One-Pot Orzo Pasta with Garlic, Parmesan, and Mushrooms

One-Pot Orzo Pasta with Garlic, Parmesan, and Mushrooms is a tasty vegetarian side dish that doubles as a main course and is ready in under 30 minutes! This creamy pasta is blanketed in a totally luscious sauce and swirled with veggies – love it so!

One-Pot Orzo Pasta

I spend most of my mornings pacing around the house trying to figure out which random @$$ place I put my coffee this time.

The rest of the day consists of re-heating my coffee, only to misplace it once again.

This cycle continues for a comical amount of time until I remember to chug some water (for survival’s sake) and switch directly to wine.


Does anyone else do this?

Between my coffee escapades and the fact that I’m no stranger to thinking I’ve lost my phone while it’s nestled safely in my hand, I’m certain I’m a few crayons short of the box these days. Wasn’t pregnancy brain supposed to be temporary? I feel like I’m still riding the hot mess train I boarded back in 2012 and can’t seem to get off. At least there’s coffee on the train! Mysterious vanishing coffee, but coffee nonetheless!

Orzo Pasta

Ok, ok, back to the food. Let’s talk about this risotto! I mean orzo!

Both dishes are deliciously similar, with this creamy dreamy orzo being less starchy than a crazy thick bowl of risotto. There is also way less time spent stirring and babysitting here. In under 30 minutes you’ll be ready to dive in with your fork and call it a day.

One-Pot Orzo Pasta with Garlic, Parmesan, and Mushrooms

This creamy one-pot orzo pasta dish is blanketed in a totally luscious garlic parmesan sauce (made with no cream! sweet!) and swirled with fresh veggies. It’s one of those crazy comforting dishes that can be served up as a vegetarian main dish (adult mac and cheese anyone?) or as a scrumptious side dish for chicken or steak. We served ours alongside a leafy green salad – SO GOOD!

One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Spinach and Mushrooms
5 from 8 votes

One-Pot Orzo Pasta with Garlic, Parmesan, and Mushrooms

This tasty vegetarian orzo pasta doubles as both a side dish or main course. Serve it alongside chicken or steak or let it shine as as a grown up "Mac and Cheese"  and pair it with a side salad for extra veggies!

Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine Vegetarian
Keyword Orzo Pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot* (1/4 cup minced)
  • 2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt plus extra to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach


  1. Slice mushrooms, cutting any extra large slices in half. Measure out remaining ingredients and set aside, this dish comes together super fast so it helps to have everything all ready to go!
  2. Melt 1 TBSP butter in a large pan (grab one that's deep enough for your orzo + sauce) over medium-high heat then add your sliced mushrooms.
  3. Sauté until tender, season with a small pinch of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes, then set aside.
  4. Add remaining butter to the pan and sauté your shallot and garlic until tender, adding the garlic towards the end to prevent burning. if extra butter is needed, feel free to add a little.
  5. Add your milk, broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir with a whisk to deglaze the pan.
  6. With your burner set to medium (I had mine set to 6) add the orzo and stir. Set timer for 10 minutes. Once the orzo starts to really boil and bubble, reduce heat to low (2 worked great on my stove) and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Once the pasta is al-dente or your ideal softness, remove from heat. Sauce will be thin and thicken as it cools. Add your parmesan, spinach, and mushrooms (saving some shrooms to garnish if you want to be all fancy)
  8. Season to taste as desired, garnish with reserved mushrooms and any additional cheese your heart desires and dig in while it's hot!

Recipe Notes

* No shallot? No problem! Finely minced white or yellow onion will totally work here.

Regular button mushrooms will totally work here but if you crab crimini mushrooms (aka baby portobellos) they're for sure ideal and more flavorful too!

Other small pasta shapes might work in place of the orzo, but it will likely alter the cook times and liquid measurements. I can't guarantee this recipe will work for different pastas without experimenting first.

adapted from RecipeTinEats

Orzo Pasta with Garlic, Parmesan, and Mushrooms

Cheesy Orzo Pasta with Mushrooms

If you get a chance to try this tasty vegetarian orzo pasta recipe, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation.

behind the blog:

  • currently reading . . . Artemis – Andy Weir (affiliate)
  • currently listening to . . . Paper Cages – Franz Ferdinand
  • currently drinking . . . copious amounts of Moroccan Mint Tea with lemon


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  • Kelley

    Just made this last night and it is super yummy! Used cashew milk and that worked great, too. I will make this again, for sure.

  • Replacing coffee for wine! I love it! Adulting forreal. This dish looks like it pairs very well with wine! It also looks very creamy and is a dish that I’m excited too make.

  • Carrie

    So easy and so good! Will be a repeat at our house for sure. We had roasted chicken thighs alongside. Thanks for this great recipe!

  • Julie R.

    Yumalicious. This one is a definite keeper! My husband and teenage son agreed with your description of ‘mac and cheese’ for grownups. It was creamy, dense and full of flavor. I am making one change for next time: doubling the batch!

    • Ahhhh yay! So happy y’all enjoyed it – thank you Julie!

  • Heather

    I made this for dinner tonight, it was delicious!

  • Pat

    Made this tonight. Great dish!. Next time thinking to add some asparagus instead of spinach. Have lots of friends who have given up meat for Lent, this was a great vegetarian dish.

    • Ohmygoshhhh Pat, asparagus would be glorious! Let me know how it goes! So glad you enjoyed the orzo! 🙂

  • Stephanie

    OMG I laughed so hard at your coffee comments. I thought I was the only one who did that. I have to say I reheat my coffee so many times before finishing it after I have found it again. Then once I feel my lips chapping by the afternoon remember I need water. Thanks for the good looking recipe and the morning laugh.

  • Stephanie

    I’ve made this twice now, and I LOVE IT!!! Such a wonderful dish!! Thank you for sharing!

  • Genesis

    I made this and I have to say, YUMMMM! I have so much left over and I am excited to eat it again today!! Everyone has to try this.

  • All of this looks like total deliciousness on a plate. I love orzo pasta and a garlic Parmesan sauce and mushrooms just makes it that much better! Well done!

    • Thanks Matt! It was seriously so good! We’ve already made it twice in one week!

  • This looks so delicious and creamy. I can’t wait to try it. I can relate to your lost coffee and lost phone situation. Since having kids I lose everything too. And I keep thinking – it can’t have left the house, it must be here somewhere!

    • So excited for you to try it Winnie! And yeah it’s totally maddening trying to find all the random places things are left in a fit of mom brain. I’m pretty sure I put dry pasta in the freezer at least twice and once tried to put the dishes away into the fridge… lol!

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