Bacon Parmesan Orzo

Bacon Parmesan Orzo is a delicious side dish that comes together in just minutes. Not up for making dinner? This cheesy, cozy orzo recipe can also be served as a main course.

Easy side dish recipes like this are always great to have on hand. The orzo cooks in one skillet to make clean up easy.

orzo with parmesan cheese and bacon in bowl with parsley

Why You’ll Love This Bacon Parmesan Orzo Recipe

When you need a delicious, comforting side dish recipe, this Bacon Parmesan Orzo is it. You can serve this creamy, cheesy orzo for everyday dinners or holiday meals and it’s always going to be a hit.

Not only does this orzo cook in one skillet for easy clean up, you can also make it ahead of time. Warm it up in the microwave for an easy meal or a side to steak, chicken or fish.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Onion: Yellow onions.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic.
  • Orzo: Dry orzo, uncooked
  • Chicken Broth: Can also substitute vegetable broth, but chicken broth adds the best flavor.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Grated parmesan cheese, but a good quality, not the kind in a can that’s pre-grated.
  • Bacon: 6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped.
  • Half and Half: You can also use heavy cream, but half and half works well.
  • Parsley: For garnish

How To Make

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 Bacon Parmesan Orzo we’re going to toast the orzo in a skillet and then cook it right in that same skillet.

uncooked orzo in a skillet with onion

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.

orzo and onion browned in a skillet

Once the orzo is golden brown and toasty, 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 bacon and parmesan cheese in grey bowl

Can I Make This Orzo Recipe Ahead Of Time?

Making this Parmesan Orzo is really easy, so we do like making it right before serving. Of course you can make it ahead of time, but as the orzo sits or is refrigerated, the orzo will absorb the sauce a bit. To help this along, you can add a splash of chicken broth or cream before reheating.

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

bacon and parmesan orzo on serving spoon

What Main Courses Can I Serve With This Orzo?

Pretty much anything you like, besides a main course pasta dish. And I know that I keep saying it but I’m telling you, a bowl of this Bacon Parmesan Orzo with a delicious 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 with parmesan cheese and bacon in bowl with parsley

Bacon Parmesan Orzo

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

This Bacon Parmesan 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 (uncooked)
  • 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

You Might Also Like:

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

Leave a Reply

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Cocktails and Drinks

Side “Bar”

Try some of the cocktails and drinks we’re mixing up this week!