I love picnics but I’m not a fan of picnic food because it’s usually cold and often the same things. But this Orzo with Parmesan is as good cold as it is served hot. I like to serve it alongside BBQ ribs, shredded pork sandwiches, or any other kind of meat. (Yes, I’m a meat girl. 🙂 ) It’s not hard to make but does require stirring. That’s way I always wait until I have a kid around willing to do that for me!

This dish pairs well with the oven baked ribs and the slow cooker shredded beef. It’s also great with a side of winter roasted veggies. Let picnic season begin!

Whole Wheat Orzo with Parmesan

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 455 kcal


  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo pasta
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons pine nuts


  1. Heat oven to 350 ℉. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

  2. Add broth and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.

  3. While orzo is cooking, roast the pine nuts. Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 3 minutes or until brown. Watch carefully or they will burn.

  4. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, basil, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately with pine nuts sprinkled on top.


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