This Cheddar Broccoli Orzo with Everything Bagel Spice Mix Breadcrumbs is a comforting vegetarian hybrid between broccoli cheddar soup and cheesy pasta.
This is one of those dishes that becomes an instant hit in our home because it’s not only beyond simple to make but requires ingredients that we usually already have on hand and taste so comforting. The orzo filling taste like you turned your favorite bowl of broccoli cheddar soup into a macaroni and cheese dish (it’s amazing)! The whole thing comes together in under 20 minutes and is delicious on it’s own but would be great served with a simple salad. If you really want to go all out, you could serve it with any of these fancier salads too:
- Goat Cheese Fritter & Apple Salad
- Buffalo White Bean Kale Salad
- Celery Salad with Radish, Cranberries, & Walnuts
Since there are so many different brands and types of orzo (whole wheat, gluten-free), make sure to check the packaging to see how long the kind you have takes to cook. You’ll want the broccoli to boil for about 5 minutes (a little more or less depending on if you like your broccoli on the crunchier side or not) so make sure to start the orzo first and then add the broccoli to your salted boiling water when there is 5 minutes left for the orzo to cook. This way you can cook it all in the same water and drain everything at once.
We top the orzo with toasted breadcrumbs and a sprinkling of Everything Seed Bagel Seasoning (just to be clear, there are no bagels in this recipe but that is just the name of the topping you can find at most major grocery stores). The mix has a blend of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, and salt. This dish would still be delicious if you didn’t have this seasoning on hand but I love that it adds additional texture and flavor without taking away from the orzo. When toasting the breadcrumbs, make sure to watch them very closely and toss them around the skillet constantly since it doesn’t take much for them to burn. You’ll know they are ready when all the breadcrumbs have turned a golden brown.
This Cheddar Broccoli Orzo with Everything Bagel Spice Mix Breadcrumbs is a comforting hybrid between broccoli cheddar soup and cheesy macaroni.
- 1 1/2 cups dried orzo
- 2 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small white onion or medium shallot, diced small
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- salt / pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 Tbsp everything bagel seasoning
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cooking according to package directions (mine cooked for 8 minutes but your variety may be for a little more or less). When there is 5 minutes left, add the broccoli florets to simmer along with the orzo.
Meanwhile, warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions / shallots and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
Drain the orzo and broccoli florets and transfer to the skillet with onions and garlic. Fold in the cheese, 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, and milk. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.
Whip clean the skillet you used for the orzo and heat 1 Tbsp butter in it over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and, tossing constantly, cook until the breadcrumbs are toasted and golden, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and toss in the everything bagel seasoning. Sprinkle over the orzo and serve right away.
Make sure to tag Vegetarian ‘Ventures on Instagram and use #vegetarianventures when trying this dish out!