Garden Orzo Risotto Recipe
Garden Orzo Risotto Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Garden Orzo Risotto Recipe

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No one will believe this rich, creamy dish was prepared in less than 30 minutes! I developed the recipe when my garden tomatoes, zucchini and basil were coming on strong. Using orzo instead of Arborio rice makes the risotto so much easier to prepare. —Cindy Beberman, Orland Park, Illinois
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Nutritional Facts

2/3 cup: 202 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 7mg cholesterol, 429mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 6g fiber), 8g protein Diabetic Exchanges:1 starch, 1 vegetable 1 fat


  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, saute zucchini and shallot in oil until almost tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the orzo, broth and milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook and stir for 10-15 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed.
  2. Stir in the spinach, tomatoes and basil; cook and stir until spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat; stir in the cheese, salt and pepper. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Garden Orzo Risotto in Simple & Delicious August/September 2012, p41

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Reviewed Jul. 14, 2015

"Yum! Very good! I doubled the recipe and used chicken broth instead of vegetable. Creamy and full of flavor. I will definitely make this again!"

Reviewed Oct. 13, 2013

"I will make this recipe again! Easy to make and tastes great!"

Reviewed Oct. 7, 2013

"This was a nice side dish... Very colorful and eye appealing. Also easy to throw together."

Reviewed Jul. 4, 2013

"This was great. No leftovers!"

Reviewed May. 11, 2013

"This was so amazing. My non-vegetarian family did not have any complaints about it and ate seconds and thirds. I can't wait to make it again. I would add 3 cups of vegetable broth next time, not 2, to make it creamier!"

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