Healthier Homemade Nutter Butter Cookies.
It’s hard to beat this easy One Skillet Cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Orzo Bake…it’s a favorite with everyone! Kind of like broccoli cheddar soup meets cozy weeknight casserole. It’s well balanced, so darn easy, and so darn delicious. And the best part? This dish is all made entirely in one pot in under an hour. Grab some orzo pasta, plenty of herbs, and all the broccoli from the garden or market. Cook everything together on the stove, add sharp cheddar cheese, and finish it off in the oven to get crispy and crunchy on top. This one is simple but SO GOOD. The perfect weeknight family-style dinner to enjoy.
Welcoming Monday, and saying goodbye to August, with a dinner that’s going to make everyone happy. Who doesn’t love a little broccoli cheddar in their lives? It’s everyone’s favorite, right?
I think so, but then I’ve loved broccoli cheddar anything since I was a kid. I’ve said this before, but the Panera bread broccoli cheddar soup was my fall staple growing up. Especially on days that were rainy and dreary. Growing up in Cleveland we had many beautiful fall days. But they were also interspersed with a few drearier days as well. If you’re from northeastern Ohio then you know what I am talking about.
Anytime I was out with my mom and it was raining, I’d beg her to stop at Panera for lunch. It was a hard sell since back then we were always trying to save money, and eating out was a splurge for us. A household full of seven kids, five of them being hungry boys, means you spend your money wisely.
But I’d beg, and since my mom also loved a good bowl of Panera broccoli cheddar, I was usually able to talk her into it. The two of us, sometimes with the brothers – sometimes not, would sit and eat and tear those bread bowls apart. Comfort food to the T and we loved every bite. Though neither of us was ever able to actually finish our bowls.
The point is broccoli cheddar was our favorite, and really, it still is to this day. Which is apparent from the amount of broccoli cheddar focused recipes we’ve got here on HBH. In year’s past, I’ve shared broccoli cheddar soup (and many variations), broccoli cheddar mini pies, broccoli cheddar chicken and rice casserole, and probably others too. Love them all.
Today’s orzo bake/casserole is just another delicious addition to my collection of broccoli cheddar focused recipes…and shocker, it’s a favorite.
Broccoli Cheddar is great, amazing actually, but add orzo and herbs? Even better. Bake it all in one pot? Simply the best.
While it’s not anything crazy creative by any means, it’s crazy delicious and just the flavors I’m craving this time of year. It’s weird, Labor day is so late this year and it’s throwing me off a bit. My mind is still in summer since Labor Day hasn’t taken place yet. But the calendar (and our weather here) is telling me September is here.
So, I guess this is my summer meets early autumn bake.
This is another one skillet/one pot recipe, which means the process is pretty simple and straight forward.
I created this recipe start to finish in my Staub skillet, but you can use any large oven-safe pot or skillet you have. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, simply transfer the orzo to a baking dish once you’ve finished cooking.
Since I wanted to keep this similar to the flavors of broccoli cheddar soup, I also cooked up an onion with some mushrooms. Then add lots of orzo, broccoli, and fresh thyme. Pour in a little wine, some broth, add a few other things, and simmer until the orzo is al dente.
This process takes only a few minutes, so it’s a nice quick-cooking dinner.
Once the orzo is cooked, stir in a little milk to keep things creamy, then add all that cheese. I like to use a mix of sharp cheddar and a nutty, slightly salty, manchego cheese.
The next step is key. Bake the orzo for ten or so minutes to melt that cheese, Then switch the oven to broil and let the cheese start to bubble up. Just be sure to watch closely, the broiler works quick.
As soon as you pull this out from under the broiler, add fresh thyme and basil. And that’s it.
Pretty simple, quick, and easy, right?
The orzo stays creamy, but the cheese and broccoli pieces on top become crisp, and the edges even get a little crunchy too. Just delicious.
Loving this as an easy meatless Monday dinner that’s equally great any time of the week. If you wanted to add a bit more protein, you could certainly toss in some cubed chicken. That would be great too! Either way, the family is going to love this.
Bake it up tonight, but keep this one in mind for Labor Day gatherings. Perfect for bringing along as an easy meatless main dish or simple side.
