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

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!
4.98 from 45 votes
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
  • 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
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt plus extra to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach


  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Sauté until tender, season with a small pinch of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes, then set aside.
  • 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.
  • Add your milk, broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir with a whisk to deglaze the pan.
  • 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. 
  • 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)
  • Season to taste as desired, garnish with reserved mushrooms and any additional cheese your heart desires and dig in while it’s hot!


* No shallot? No problem! Finely minced white or yellow onion will totally work here.
Regular button mushrooms will totally work here but if you grab cremini 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.
Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!


Calories: 317kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 962mg, Potassium: 548mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 2112IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 331mg, Iron: 1mg

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
Jenn Laughlin Peas and Crayons Author
About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Hi! I’m Jenn and I’m here to help you eat your veggies! It’ll be fun, painless, and pretty darn delicious as I teach you to plan your meals around fresh, seasonal produce with a little help from healthy freezer and pantry staples.

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Recipe Rating

Questions & Reviews

    1. Hi Nicole! Yes for sure! It will be a little different taste-wise as frozen spinach is always a bit different than fresh, so as long as you love frozen spinach (I adore it!) you’re good to go! Simply make sure you defrost and wring it out extra good so none of the packing liquid in the spinach package dilutes your yummy sauce. xoxo

  1. 5 stars
    This was super cheesy and delicious! I had to make a lot of substitutions/changes but it was still awesome! One thing is that the orzo did take an extra 4-5min to cook (probably because I turned the heat to low too soon).
    In case it helps someone else, here are my changes: no onion so sautéed extra garlic in olive oil rather than butter; only 1/2 cup chicken broth so used water for the rest and added dried basil for flavor; omitted spinach.

  2. 4 stars
    Made this tonight for Meatless Monday. Followed the recipe pretty close. The wife won’t eat mushrooms so I sauteed those and added on top as “garnish’. She got asparagus instead. Since the mushrooms would only be going on two of the three plates, I added the red pepper flakes when doing the onion & garlic. I put some ground pepper on the pan at this point and cut back the 1/4 tsp of black pepper to 1/8th. We always have a pepper mill on the table so if anyone thinks it needs more pepper they are free to add. Sort of hard to take it out.

    The sauce didn’t thicken. Next time, and reviews from all at the table is they want this again, I’ll add a bit of corn starch. Don’t want to reduce the liquid amount since I think that’s key to cooking the Orzo. Just could have been a little less “soupy”. Nice to find a Meatless Monday that’s not Tex-Mex since that is the very next day on Tuesday.

    Oh, used powdered chicken stock which has salt so also cut back the added sea salt to 1/8th tsp.

  3. 5 stars
    I didn’t have orzo so I used Pearl (large)couscous(1.5 cups). I added some of our homegrown diced zucchini and a bit of diced red pepper for color along with the mushrooms. It was amazing! I also used homemade cashew milk for the milk and Violife Parmesan vegan cheese to make the dish vegan. I dare you to notice the difference! Great recipe I will make often!

  4. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! I added roasted asparagus as a topper along with the spinach and mushrooms for extra green power. Will definitely be making this again.

  5. 5 stars
    3 of us. Perfect size. Soooo good. Would not change a thing. Made it with vegetable broth. Sooo good. We would NOT be chopped.

  6. 5 stars
    Made this tonight with some garlic butter seared scallops and it was amazing! Definitely keeping this in the rotation in the future, so simple, but so tasty!

  7. How long would you say this would keep in the fridge? I’m thinking of making this for my lunches next week.

    1. Hi Eden! We usually consume ours within 2 days (some on the first day and the rest the remaining day). The longer the pasta sits in the fridge, the more it likes to soak up all the delicious sauce which often requires more liquid to be added upon reheating. I usually add a little milk when to help with that!

      As far as fridge shelf life, I believe food safety standards say about 4 days for leftovers? You can double check on for current guidelines. Hope this helps! xoxo

  8. 5 stars
    This is one of the most delicious things I have prepared in a long time. Hubby has Celiac, so I use gluten-free orzo. It turns out perfectly.

  9. Hi,

    I’m making this tonight…also looking for the Mediterranean orzo pasta salad that was linked to this before, but now it’s not for some reason 🙁 I bought the ingredients for both today!

      1. Thank you! For some reason, I thought the recipe was a little different haha.

        The spinach-mushroom combo was delish and so very easy and versatile!

    1. Hey Susan! You can! The only thing is, and this happens with most pasta dishes, is that the orzo pasta soaks up the sauce while it chills in the fridge. It does this quite a bit so it literally drinks up all the sauce and they gets extra fluffy and drier.

      I would maybe make some extra sauce to swirl in while you reheat or you can just stir in a little milk while reheating it and then adjust the seasoning to taste based on how much is added. I’ve used both methods!

  10. 5 stars
    So easy , quick and fantastic!!! We experimented in different serving bowls. One we Added caraway seed. Another bowl had a dash of nutmeg . And the 3 rd bowl was as recipe is. All 3 good. But the kids liked no added spices.

    1. 5 stars
      The first recipe I’ve tried using orzo and I always come back to it. Quick and easy. Tastes quite decadent even without the heavy cream!

  11. 5 stars
    This was delicious!! I made this as a side dish for my family and they loved it. It was simple and quick and I will be making it again!!

  12. 5 stars
    Actually, I forgot, I did modify a little to make it vegan. I left out the parmesan (used the cashew cream in lieu of) and used almond milk and plant based butter.

  13. 5 stars
    Just made this dish. So yummy!! And ridiculously easy. I made it a little creamier by adding a homemade cashew cheese sauce. Other than that, no modifications. Already planning to make again for my next friend dinner night. I sent a picture to the group saying it’s our next meal, they’re drooling.

  14. 5 stars
    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.

  15. 5 stars
    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.

  16. 5 stars
    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!

  17. 5 stars
    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!

  18. 5 stars
    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.

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

  19. 5 stars
    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.

  20. 5 stars
    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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

    1. 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!