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Easy Cheesy Orzo

This Easy Cheesy Orzo is so simple you will wonder why you haven’t been making this for ages and ages. I am a recent convert to the joys of orzo pasta, and I LOVE it.

Easy Cheesy Orzo

Easy Cheesy Orzo

You don’t HAVE to use orzo for this, but I think it holds up so well. If there is one thing I love, it’s pasta. If there’s one thing I HATE, it is MUSHY pasta. I like my pasta just a tad on this side of al dente, and other people might find it a touch underdone.

Not me.

The shape of the orzo really lends itself to maintaining a little bite, even in dishes like this where it is VERY easy to go from perfectly cooked pasta to mushy goop.

This recipe is very flexible, and because of this the amounts are a little fluid. It depends on the type, size, and even brand of pasta you use. The types of cheese. The type of cream. So pay attention and if you think something needs a little more this or that, feel free to play around.

I think I’ve gotten so bad that it is nearly physically impossible for me to prepare a recipe exactly as written. I HAVE to change something. A seasoning or herb. The amount of cheese or other non-essential items. I just can’t leave things alone. It’s a sickness!

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Easy Cheesy Orzo shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • orzo
  • butter
  • cream
  • higher milk
  • dry mustard
  • cheese
  • salt

Try our Smoked Mac and Cheese too!

Cheesy Orzo Recipe

How to make Orzo with Cheese Sauce

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.


Cook the orzo

Start by boiling the orzo in some salted water until it is about a minute or two from being done to your liking. Then drain, return to the pot, and add some butter.


Add cream

Stir that around until it is melted, turn the heat to low, and add in 1/2 cup of cream. Stir well and then add just enough milk to cover the pasta, and about 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard.



Continue stirring frequently over low heat until the pasta is done to your liking.


Cheese time!

Next, stir in 2 cups of your favorite kind of cheese. I used a combination of sharp cheddar and colby jack. I LOVE the tang the sharp cheddar gives dishes like this!

NOTE: If the sauce is too thick after you add the cheese, feel free to add some more milk in small increments, stirring well after each addition, until your desired consistency is reached.



Taste, and add salt to taste. With all the pasta and dairy, it will definitely need some salt, but the exact amount varies depending on what kind of cheese you used.

Try our Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese!

Cheesy Orzo Recipe

What can you serve with Easy Cheesy Orzo?

This side dish is so versatile, it really works well with almost any main. In particular, I think it would be amazing next to my Smoked Brisket, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Butterflied Chicken Legs, Smoked Chicken Wings, Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Grilled Lobster Tail, Filet Mignon with Whiskey Garlic Shrimp Sauce, Tomahawk Ribeye, or the Smoked Pork Chops.

Easy Cheesy Orzo
Yield: 4 servings

Easy Cheesy Orzo

Easy Cheesy Orzo

Quick cheesy orzo recipe that has your dinner on the table in a flash!

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes


  • 1.5 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2-1 cup 2% or higher milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups cheese, cheddar, colby jack, mozzarella, parmesan, etc
  • salt, to taste


  1. Boil pasta until it is about 1 minute from being done to your liking. Drain, and return to pot.
  2. Add butter and stir until melted. Return to stove over low heat, add 1/2 cup cream, and enough milk to cover pasta. Add dry mustard. Heat over low heat until pasta is done to your liking. Stir in cheese until fully melted and incorporated. Salt to taste.
  3. If sauce is too thick, add small amounts of milk while over low heat, stirring frequently until the desired consistency is reached.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 765Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 668mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 28g

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

Parmesan Mushroom Orzo - Will Cook For Smiles

Thursday 18th of April 2019

[…] Easy Cheesy Orzo from Or Whatever You Do […]


Friday 7th of April 2017

It turned out a bit bland for my taste, maybe add something to spice it up like herbs or bacon.

Carol Clairmont

Wednesday 15th of June 2016

Delicious! Easy! Yum!!!! Thank you Nicole :)


Saturday 23rd of May 2015

I made this for dinner tonight and added diced ham. Delicious! My only other addition was substituting a few tablespoons of cream cheese instead of heavy cream (our grocery store didn't have any) but I could imagine it would be fantastic.

Nicole Johnson

Saturday 23rd of May 2015

That's great! Thanks for stopping by and letting us know how it turned out. I appreciate that!

Barbecue Chicken Wings with Kraft - Or Whatever You Do

Thursday 29th of January 2015

[…] a meal out of it and serve 6-8 wings per person along with a salad and starch of some kind. My Easy Cheesy Orzo would be perfect with this! Also check out Kraft’s website for more great recipe […]

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