Baked Mozzarella Orzo Recipe

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I know I don’t post a lot of recipes – only a few, but this Baked Mozzarella Orzo is a recipe that is so good I wanted to share it with you.  If you love pasta, mozzarella, and tomatoes  you will like this – the addition of chicken broth is what makes it a bit different from a basic pasta and cheese recipe.

I make Baked Mozzarella Orzo whenever I am asked to bring something to a family gathering or party.

It is a request from all and has become an all-around favorite of family and friends. It serves 12 so you may have yummy leftovers all week long. I think it tastes even better, the next day, warmed up in the microwave.

Baked-Mozzarella-Orzo-Recipe

I found the recipe in a Gourmet magazine cookbook back in the 80’s.  The original recipe called for 1/2 pound of Kalamata or black olives. To keep it kid friendly – I have never added the olives.  For olive lovers out there – it would probably add that kick that olives give to a dish. You either love it or not  – the option is yours.

Baked-Mozzarella-Orzo-Recipe-right-out-of-the-oven

The recipe is easy to make and does not require every pot in the house – making it my kind of recipe.

Baked-Mozzarella-Orzo-Recipe-Ingredients

The ingredient list is all basic pantry staples.   I recommend using College Inn brand chicken broth.  It gives the dish a much better flavor. 

Baked Mozzarella Orzo

This is a family favorite that is also a crowd pleaser to take to pot luck parties. It is an upscale or grown-up version of basic macaroni and cheese. It can be made ahead and reheated before serving. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: mozzarella, orzo, pasta, pot luck party
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 289kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound orzo uncooked
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup College Inn chicken broth
  • 35 ounce can plum tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 3/4 pound shredded mozzarella I add more mozzarella, up to 2 cups to get the top extra crusty

Instructions

  • In a pot of boiling salted water, boil the orzo until it is al dente, drain it well in a colander. 
  • In a large heavy skillet, cook the onion in the oil and the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is softened, add the celery and cook the mixture, stirring for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour, cook the mixture, stirring for 3 minutes, and then stir in the broth, the tomatoes, chopping them up with a spoon, the basil, and the cayenne.
  • Simmer the mixture, stirring, for 5 minutes, stir in the cooked orzo, 1/2 pound of the mozzarella and salt to taste, and transfer the mixture to a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
  • Add remaining mozzarella over the top of the orzo.
  • Bake the orzo in the middle of a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until heated through and slightly browned and crisp on top.

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 371mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 171mg

Boil the pasta, mix everything else in a large skillet and let it simmer.

Baked-Mozzarella-Orzo-Recipe-on-the-stove

Mix it all together in a baking dish.

Baked-Mozzarella-Orzo-Recipe-Mixing

Add more cheese to the top.

Baked-Mozzarella-Orzo-Recipe-with-Shredded-Cheese

Bake for 30 minutes or until the top gets lightly brown.

Oven-Baked-Mozzarella-Orzo

It is the perfect potluck as you can make it the day before and bake it right before the party you are taking it to.

Delish…

Baked-Mozzarella-Orzo-Recipe-Served-on-dinner-plate

Enjoy!

Baked-Mozzarella-Orzo Recipe

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15 Comments

  1. Hi Diane,

    Thanks so much for the yummy sounding AND looking recipe! I can’t wait to try it. I’m afraid I won’t be able to use your brand of chicken broth. I don’t think it’s available here in the San Diego area. Keep up the good work. Your posts always inspire me.

    xo Linda

  2. I am definitely making this for myself as soon as I get some Orzo. And I love black olives, so they are going in mine.

    Do you think I could use brown rice to take it for my get together? My best friend (from since the 3rd grade) will be riding with me & needs gluten free.