The dish has a tendency to become a bit dry the longer it sits so make haste and serve as quickly as can be!


Herbs + Veggies: this recipe can be dressed up in a variety of ways with fresh herbs (rosemary, basil) and bright green veggies like peas or asparagus. Let your imagination go wild!
Serve Immediately: also, please note that this dish is best served immediately as it tends to dry out a bit the longer it sits.
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 371kcal, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 314mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g

Recipe Source: My Kitchen Cafe