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Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Caramelized Shallots

If you’re looking for an elegant hearty side dish that is easy to make but still impresses, then this Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Caramelized Shallots is just what you’re looking for.

This orzo is savory, garlicky, and just a touch sweet from the shallots and thyme. The parmesan adds creaminess without making it heavy.

Garlic Parmesan Orzo in a pan with a wooden spoon

How to Make It

This comes together pretty quickly so make sure you have your ingredients ready to go.

Ingredients for garlic parmesan orzo
Ingredients for Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Heat the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the shallots and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until they are deeply browned and caramelized. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add in the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.

Caramelized shallots in a pan with a wooden spoon
Caramelized shallots and garlic

Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the bits off. That’s flavor!

Stir in the orzo and allow them to cook for a minute or two until lightly toasted.

Pour in the chicken broth, salt, pepper, and thyme. Increase the heat to high until it comes to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the orzo is cooked through.

Be sure to stir often since the orzo can stick if left too long.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parmesan.

Serve and enjoy!

Garlic parmesan orzo in a pan with a wooden spoon

Choosing The Right Wine to Cook With

As a general rule, you want to use a wine that you would also drink. I suggest avoiding “cooking wines” that are lower in quality and can impart unpleasant flavors.

Plus, if you use a wine that you’d want to drink then you can serve it with dinner knowing it will complement the meal!

For this recipe, I used Sauvignon Blanc but you could also use Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris. Really, any dry (read: not sweet) white wine will work so pick whichever one you like!

Garlic Parmesan Orzo FAQ

Can I use onions instead of shallots?

You can. I suggest using sweet onions so that you still get the balance of sweet and savory.

Do I have to use wine?

No, you can replace the wine with more chicken broth if you prefer. It will alter the flavor a bit but it’ll still be delicious!

What can I serve with the garlic parmesan orzo?

I suggest serving this with roasted chicken and a roasted vegetable like carrots or asparagus.

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Creamy Sundried Tomato Chicken

Easy Yellow Rice

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Pan with garlic parmesan orzo with a wooden spoon

Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Caramelized Shallots

Alicia
This orzo is savory, garlicky, and just a touch sweet from the shallots and thyme. The parmesan adds creaminess without making it heavy. It's the perfect side dish with simple roasted chicken and vegetables and you can even serve it with a glass of the wine you used to make it.
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Sides
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 6 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine Sauvignon Blanc, Pino Grigio, etc.
  • 2 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon thyme stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup parmesan freshly grated

Instructions
 

  • Heat the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Sauté the shallots until deeply browned, stirring often. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Pour in the wine and stir, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the wine has been absorbed by the shallots, stir in the orzo and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, salt, pepper, and thyme.
  • Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a gentle boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Once most of the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is cooked through, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parmesan.

Notes

  • If you don’t want to use wine you can replace it with an equal amount of chicken broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 297kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 11gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 1274mgPotassium: 362mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 273IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 193mgIron: 2mg
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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe was really delicious, and I went with your recommendation and served it with roasted carrots and chicken thighs and everything was fantastic!