Looking for easy weeknight back to school dinners Here are a few ideas:
Souper Creamy Lemon Butter Cheesy Zucchini Orzo
Homemade Chicken Noodle Casserole
One Skillet Cheesy Cuban Chicken Rice Bake
Lastly, if you make this one skillet cheesy broccoli cheddar orzo bake be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Shop ingredients at your local Target store. Learn more
this recipe sounds sooo divine! I have some heavy cream that is expiring, think I could sub the milk/coconut milk w/ heavy cream? Thanks for the help and the many wonderful recipes!
Yes, heavy cream will work well here. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan
Can’t wait to make this tomorrow! Do you have any suggestions of how I could add a meat/protein? Maybe chicken or bacon? I know it seems unnecessary but my kids always likes little meat!
I think chicken would be great to add, I would cook the chicken first and then follow the recipe as is. I hope you love the dish, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan
SO good! I added chicken to ours. I ended up using 4 cups of chicken stock (instead of 3 cups veggie stock) to cook all the orzo. I also put the fill 1 cup cheddar into the orzo and then about a 1/3 cup cheddar on top. Deeeelish. Increased the lemon zest to 1 full lemon- it was such a nice surprise and added an additional layer of flavoring. Made the dish seem lighter. SO good.
I am so thrilled that you have enjoyed this recipe! Thanks so much for making it:) xTieghan
I’m quite new and clumsy in the kitchen, but I surprised myself with this absolutely delicious dish. I made it twice in two weeks: once with cauliflower, Irish cheddar, and using chicken broth instead of wine; and once with broccoli, sharp cheddar, and the wine. Both times it was amazing and both times I also added chicken for protein and a touch more red pepper to suit my taste. Such a versatile recipe.
Thanks so much for making the recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xTieghan
I made this recipe for the first time on the past weekend, and we loved it! I asked my family what they thought about it after we had all eaten a bit, and everyone said “It’s a keeper!” And bonus: it’s nice to add another veggie based recipe to the weekly repertoire. We’re not vegetarians, but we do try to do half our weekly meals meatless. Anyway, thanks for sharing this recipe!
Thanks so much for trying the recipe. I am glad you enjoyed it! xTieghan
Hi there! I don’t cook with mushrooms often – what kind would you recommend using? Thank you!
I really love using a mix of wild mushrooms! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan
I substituted Brussel sprouts. Well received. Thank you
I am so glad the recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for trying it out! Happy Sunday! xTieghan
For some reason my kids say it was great but next time they want shrimp in it. Lol. Thanks for the recipe. Will ale it again!
Thank you for trying this one, Rebecca! xTieghan
This was delicious! The only changes I’d make are to add more cayenne pepper (1 teaspoon total) and perhaps another half cup of milk as we thought it was a bit dry.
Thank you so much Helen!! xTieghan
My husband I love this recipe! I confess, the two of us have eating the whole thing in one sitting!
Thank you so much Nadia! I am really glad this recipe turned out so well for you! xTieghan
This was a big hit tonight!! We LOVED it. As a Midwesterner (KCMO) I love a good cheesy casserole that sticks to the ribs and feeds the soul. Great food for this time of year. I added some chicken. Used thin-cut breast that I salt & peppered then dredged in flower. Lightly fried in the EVOO (probably 2-3 min per side) then removed and cooked recipe in same pan as above. Cut in strips and added to the top under the cheese before cooking the rest of the way in the oven for 15 min. Perfection. I even impressed myself!
Hi Sarah! I am so happy this recipe turned out so amazing for you! Thank you so much for trying this! xTieghan
Great recipe. Have made it three times now, using whole wheat orzo (crunchier, I think) and substituting zucchini for mushrooms once, then red bell pepper. Both worked out well. This time, I added some bread crumbs on top with the cheeses, since the broiled crusty top seems to be everybody’s favorite part. Terrific way to get small children to love their greens.
Yes! I am so happy this recipe turned out so well for you and your kids, Dawn! Thank you for tying it! xTieghan
So easy and yummy!
Thank you Kara! xTieghan
Really delicious! I’ll add more broccoli & mushrooms next time so it’s a little more vegetable-forward.
Thank you Rebecca! xTieghan
Just made this cheesy delicious dish. Was grilling pork chops and needed a side dish. Super simple and really great flavor. And best of all, these are ingredients I always have in the house. I didn’t use wine just chicken broth and the flavors were great. Much better than the broccoli, rice and Campbell soup recipes I’ve used forever!! Love your recipes!
Thank you so much Sheila! I am so happy this recipe turned out so well for you! xTieghan