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Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan

https://www.fromvalerieskitchen.com/creamy-orzo-with-mushrooms-and-parmesan/

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CF Comfort Food
SD Side Dish

This Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan recipe is a delicious way to add some interest to an otherwise ordinary menu. Mushrooms, garlic, and fresh herbs combine with orzo, a touch of sour cream and Parmesan to create this special side dish.

Hands holding the bowl and a spoon scooping up a serving of Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan.

Hands holding the bowl and a spoon scooping up a serving of Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan.

This post was originally published on June 17, 2013. It has been updated with new images.

When menu planning often-times I get stumped by side dish choices. The rest of the menu seems to come easily but I have a tendency to bounce back and forth between rice and potatoes for the non-veggie side. Not that there’s anything at all wrong with rice and potatoes but it’s nice to have some options.

I have a great little recipe to share with you today that’s going to totally up your side dish game.

This Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan stands in perfectly for either rice or potatoes on almost any menu. It is fabulous served with grilled, baked, or roasted meats. It’s also a great choice to serve with pan-seared fish like my Blackened Mahi Mahi.

What is Orzo?

The star of this show is orzo; an extremely versatile, rice-like pasta. It may resemble rice but you will find it right next to all of the other dry, boxed pastas in the grocery store. It is commonly used in soups, side dishes like this one, and pasta salads like my super popular Orzo Salad with Roasted Red Peppers, Spinach, and Feta. It is also an important component to my Almond Rice Pilaf which is on our menu at least two or three times a month. Check out this article from Good Housekeeping for more information on orzo.

As you can see, there are all kinds of different methods of preparation and this recipe showcases this fun little pasta in one of my favorite ways.

Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan in a saute pan.

Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan in a saute pan.

Mushrooms, fresh thyme, and fresh basil give this dish a rustic look and fantastic flavor. Mushrooms and thyme go hand in hand for me. The flavors complement each other magnificently. I have a strong preference for fresh thyme in this dish but if you can’t get your hands on any it will still be excellent with the dried variety.

Enough about the ingredients, shall we get this show on the road?

How to Make Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan

Chopped mushrooms, onions, and garlic cooking in melted butter in a saute pan.

Chopped mushrooms, onions, and garlic cooking in melted butter in a saute pan.

Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter and add the chopped mushrooms, onions, and garlic. After the mixture has cooked down a bit, season it with the salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.

Transfer the cooked mushrooms and onions to a dish and set it aside while we move on to the orzo.

Orzo being toasted in oil in a saute pan.

Orzo being toasted in oil in a saute pan.

Melt another tablespoon of butter in the same pan and add the orzo. Cook and stir it for a couple of minutes until it is just beginning to get a nice, toasty, golden brown.

Chicken broth has been added to the orzo and then the mushrooms and onions go back in the pan.

Chicken broth has been added to the orzo and then the mushrooms and onions go back in the pan.

Add the chicken (or vegetable) broth, bring it to a nice simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Once the orzo has plumped up and absorbed all the broth, add the cooked mushrooms and onions.

Sour cream, Parmesan and chopped fresh basil are added to the saute pan.

Sour cream, Parmesan and chopped fresh basil are added to the saute pan.

Add some Parmesan, a little bit of sour cream, and the chopped fresh basil.

More Parmesan cheese is added to the top of the finished dish in the saute pan.

More Parmesan cheese is added to the top of the finished dish in the saute pan.

Sprinkle the top with the remaining Parmesan and the deed is done!

Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan in a serving bowl with a spoon.

Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan in a serving bowl with a spoon.

Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan

This Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan recipe is a delicious way to add some interest to an otherwise ordinary menu. Mushrooms, garlic, and fresh herbs combine with orzo, a touch of sour cream and Parmesan to create this special side dish.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 8

Change the number in the box above to adjust serving size. Please note that size of cookware and cook time may vary.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 10 small brown button cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook and stir until mushrooms are slightly softened, approximately 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer cooked mushrooms and onions to a plate and return pan to the heat. Add an additional tablespoon of butter to the same pan and when it has melted, add the orzo. Cook and stir for a couple of minutes until lightly browned. Stir in broth and bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. Return cooked mushroom mixture  to the skillet and stir to combine with the cooked orzo. Mix in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, the sour cream, and basil. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over the top. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 218kcal

Fat: 9g

Saturated fat: 5g

Cholesterol: 22mg

Sodium: 362mg

Potassium: 298mg

Carbohydrates: 25g

Fiber: 1g

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 10g

Vitamin A: 317%

Vitamin C: 2%

Calcium: 136%

Iron: 1%

Course Pasta, Side Dish

Cuisine American, Italian

Hands holding a serving bowl full of Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan and scooping up a spoonful.

