Orzo Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes

Sunshine on a Plate: Orzo Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil & Mediterranean Flair

Craving a summery dish that’s light, vibrant, and bursting with flavor? Look no further than this orzo pasta with basil and tomatoes recipe! Packed with fresh, Mediterranean ingredients like juicy tomatoes, fragrant basil, and salty olives, it’s a symphony of textures and tastes that will transport you straight to a sun-drenched Italian villa (minus the airfare!).

Orzo Pasta Recipe

This dish is more than just a pretty face, though. It’s quick and easy to prepare, making it perfect for busy weeknight dinners or even a light lunch. The orzo pasta, resembling tiny rice grains, cooks in a flash, absorbing the delicious flavors of the sauce like a sponge. And let’s not forget the nutritional benefits: fresh tomatoes are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, basil brings a touch of vitamin K, and the olives add a dose of healthy fats.

But the real magic lies in the combination of textures and flavors. The sweet and tangy tomato sauce, bursting with fresh summer flavors, contrasts beautifully with the salty bite of olives and the earthy richness of artichoke hearts. The creamy Parmesan cheese adds a touch of decadence, while the fresh basil leaves offer a burst of herbal aroma in every bite.

Orzo Pasta Recipe 1

Tips for Confetti Orzo

When making orzo, I like to brown half the batch beforehand in a little olive oil, and then add the rest of the pasta later. The result is a beautiful confetti-like color that gets even more pop from red tomatoes and chopped herbs such as basil or fresh oregano. You can also add olives, artichoke hearts, or anything else that sounds good to you. Hope you enjoy this easy orzo recipe.

Ready to embark on this culinary adventure? Let’s get cooking! Serve this with my Chicken Cordon Bleu!

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Orzo Pasta Recipe

Orzo Pasta with Tomatoes

Recipe by Jason Hill – CookingSessions.com
This orzo recipe is one of our favorite side dishes, and you can dress it up with practically any fresh vegetables you have on hand. When making orzo pasta, I like to brown half the batch beforehand in a little olive oil, and then add the rest of the pasta later. The result is a beautiful confetti-like color that gets even more pop from red tomatoes and chopped herbs such as basil or fresh oregano. Hope you enjoy this! Serve this with my Chicken Cordon Bleu!
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided use
  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic-shallot puree or crushed garlic
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or basil
  • 2-3 pinches sea salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese optional
  • Olives optional
  • Artichoke hearts optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat a large stock pot to medium high.
  • Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 cup orzo pasta. Saute pasta until browned.
  • Stir in the rest of the pasta and 2 quarts of water. Season with a few pinches of sea salt.
  • After 12 minutes, strain the pasta.
  • In a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Melt down. Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic-shallot puree. Cook for 1 minute. Add diced tomato, cook down a bit, then add the pasta. Stir to incorporate the pasta. Finally, add 1 tablespoon chopped oregano or basil.
  • Season with salt and pepper if needed, and serve!
  • Note: If using the optional add-ons, add at the same time you add the tomato.
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Keyword orzo, pasta, side dishes
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AboutJason Hill

Hi, I’m Jason Hill, host of YouTube’s “Chef Tips” series. I graduated from culinary school in 1998, and gained my experience working the lines in Southern California. I launched my cooking videos in 2007. I love sharing quick and easy recipes that get people back in the kitchen.

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