One pot, 20 minutes and one seriously delicious mushroom orzo. This recipe is so easy, so quick and perfect for busy weeknights. It’s packed with veggies for a healthy – but comforting – meal the whole family will love.
Say hello to one of my favourite, lazy weeknight meals. Anything that’s made in one pot, with minimal ingredients, packed with veggies and genuinely quick is a winner in my book – especially when I’m tired after a long day.
It really is as easy as slicing some mushrooms and then stirring for about 10 minutes. No stress, low effort and seriously delicious results.
The magic in this recipe is the orzo itself. Cooking everything in one pot means the lovely starch from the pasta releases into the sauce, making it creamy and thick without having to use any cream. This is why it’s similar to risotto, where the starch in the rice creates that lovely creamy consistency. Adding parmesan at the end just enhances the lovely starchy creaminess and creates a sauce without having to do anything at all!
There are no tricky-to-find ingredients here – all are easy to pick up at a regular store, and you probably have a lot of these already!
- Orzo. This little rice-like pasta is one of the most underrated pasta shapes around. It cooks super quickly and is great in hot pasta dishes like this, and cold pasta salads. It’s also referred to as risoni in some places, but it’s the same thing.
- Mushrooms. Use any mushrooms you like here – I’ve gone for regular white mushrooms because they’re readily available – but shiitake, oyster, porcini or portobello would be great too.
- Stock. I’m using vegetable stock to keep this vegetarian, but chicken stock is equally delicious.
- Parmesan. If you can, grate the parmesan yourself from a block of cheese, rather than using the pre-grated stuff. That’s because pre-grated cheese is generally coated with an anti-caking agent which prevents it from sticking together in the packaging. That anti-caking agent means it doesn’t melt as evenly and smoothly into the sauce like you want it to here.
- Miso paste. This fermented soybean paste is optional but highly recommended. It brings a lovely, deep savouriness to the orzo which works so well with the mushrooms. You’ll find it with the spices and pastes at your store.
How to make it
Cook down your onion until lovely and soft, then go in with your garlic and sliced mushrooms. Let that cook for another couple of minutes, then pour in the wine and let it bubble up, and scrape off any bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan to mix them back into the sauce.
Add your orzo, give it a little mix through the mushrooms, and then add all the stock.
Stir the orzo for about 10 minutes, until all the stock has been absorbed and the orzo is al dente (cooked, with a little bite to it). You want to stir it occasionally because orzo has a lovely little tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan!
Once it’s al dente, stir through most of the parmesan and all the spinach, then divide between plates. Serve with more grated parmesan and fresh basil leaves on top.
Got a question?
Orzo is actually pasta – it looks like large rice grains, but it’s made from durum wheat flour, just like regular dried pasta.
Yes! You’ll see orzo referred to as risoni often in Australia or New Zealand, but it is the same as orzo.
You can, it will keep well for 5 days stored in the fridge in a covered container. Like with any pasta, the orzo will keep absorbing liquid as it sits, so you’ll need to add a couple of tablespoons of water when you heat it, to loosen up the sauce again. You can either reheat it gently on the stovetop, over low heat, or in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring as you go.
This is a brilliant base recipe – I have a couple of recipes that are similar (try this cheesy tomato one-pot orzo or creamy spinach and feta orzo) – so you can add whatever you like. You could add shrimp/prawns, grilled chicken, sundried tomatoes, olives, red peppers, broccoli, kale or really any leafy green or protein to bulk it out more.
I’m just using regular white mushrooms because they tend to be the cheapest and most readily available, but you can use all types of mushrooms. Porcini, portobello, shiitake or oyster mushrooms would be lovely.
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If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.Print