Orzo and broccoli risotto

Total Time
18 min
8 min
10 min
Creamy in texture and rich in flavor, this risotto uses hearty orzo instead of arborio rice. Our version takes only half the time of a classic risotto but has all the delicious flavor you’d expect; it takes less than 20 minutes to make. It's also lighter by using fat-free broth and half-and-half instead of cream. You'll love the addition of carrots, broccoli, and some freshly grated Parmesan for this weeknight-friendly recipe.


Vegetable broth

14 oz, reduced-sodium


1 cup(s)

Olive oil

1 tsp

Uncooked carrot(s)

¼ cup(s), coarsely shredded


2 medium clove(s), minced

Uncooked orzo

1 cup(s)

Frozen broccoli spears

5 oz, thawed and patted dry

Fat-free half-and-half

3 Tbsp

Grated Parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp, Freshly Grated


  1. Bring the broth and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat and keep at a simmer.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrot and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until the carrot is bright orange and garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the orzo and cook, stirring, until it is lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add 1/2 cup of the broth mixture and stir until it is absorbed. Continue to add the broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until it is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the pasta is just slightly firm, adding the broccoli when you add the last addition of broth.
  4. Stir in the half-and-half; heat 1 minute. Stir in the cheese. Spoon into shallow bowls and serve at once. Yields 1 1/2 cups per serving.