Caprese orzo pasta is loaded with juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and chopped fresh basil. It is light, fresh and perfect for spring!
Adding orzo pasta to the classic caprese ingredients makes this a great side dish or a delectable light lunch. I’m always looking to liven things up when it comes to lunch time! Plus, we are all about caprese flavors — see our caprese sandwich or our balsamic caprese chicken.
Our kids love helping us in the kitchen and this is a great recipe to get the whole family involved. Even our 5-year-old can cook up a batch of orzo. We put our oldest on the basil and our second on the tomatoes and mozzarella and this caprese salad is done in no time! It is simple, healthy and the flavors are flawless!
What Ingredients Go in Caprese Orzo Pasta?
When you hear caprese, you know your usual suspects, but there are couple of other ingredients that go into this pasta dish. Here is your shopping list:
Mozzarella (buffalo or pearls)
How to Make Caprese Orzo Pasta
We have gone through the basic steps, but here is the whole process in a little more detail. For the complete recipe, see the recipe card below.
Orzo – This recipe starts by toasting the dry orzo. We’ve found this really takes the flavor over the top. Then add the garlic and thyme. The orzo is cooked in chicken broth for even more flavor.
PRO TIP: Thyme isn’t a typical caprese flavor, but it adds a flavor that we love in this pasta salad!
Caprese – Once the orzo has absorbed most of the water and it is tender, its time to add all the caprese stars – cheese, tomatoes and basil. Then salt and pepper to taste and dig in!
What is Caprese?
Caprese is an Italian dish made from fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil, seasoned with salt and olive oil, occasionally paired with arugula. It can be eaten as a salad or on a sandwich.
Is Orzo Pasta Or Rice?
I feel like orzo isn’t as well know as it should be. Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta. So it is a pasta that eats like rice but takes substantially less time to cook. It’s a winner that should be used more in my humble opinion!
How to Cook Orzo Pasta?
We like to toast the dry orzo first to really heighten the flavor of the cooked pasta. After toasting it for a minute or so in olive oil, add your liquid (water works great, but use a broth for even more flavor). Let it come to a boil and then turn the heat down and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes.
How Do You Know When Orzo Is Done?
Orzo takes about 10 minutes to cook.
It is done when it has a firm, chewy texture.
How Long Will Orzo Keep?
Cooked orzo will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Are Tomatoes Good For You?
I am obsessed with tomatoes, especially tomatoes fresh from the garden. We don’t have a spot in our backyard for a garden which makes me the saddest, but my parents have a huge garden. When we go to visit in the summer, we always return with tons of fresh produce including all kinds of tomatoes.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. They are also high in antioxidants.
Caprese orzo pasta is going to be your new favorite dish this spring! I’m having it for lunch this week. My kids are whipping it up. We will have it for dinner, and then I’ll be eating the leftovers for lunch. It keeps great in the refrigerator too, so I can eat it several days in a row! Three cheers for CAPRESE!
Looking for more delicious ORZO RECIPES?
Caprese Orzo Pasta
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Prep Time: 2 minutesCook Time: 12 minutesTotal Time: 14 minutes
This easy caprese orzo pasta recipe is light, fresh and perfect for spring.
1 1/2 Cups Orzo Pasta1 Tablespoon Olive oil2 Cloves Garlic minced3 Cups Chicken Broth1 teaspoon Thyme leaves fresh1/4 Cup Basil Fresh, chopped1 Cup Mozzarella buffalo, or mozzarella pearls1 Cup Tomatoes2/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese grated, plus more for garnishCracked Pepper fresh, to tasteSalt to tasteUS Customary – Metric
In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and pasta.Cook, stirring occasionally until toasted, about 30-60 seconds.Add garlic and stir it in followed by thyme.Add the broth, a small amount at a time.Bring to a boil, cover the skillet with a lid and turn down to a simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the pasta has absorbed most of the water and is tender.Add the cheeses, tomatoes, basil and salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Left overs can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Caprese Orzo Pasta
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%Saturated Fat 7g44%Cholesterol 33mg11%Sodium 1093mg48%Potassium 391mg11%Carbohydrates 46g15%Fiber 2g8%Sugar 3g3%Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 733IU15%Vitamin C 19mg23%Calcium 370mg37%Iron 2mg11% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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