Hands holding a serving bowl full of Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan and scooping up a spoonful.

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Salted Caramel Rice Pudding

https://thestayathomechef.com/salted-caramel-rice-pudding/

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 This classic dessert gets a modern upgrade. Make Salted Caramel Rice Pudding from scratch and enjoy a decadent twist on an old fashioned favorite. 

Rice Pudding

You might be thinking that rice pudding is your grandma’s dessert, especially if you’re picturing raisins in a bland, gelatinous blob of rice. Not this rice pudding! This from-scratch recipe is both timeless and super simple to make. Also, it results in a decadent dessert you and your grandma will love. Delicious, creamy, salty, and sweet—this rice pudding has it all!

Rice pudding exists as a dessert in many different forms the world over. Rice is a staple in so many countries, and has that sweet, mild flavor that can be made into a savory side dish, a yummy Mexican drink, or a sweet dessert. This recipe uses Arborio rice, the same kind that is used to make risotto, as it is less starchy and keeps its form a little better than other rices. If you’ve never made rice pudding or caramel before, it could be especially helpful to watch the video and see how it’s done.
To make this yummy dessert, you will start by boiling Arborio rice in milk, egg and sugar and then setting that to simmer. Then you will make an easy from-scratch caramel sauce by melting sugar in a saucepan, adding butter, and then adding heavy cream and salt. This sumptuous sauce is what you will mix into and drizzle over the rice pudding for a seriously tasty treat.

  • Can this be made with regular rice?

    Yes. We prefer the creamier texture of Arborio rice, but regular white rice will also work just fine. Reduce the cooking time to about 20 minutes.

  • Can rice pudding be made in a rice cooker?

    No. This recipe requires a low simmer with stirring in order to reach the right consistency, as the rice is boiled in milk and sugar.

  • Do add-ins go well with rice pudding? What other items can I add besides salted caramel?

    Absolutely. Rice pudding is kind of like vanilla ice cream. It is creamy and sweet and can mix well with lots of different flavors. If you want a little more sumpin’ sumpin’ with your rice pudding, you can try sprinkling some toasted pecans on it, sliced bananas, cinnamon, chocolate chips, apple slices, or even the traditional raisins.

If you need a caramel fix, check out these other amazing recipes and caramel creations:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Salted Caramel Rice Pudding

This classic dessert gets a modern upgrade. Make Salted Caramel Rice Pudding from scratch and enjoy a decadent twist on an old fashioned favorite. 

Cook Time35 mins

Total Time35 mins

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Servings: 6 Servings

Ingredients

Rice Pudding

  • 3/4 cup arborio rice
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter diced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan make the rice pudding. First put the rice in the pan. Whisk together milk, sugar, egg, salt, and vanilla. Pour over rice.

  • Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until rice is cooked and absorbed most of the liquid, leaving a creamy sauce.

  • Meanwhile, make the salted caramel sauce. In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, melt the sugar. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula, scrapping the sides as you go. Once the sugar melts and turns a golden brown, add in butter until melted. Pour in heavy cream and bring to a simmer, without increasing the heat. Simmer 90 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in salt.

  • Stir 2/3rd of the salted caramel mixture into the rice pudding, reserving the remaining 1/3rd for drizzling over the top.

Nutrition

Calories: 537kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 655mg | Potassium: 205mg | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 17.6% | Calcium: 15.8% | Iron: 6.8%

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Caramel Rice Pudding

Salted Caramel Rice Pudding

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5 Ingredient Homemade Chocolate Pudding

https://thestayathomechef.com/decadent-chocolate-pudding-from-scratch/

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Homemade Chocolate Pudding requires just 5 ingredients to make the most decadent, luscious pudding you have ever had!

