Fresh, al dente vegetables and orzo with a creamy tomato and Parmesan sauce makes a fantastic side dish. This primavera is a good base recipe that you can tweak with other seasonal vegetables, or freshen up with fresh lemon juice or white wine.



Recipe Summary

15 mins
30 mins
45 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil; add 2 teaspoons salt. Cook orzo in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, 6 to 11 minutes. Drain.

  • Heat oil in a skillet over low heat. Add bell pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium and add carrot, onion, and garlic. Saute until carrot begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add zucchini and summer squash; cook for 1 minute more. Increase heat to high and add broth, tomato sauce, remaining salt, and pepper. Cook until sauce comes to a simmer, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

  • Add orzo to the sauce and mix well. Remove from heat. Stir in half-and-half, followed by Parmesan cheese. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Cook's Note:

You can use vegetable broth instead of chicken, if preferred.

Nutrition Facts

253 calories; protein 10.4g; carbohydrates 41.3g; fat 5.7g; cholesterol 8.2mg; sodium 1602.7mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (2)

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2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
This was excellent! I double the sauce amount and cooked my orzo only partially and finished it off in the sauce. I also used fat free plain greek yogurt in place of the half and half. I made this as a Halloween side dish to ghost mini meatloaves and called it maggot primavera. It worked well for this but i will continue to make this side dish year round! Happy Halloween and thanks for a great recipe. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
7.30.20 Whether served as a side dish or an entree (thinking Meatless Monday here), this really is fantastic. I had my doubts about the addition of the tomato sauce, but it works. Not sure why the recipe has the red bell pepper sautéing on its own for 10 minutes (I cooked for 5), since bell pepper cooks fairly quickly. In the future, I’ll cook it with the other veggies, but that’s not a game changer here. Don’t omit either the half-and-half or parmesan, as they bring this all together. This one’s a keeper, for sure. preez, thanks for sharing. Read More