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Cheesy Tomato Basil Baked Orzo

This cheesy tomato basil baked orzo is a comforting, cozy side dish that is super versatile and delicious. All the delicious flavors of tomato and basil with tender orzo and lots of parmesan.
5 from 21 votes
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  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 ounces uncooked orzo
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 ½ cups grated mozzarella or italian blend cheeses
  • parmesan cheese, for topping
  • crushed red pepper, for topping
  • fresh basil, for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Melt the butter in an oven-safe skillet or dutch oven. Stir in the orzo and the garlic with the basil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the orzo for a few minutes, stirring often, to toast it.
  • Pour in 1 ½ cups of the stock and the marinara sauce. Stir well. Place the skillet in the oven, uncovered, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
  • Remove the skillet and stir the orzo. Add the remaining ½ cup of stock. Stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top. Stick the skillet back in the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.
  • Remove the skillet and top with parmesan, fresh basil and crushed red pepper before serving.

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