Chocolate Pudding Recipe

You might be picturing those little prepackaged cups you can throw into your lunch, but chocolate pudding can be so much more! Thicker and creamier than a mousse, chocolate pudding is just as decedent and rich. When you make this chocolate pudding recipe, you will get an idea of how fancy pudding can be. Family dessert, party dessert or romantic dessert—any which way you cut it, this from-scratch perfect pudding is sure to please!

This dessert features a butter and cornstarch base, with heavy cream, sugar and chocolate chips melted together in a saucepan, then cooled for an hour in the refrigerator. Voila! It only takes a few minutes to make and a whole lot of patience to wait for it to set before you can savor it. But guess what? It’s worth the wait!

  • Can I use milk instead of heavy cream?

    Yes. We much prefer the heavy whipping cream for both taste and texture, but it is possible to use whole milk instead. If you choose to use whole milk, increase the cornstarch to two full tablespoons.

  • Can I use baker’s chocolate instead of chocolate chips?

    Swapping the chocolate chips out will change the texture and taste of this pudding. You can do it, but we recommend the chocolate chips. If you choose to use baker’s chocolate, substitute the chocolate chips for 6 ounces of baker’s chocolate. Increase the sugar to half a cup and the butter to three tablespoons.

  • Can chocolate pudding be made into a pie?

    Yes! This pudding is wonderful as a chocolate pie. You will want to double the recipe if you are filling a 9 inch pie plate that is one and a half inches deep or deeper. You can also just prepare the recipe as directed and add a layer of whipped cream.

 

PRO TIP: When it comes to heating milk or cream, gentle and slow is the way to go. If milk or cream gets too much heat, or heats to quickly it can scorch. Stirring constantly helps prevent scorching because it keeps the liquid flowing so that none of it should be touching the sides of the pan long enough for scorching to occur.

Chocolate lover? We’ve got you covered. Check out these other delicious chocolate treasures:

 

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

5 Ingredient Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Homemade Chocolate Pudding requires just 5 ingredients to make the most decadent, luscious pudding you’ve ever had!

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time5 mins

Cooling Time1 hr

Total Time1 hr 10 mins

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Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once completely melted, add in the cornstarch and whisk until cornstarch is well combined. Let cook 1 minute.

  • Whisk in the heavy cream and sugar. Stir continually while slowly increasing the heat to medium-high.

  • When the cream thickens and starts to simmer, immediately remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the chocolate chips until completely melted. Pour into serving glasses or a bowl.

  • Cover and let cool in the refrigerator until and serve when completely cooled and set, at least 1 hour.

Notes

While the pudding is cooling, place plastic wrap directly onto the top of the pudding in order to prevent a skin from forming. The plastic wrap should touch the top of the pudding directly. 

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 777kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 67g | Saturated Fat: 41g | Cholesterol: 181mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 344mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 38.9% | Vitamin C: 0.9% | Calcium: 10.5% | Iron: 15.8%

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Chocolate Pudding

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

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Ultimate Guide to Homemade Bread

https://thestayathomechef.com/homemade-bread/

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The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Bread starts with a classic base recipe and then covers all of the common substitutions to guide you in customizing your bread to your own needs so you can create your own perfect loaf. 

Homemade Bread

There is probably no smell on earth that is more inviting, comforting and symbolic of home than homemade bread. It is like a magnet for family and friends. Many of us have a recipe we’ve tried or one that has been passed down through family and friends. But making bread is also a science. There is a lot that goes into it and there are a lot of possible variations. We’ve included some of those here. After making many loaves of bread and trying many variations, the recipe we decided we like best for its taste and texture is made with milk instead of water, and requires very little kneading.

You will start by warming the milk in the microwave, and then combining that with all of the other ingredients in a stand mixer and letting it knead until a dough ball is formed. This only takes a couple minutes. That dough is placed in a greased bowl to rise for 90 minutes and then transferred to two greased bread pans to rise for another 60 minutes. The bread is then baked for 20 minutes covered and 20 minutes uncovered. Then, it will cool for another 20 minutes. You’re going to learn that the hardest part about this recipe is waiting to eat the bread!

 

SUBSTITUTION GUIDE

  • Water vs. Milk

    Milk changes bread recipes by producing a softer loaf, due to the milk fat content, which also gives bread a richer flavor. Bread made with milk browns more easily than bread made with water, as lactose or milk sugar will caramelize as it bakes.

