Orzo-Mushroom Pilaf

I don’t know what it is about orzo, but it just fascinates me. It’s pasta…but is it rice? Is it pasta-rice? Rice-pasta? “Rice-sta?” It doesn’t matter ultimately because it’s small, firm and goes well with most anything.

Make this for dinner as a really great vegetarian meal or use as a side dish! Either way, this orzo pilaf really hits the mark.  I was looking for a recipe that used chicken broth, since I had so much leftover from dinner a few nights prior. I found this recipe that used that and my favorite kind of mushrooms: shiitakes! This was a surprisingly filling and super easy weeknight dinner!

Little mushrooms swimming in broth

Little mushrooms swimming in broth

Liquid is cooking out

Liquid is cooking out


  • 1 (3.2-ounce) package shiitake mushrooms
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons instant minced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage (I used poultry seasoning instead)




Clean mushrooms and then discard stems. Slice caps into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Melt butter in a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in orzo and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 13 to 15 minutes or until orzo is tender and liquid is almost absorbed, stirring frequently. Gently stir in pepper and seasonings. Serve immediately.


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