Vegetarian Baked Orzo With Goat Cheese

Vegetarian Baked Orzo With Goat Cheese

scoop of orzo pasta (rosa marina)

Vegetarian Baked Orzo With Goat Cheese

Make this quick vegetarian holiday side dish.  It’s, quick, easy and can be made ahead.  This side dish can also be served as an everyday main dish. 

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 Cups Orzo

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Finely Chopped Onion

1/2 Teaspoon Chopped Thyme

8 Ounces Fresh Goat Cheese

4 Ounces Cream Cheese

3/4 Cup Whole Milk

2 Tablespoons Chopped Parsley

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

3 Tablespoons Grated Pecorino Cheese

Take the goat cheese and cream cheese out of fridge and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large-size pot fill with salted water.  Add orzo and bring to a boil over a high heat.  Cook orzo until al dente.  Drain and set aside.  Do not rinse orzo.  In a large-size sauté pan add olive oil and turn heat to medium-high.  Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Add thyme and cook for 1 minute.  Add goat cheese, cream cheese and milk.  Turn heat down to low and cook for 4 minutes until cheeses have melted. Stir constantly. Remove from the heat. 

Add the cooked orzo, parsley, kosher salt and pepper to the skillet.  Stir to combine all ingredients.  Grease an 8-inch baking dish.  Transfer the orzo mixture to the prepared baking dish and top with grated pecorino.  Place in oven for 30 to 40 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and serve hot.  If you are going to make the day before let cool completely before covering with plastic wrap and placing in fridge.  When reheating make sure not to reheat too long as you don’t want mixture to dry out.  Serves 6 as a side dish. 

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