  • Oil vs. Butter

    Butter has a lower smoke point than oil, meaning it will brown before oil will when baked. While butter and oil are interchangeable in the same amount when making bread, using butter does produce a better flavor.

  • Honey vs. Sugar vs. Sugar Replacement

    Honey and sugar are fairly interchangeable. You can replace sugar with honey in the same amount. Sugar replacements vary and usually come with instructions for substitution and what amounts to use. The kind of sweetener you use in making bread will alter the end result. Honey may add a floral element, depending on the source of your honey, while artificial sweeteners may add a metallic after taste.

  • Instant Dry Yeast vs. Active Dry Yeast

    This recipe calls for Instant Dry Yeast which requires no proofing time. If you choose to use active dry yeast in this recipe you can do so in the same quantity and proof the yeast by adding it to the warm milk along with the sugar and letting this mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

  • Wheat vs. White

    Wheat flour is heavier and more coarse than white flour and will produce a more dense bread.  You can use all wheat, a combination of half wheat and half white flour, or use all white flour. The results are pictured below.

Visual Differences Between Whole Wheat and All White Bread

  • What if I don’t have a stand mixer? Can I make homemade bread by hand?

    You don’t need a stand mixer, you can knead this bread by hand. It is physically more work, but it doesn’t require a lot of kneading. You only need to knead the dough until all of the ingredients are combined and a dough ball forms that is smooth and elastic and slightly tacky to the touch.

  • Can I use this recipe in a bread machine?

    Yes. This recipe will work great in a bread machine.

  • Should I use a glass bread pan or a metal bread pan? What is the difference?

    Glass and metal conduct heat differently which means they bake bread differently too. A glass bread pan will produce a softer, less crispy crust. A metal bread pan, especially a darker metal bread pan, will produce a crispier crust that is darker brown in color. You can see the visual difference in the photo below with the loaf made in a metal pan on the left and the loaf made in a glass pan on the right.

Visual  Difference between metal pans and glass pans for baking bread

 

If you’re looking for more bread recipes, here are some of our favorites:

 

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Homemade Bread Recipe

Ultimate Guide to Homemade Bread

The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Bread starts with a classic base recipe and then covers all of the common substitutions to guide you in customizing your bread to your own needs so you can create your own perfect loaf. 

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time40 mins

Rising Time2 hrs 30 mins

Total Time3 hrs 25 mins

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Servings: 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 5 1/2-6 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • In a microwave safe bowl or cup, warm the milk until it is warm to the touch, 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the milk, sugar, yeast, salt, melted butter, and 5 cups of flour. Knead on a low setting for 1 minute until combined, Slowly increase speed and add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough forms a smooth and elastic ball that is soft and tacky, but not sticky. 

  • Put the dough ball into a greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 90 minutes until double in size.

  • After 90 minutes, divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll or press each piece into a 9-inch by 7-inch rectangle. Roll each lengthwise into a tight roll and pinch the ends shut.

  • Transfer each loaf into a lightly greased 9-inch by 5-inch bread loaf pan. Cover and let rise for an additional 60 minutes until double in size.

  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.

  • Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan and letting it cool completely.

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Water vs. Milk

    Milk changes bread recipes by producing a softer loaf, due to the milk fat content, which also gives bread a richer flavor. Bread made with milk browns more easily than bread made with water, as lactose or milk sugar will caramelize as it bakes. 

  • Oil vs. Butter

    Butter has a lower smoke point than oil, meaning it will brown before oil will when baked. While butter and oil are interchangeable in the same amount when making bread, using butter does produce a better flavor.

  • Honey vs. Sugar vs. Sugar Replacement

    Honey and sugar are fairly interchangeable. You can replace sugar with honey in the same amount. Sugar replacements vary and usually come with instructions for substitution and what amounts to use. 

  • Wheat vs. White

    Wheat flour is heavier and more coarse than white flour and will produce a more dense bread.  You can use all wheat, a combination of half wheat and half white flour, or use all white flour. 

  • Instant Dry Yeast vs. Active Dry Yeast

    This recipe calls for Instant Dry Yeast which requires no proofing time. If you choose to use active dry yeast in this recipe you can do so in the same quantity and proof the yeast by adding it to the warm milk along with the sugar and letting this mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. 

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75inch slice | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1.6% | Calcium: 3.1% | Iron: 7.5%

Course: Bread

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Homemade Bread

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