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orzo recipe

So I’ve been MIA for a while. Eight months, to be exact. I’d say that constitutes as a while.

As it turns out, I’ve gone through some big life changes. I quit my job at the jewelry store for two reasons. 1) I was being underpaid compared to my other coworkers and I was in a higher position. 2) I was finally finding enough success with my freelance work that I could. 

That’s right! I’m now a full time freelance writer, which is part of the reason I’ve neglected this blog– you don’t always want to unwind by writing a blog after you’ve been paid to be a blog writer all day. Money is especially tight, but my anxiety has decreased.

But overall, despite these lovely revelations, my anxiety has decreased, and that’s a step. It’s a big one.

Part of that is the new job, getting to focus in on one thing instead of feeling stretched thin. Part of it is the extensive amount of yoga I’ve taken part in (which yes, for any others of you out there with anxiety, physical exercise does help). And part of it, of course, is the food.

As I’m sure has been pretty evident, I’m a big fan of comfort food. I especially like comfort food that can be considered to be on the healthier side, despite my intense love for lots of butter and heavy cream sauces. For me, this brown butter orzo recipe is a great example of comfort food that you don’t have to feel terrible about. And– you guessed it– it can be made gluten free (all you need is a gluten free brand of orzo)!

When I was at working at Disney, money was ridiculously tight, and that was only perpetuated when I missed an entire week of work with no pay from the flu. The two weeks after said flu, I pretty much lived off this orzo. It was cheap to make, it was rich in flavor, and I got in veggies via spinach. It would be embarrassing to admit how many bowls of this stuff I could eat in a single sitting.

It’s quick to make, taking less than 15 minutes. Here’s what you need:

brown butter orzo recipe

Everything you need except, of course, the parmesan.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 tbls butter
  • 1 cup orzo, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth, depending how soft you want the orzo
  • 1/2 cup spinach, shredded
  • 1/8-1/4 cup good parmesan (the shredded stuff is some of my favorite)
  • 4-6 basil leaves (optional)

orzo recipe

First, as you can imagine, you’ll put the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Let it heat up until you get that delicious brown butter smell.

photo 4

Then dump in the orzo and stir it around so ever grain is coated in delicious brown buttery goodness.

After the orzo has been on for one minute (literally one minute), add in the spinach and basil. You can choose to do this closer to the end if you don’t like your spinach cooked, but I like to add it in now.

orzo recipe

Let saute for two more minutes before adding in the chicken broth.

photo 2Keep it on medium high heat. Stir every few minutes.

brown butter orzo recipe

Once the liquid is almost entirely gone and looks like this, the pasta is pretty much done. Taste to see if it’s al dente yet. If not, reduce the heat and let cook for another few minutes.

photo 4

If it is, reduce heat to low and add in the cheese.
photo 5

Stir in the cheese and turn off the heat. The orzo should be an ooey-gooey meld of deliciousness.

photo 2

Serve immediately and enjoy.

I’e seen a lot of versions of this recipe over the years, including orzo with peas or orzo with cheddar and broccoli. What’s your favorite?