The simplest weeknight-style 20 Minute Orzo Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Burrata…that everyone in the house will love. It’s has a classic creamy Italian carbonara sauce, but is updated with orzo pasta, crispy prosciutto, and burrata cheese. This simple orzo carbonara is made in under 30 minutes and is a great way to use a mix of pantry and fridge staples. The perfect any night of the week dinner that comes together in just minutes.
I am truly all about the quick-cooking recipes this week. Monday was a super fast 25 minute Thai Black Pepper Chicken. And today we have an even quicker 20 minute Orzo Carbonara. I guess simple is the name of the game this week.
And you guys…this is so simple. But this is also…SO good. It’s extra creamy and extra simple, but still full of fresh spring flavors that I just cannot get enough of. Plus, it has crispy prosciutto, which I also can’t get enough of. Bacon is traditional in Italian carbonara, but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up.
You all remember how I said we have only been going to the grocery store once a week? Well, this recipe is the result of a bare-bones fridge with nothing but spinach, herbs, cheese, and plenty of prosciutto…plus a pantry full of orzo. I’m not going to lie, at this point, I miss being able to head to the store for just one ingredient that I must have. Or that super fresh piece of salmon. Or you know, all the dang produce I can get my hands on. But I’m really trying to make what I have work throughout all of this.
I know you all are attempting to do the same. So hopefully, you’ll enjoy yet another quick-cooking pantry style recipe that really uses what you’ve got.
Let’s talk about the ingredients.
At first glance, you might not think you can pull this off with only pantry staples, but the fresh herbs on top are misleading.
Let me break the ingredients down for you…
You need prosciutto, eggs, parmesan cheese, garlic, herbs (these can be fresh or dried), orzo pasta, spinach (fresh or frozen), and burrata cheese. Personally, I always have these ingredients on hand. If I don’t have fresh herbs, then I most definitely have dried. And if I don’t have fresh spinach, I have frozen.
So you see? Staples.
Onto the details for this 20 minute Orzo Carbonara.
With a 20 minute cook time, you can imagine this recipe is easy. First things first, you should pull out all of your ingredients. The key to a good carbonara is to serve it right after tossing. So having everything prepped and ready to go before cooking is key.
Start with the prosciutto. I prefer to bake the prosciutto in the oven as it’s hands-off. It also ensures the prosciutto gets evenly cooked and gets crispy all around.
While the prosciutto is cooking, boil the orzo. Then whisk the eggs with parmesan, garlic, and whatever herbs you have on hand. I like to use a mix of basil, thyme, and chives. If you’ve never made a carbonara pasta, it’s a classic Italian pasta dish. It’s unique in that it uses raw eggs. Tossing the raw eggs with hot pasta and plenty of parmesan cheese creates a delicious sauce. The heat from the pasta cooks the eggs and produces the silkiest, smoothest, and creamiest pasta sauce. It’s melt in your mouth good. If you’ve tried my roasted cherry tomato carbonara from many summers back then you know just what I’m talking about.
As soon as the orzo has finished cooking, immediately toss it with the eggs. This step is really important, but don’t worry it’s also really easy. Just be sure to toss, toss, toss for a good minute until the sauce thickens. You’ll then have perfect orzo carbonara.
At this point, I toss in some fresh or frozen spinach (thawed out and squeezed dry). Then serve topped with torn burrata cheese and that extra crispy prosciutto. If you have them on hand, add fresh herbs. If not a simple drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of black pepper over the burrata will do.
And that’s it, simple as can be…
But. So. Very. Delicious. The salty, crispy prosciutto really seals the deal.
PS. I have been sourcing all of my herbs and edible flowers from Gourmet Sweet Botanicals on a weekly basis. Having the fresh herbs and color in my kitchen have made all the difference during this time of “quarantine” cooking.
Substitutions and suggestions…
Of course, if you happen to have other produce on hand, you can really toss in whatever you’ve got. This is a great way to get in your vegetables and use up any herbs that might be going bad in the fridge.
One, roast chopped broccoli or asparagus alongside the prosciutto.
Or two, add grated zucchini or top the orzo with peppery arugula.
Any of these would be delicious. And of course, you don’t have to use orzo, any cut of pasta works. Though I do think the orzo is most delicious.
Biggest bonus? Your kids will love this too, just tell them the green specs are special COVID fighting herbs. Or maybe double the parmesan. In my book adding more cheese is always a good idea…whether you’re a kid or an adult.
watch the how to video:
Lastly, if you make this 20 minute orzo carbonara with crispy prosciutto and burrata, 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!
20 Minute Orzo Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Burrata.
Calories Per Serving: 559 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 3 ounces prosciutto, torn
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried basil)
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (or 1 teaspoon onion powder)
- 1 pound dry orzo pasta (use gluten-free, if needed)
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped (or 6 ounces frozen, thawed spinach)
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 8 ounces burrata or ricotta cheese, at room temperature
- fresh herbs and or microgreens, for serving
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the prosciutto in an even layer. Transfer to the oven and cook 8-10 minutes, until the prosciutto is crisp.2. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, parmesan, garlic, basil, thyme, and chives, in a large serving bowl.3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the orzo until al dente. Before draining, scoop out about 1 cup pasta water, then drain.4. Immediately add the hot orzo to the egg/cheese mixture, tossing quickly (to ensure the eggs do not scramble) until the eggs thicken and create a sauce. Thin the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches your desired consistency. Add the butter and spinach and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Divide the orzo among plates and top with freshly torn burrata cheese, the crispy prosciutto, and fresh herbs. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over top. Enjoy!