Creamy Parmesan Orzo (One Pot Side Dish)

I started making this side dish about 4 years ago, and it has been in weekly rotation at my house ever since. My favorite thing about this orzo is that it pretends to be a risotto (with pasta of course) but is wayyyy less maintenance. Also, my one year old loves it – WIN!

As a Mom, one of my biggest goals is to create those things that my kids will look back on one day and immediately think of me. As I type that, it sounds a little bit selfish, but I want my kids to have fond memories of their childhood. Many of those warm feelings for me come from food – my grandma’s cinnamon rolls and sugar cookies, my mom’s runzas and ham balls, my grandma’s love of strawberry shortcake and how I tried to make it one time and accidentally used way too much salt. It seems that it’s those recipes that never taste quite as good when you make them yourself. I’m still trying to find “those recipes” of my own, and I think in time they will come naturally. For now, this orzo is probably one of them for my husband as he literally asks me to make this every week.

So go on, give this a try tonight and reminisce about all of those recipes that bring you warm feelings in your family.

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Creamy Parmesan Orzo (One Pot Side Dish)
Creamy (without the cream) pasta dish that everyone at your table will enjoy.
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter then add the garlic. Heat for 30-60 seconds.
  2. Add the orzo and toast (stirring frequently) until some pieces just start to turn light brown.
  3. Pour in 2 cups of the chicken broth and let simmer down until almost completely absorbed. Add in 1/2 cup of chicken broth at a time until the orzo is done (you'll have to taste it). Add an additional 1/4 cup of broth and let it heat up.
  4. Stir in red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is incorporated (it should melt quickly) and the orzo is a creamy consistency.
  5. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

You made need more or less chicken broth depending on how quickly it absorbs.

Freshly grated parmesan works the best, but you can also use parmesan out of the jar (green Kraft container).

You can easily make this into a full meal by adding chicken and/or broccoli.

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French Dip (Serve on Buns)

Happy Tuesday everyone! We survived Monday, and now that it is over I can say that it wasn’t that bad after all. Before I jump into the details behind the mouth watering pictures below, I’ll give you the short and sweet version of the how and why of Midwest Mash.

Colorado newbie and Iowa native. Those are the basics. My husband got his dream job out here in Boulder so we jumped ship from West Des Moines and planted roots here in the beautiful foothills about a month ago. We also recently got married on May 21, so we have had a wild ride the past few months – wedding, honeymoon (Turks and Caicos – I highly recommend), job quitting, job getting, selling house, sleeping on air mattresses, and fitting 1700 sq ft of crap totally necessary things into a 2 bedroom apartment.  I am a physical therapist waiting semi-patiently on my lovely license to get transferred, so in the meantime I am grateful to finally be able to spend time doing things that I have neglected since graduate school such as writing and cooking. Commuting 2 hours every day for work the past two years left me with gobs of time to day dream about cooking and exercising but very little time for the actual execution unless you count doing kegels and glut squeezes in the car while reaching for a bag of Chex Mix. Bear with me while I brush off the cobwebs on the writing and cooking fronts.

Our crazy fun wedding party. Professional Wedding Photography by Creative Concepts Photography

Our crazy fun wedding party. Professional Wedding Photography by Creative Concepts Photography

So my husband really wanted this blog to be called “Serve on Buns” so this first post is an ode to him. Plus, who doesn’t love a juicy, cheesy, makes your house smell like a restaurant, French Dip sandwich? We are lucky enough to get our beef directly from my grandparents’ farm in Nebraska which in my opinion always wins against store bought. The only downfall is having to blindly pick a roast from a stack of white paper lumps in the freezer. The odds were in my favor today because I picked an excellent, low fat hunk of meat. I’ll be honest, all it said was “roast” on it, so I have no idea what type of roast this is, but really, any kind will do for this recipe. You can even use sirloin steak if that’s all you have on hand.

french-dip-edited

(Recipe for Hidden Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes coming soon!)

Please head over to my about me section to get to know me and I would love for you to follow along with me on this crazy journey of food, exercise (when the motivation hits), and any other project or traveling venture I decide to take you on. This is my outlet for sharing my ideas and adventures as I get acquainted with my new Colorado life, so enjoy!

Print Recipe
French Dip (Serve on Buns)
Meaty, cheesy, onion-y goodness on a bun
Cuisine Sandwiches
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4-6 hours
Servings
sandwiches
Ingredients
Red Pepper Mayo
Cuisine Sandwiches
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4-6 hours
Servings
sandwiches
Ingredients
Red Pepper Mayo
Instructions
  1. Apply olive oil generously to outside of roast. Coat with your seasoning mixture (feel free to ad lib here with flavors you enjoy).
  2. Sear roast in a skillet on all sides 30-60 seconds until a nice brown crust forms.
  3. Place your 2 cups of hot water and the onion soup mix into the crock pot. Transfer browned roast to crock pot.
  4. Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours. NOTE: check the temperature often if able - you do not want to overcook your roast. For a medium roast, take it out when at 135 deg and let it rest until 145 deg. Thinly slice the roast against the grain OR pull apart with fork.
  5. In a skillet over medium heat, caramelize onions and mushrooms in 2 Tbsp of butter. Once finished, place a serving of meat with a serving of the vegetables and cover with a piece of cheese. When cheese is melted, transfer to your hoagie.
  6. For an added twist I use a red pepper mayo on the sandwich. It adds a nice kick of sweetness. (see recipe above)
  7. Your au jus should be waiting for you in the bottom of the crock pot! No additional work needed for this. Indulge and enjoy!
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