Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Creamy Orzo Pasta

This dish is hearty, yet light.  Filling. Flavorful. Colorful. And, fun!  We greatly enjoyed a yummy, creamy pasta dish for dinner – and the leftovers were great for lunch. 

Creamy Orzo Pasta – Adapted From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe


  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked & cubed
  • 1 medium bell pepper {we used red}, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 C broccoli florets
  • 3 C cooked orzo pasta
  • 4 oz. cream cheese {1/3 less fat}
  • 1 C reserved pasta water
  • dash salt & pepper
  • dash of thyme
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 C Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. parsley

Before you start, pull the cream cheese out of your fridge, slice it so you have 4 oz.  The original recipe called for 8 oz; we used 4 because my husband isn’t a huge cream cheese fan.  Feel free to up the cream cheese if your family enjoys it!  Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature. 

Begin by boiling the orzo pasta, cooking according to package directions.  When the pasta is tender, pull out 1 –2 C of the pasta water (use a ladle or a large measuring cup) before draining the pasta. 

Dice up the 2 cooked chicken breasts.

Add those to a large skillet along with the 3 minced garlic cloves.  If necessary, add olive oil as the chicken cooks.  Add in the bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. 

Then, add in the broccoli and mushrooms. 

Cook these additional veggies about 5 minutes, until the liquid from the mushrooms has mostly evaporated.

Add the softened cream cheese to the skillet.  Stir the cream cheese in so that it is well dispersed. 

Add in the reserved pasta water (about 1 C) and allow your dish to come to a simmer.  At this point, season the dish with salt, pepper and thyme.

Add in the 1 tsp. lemon juice and 3 C cooked orzo pasta.  Stir well to combine.

Remove from the heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese (1/2 C). 

Finally, season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, along with the parsley. 

Serve warm, and enjoy! 


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  4. You are a real problem for me. I go from recipe to recipe and each one says, "make me." We can only eat so much.

    Thanks for such appealing recipes.

  5. Made this last night and we really enjoyed it! What do you think about freezing the leftovers? Think it would work out okay? It made way more than the two of us could eat.


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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