Baked Mozzarella Orzo Recipe

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.


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.


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


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 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: mozzarella, orzo, pasta, pot luck party
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 289kcal



  • 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.


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.


Mix it all together in a baking dish.


Add more cheese to the top.


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


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.




Baked-Mozzarella-Orzo Recipe

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  1. Can you tell me how much orzo is used? The amount does not come across when I saved the recipie it’s blocked off by the Pinterest. Logo.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara – Sorry this happened and thanks for telling me. This is an older post where I didn’t use a recipe card. I will get this updated today so you can print the recipe all by itself and not a photo of it. The amount of orzo is: 1- 16 oz box (1 pound)

  2. What other cheese would you recommend For this?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – I never thought about using a different cheese in the recipe, but now you have me wondering. :-) I think any cheese would taste great depending on your taste. A Mexican blend would add a spicy flavor, where a mild cheddar would be more subtle. Let me know if you make it with a different cheese and how it turned out.

  3. Gina Gentry says:

    Hi. Is the 2 CUPS of celery correct? Thanks! :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Gina – Yes that is correct, 2 cups of celery. Chop it up into small pieces.

  4. Delicious dinner!!! My family enjoyed it very much! And it made enough for tomorrow, too! That says a lot for my family of 8!!

  5. Yum, I’m always looking for new vegetarian options. I didn’t even wait to bake it; just added the mozzarella on top and dug in. It was quick and tasty.

  6. Linda Southworth says:

    I love the taste of this recipe! I will be trying it out. You can’t go wrong with tomatoes and cheese. And I love orzo. Thanks Diane!

  7. Carolyn B says:

    Looks yummy. Think I might try this with some ground beef to make it a “meal”.

  8. This looks lovely – great for a cold rainy day, but also delicious for a summer picnic. I can’t wait to try it!

  9. 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

  10. Looks yummy! I always love a good recipe.

  11. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    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.