Parmesan Bacon Orzo

Parmesan Bacon Orzo is a delicious side dish that comes together in just minutes! Not up for making dinner? This orzo recipe can also be the main course!

Easy side dish recipes like this orzo are always great to have on hand. The orzo cooks in one skillet to make it easy, just add in the parmesan cheese and crispy bacon!

Orzo recipe with parmesan cheese and bacon in a bowl

Parmesan Bacon Orzo Recipe

When you need a delicious weekday-friendly side dish recipe, this Parmesan Bacon Orzo is it. Not to say that this orzo recipe isn’t delicious or gorgeous enough for a party or holiday, because it most definitely is.

But for those every day weeknight dinners at home, you can still get this pasta dish together in no time. Serve this orzo alongside your tasty steak, chicken or fish dinner or, like we mentioned, all on its own!

How Do You Cook Orzo?

You can boil orzo in water, just like any other pasta. Or you can add it to your favorite soup, like we do in this Italian Broccoli Soup recipe! But for this Parmesan Bacon Orzo we’re going to toast the orzo, which gives it tons of flavor, and then cook it right in the same skillet that we toasted it in.

Orzo in a skillet with onions

Start by cooking down some onions and garlic with olive oil in a skillet. Once those are softened, add the orzo and stir to combine with the onions, garlic and olive oil. Let the orzo toast, while stirring, until it’s a light golden brown color.

Toasted orzo in a skillet for side dish recipe

Once the orzo is golden brown and toasty, then you can add the chicken broth and cover the skillet to let the orzo cook. This only takes about 12-15 minutes, so like we said, this Parmesan Bacon Orzo is a really quick side dish recipe.

When the orzo is done, all you need to do is stir in some grated parmesan cheese and your cooked, chopped bacon. You can never go wrong with some fresh parsley for garnish, but it’s totally optional!

Orzo recipe with chopped bacon and parmesan cheese

Can I Make This Orzo Recipe Ahead Of Time?

Making this Parmesan Bacon Orzo is really so easy, we like making it right before serving. Of course you can make it ahead of time, but as the orzo sits or is refrigerated, the sauce will be absorbed so you might have to add more liquid upon reheating.

Which, again, isn’t really a big deal so don’t worry if you have leftovers! Just add a splash of chicken broth and a touch of cream before reheating the orzo in the microwave and you’ll be good to go.

But if you do have time to make this orzo recipe right before serving, the quality will be the best!

Orzo recipe with bacon and parmesan cheese on a spoon

What Main Course Recipes Would Go Well With This Parmesan Orzo?

Pretty much anything you like, I guess besides a main course pasta dish. And I know that I keep saying it but I’m telling you, a bowl of this Parmesan Bacon Orzo with a little salad on the side is hearty enough to be the whole meal!

Beef Recipes:

Chicken Recipes:

Don’t stop there! Head over to our Main Course Menu for many other recipe ideas!

Orzo recipe with bacon and parmesan cheese on a spoon

Parmesan Bacon Orzo

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

This Parmesan Bacon Orzo is gorgeous enough for dinner parties or holidays, but also a totally easy side dish recipe for weeknight dinners!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped (reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the orzo and toast for 4-5 minutes, until lightly golden brown in color. Pour in the chicken broth and salt, stir, and then bring to a simmer.
  2. Turn the heat down to a low simmer, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the orzo is tender and the liquid has absorbed.
  3. Add the parmesan cheese, chopped bacon, half and half and parsley. Garnish with the reserved bacon, black pepper, parmesan cheese and fresh parsley if desired.

Recipe Notes

You can add another splash of chicken broth at the end if you like a looser texture to the orzo.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: mantitlement, orzo recipes, recipes with bacon, pasta recipes, easy recipes, one skillet, one pan

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4 Responses
  1. Dave

    Growing up, my Mom made a similar dish except broccoli was in there too. I’d like to recreate my childhood dish so I’ll add some chopped cooked broccoli to your recipe and see how it comes out. How you ever tried any mix-ins to your dish”?

    1. Dan

      If I added chopped broccoli to this, I’d make sure it was chopped fairly small. But I think it would be delicious!

      1. Dave

        I loved the toasted orzo flavor. Just some feedback, I don’t see where the salt is added in the recipe. The broccoli was great but almost got dissolved into the dish so I will add it last before plating next time. Excellent dish THANKS

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