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Carrot, Broccoli and Cheese Orzo

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A dear friend of ours who is an amazing dad to twins (and a really good cook to boot) turned me on to the idea of this recipe. He's always looking for new and interesting recipes to feed his kids and encourages them to be balanced eaters through the variety of food he exposes them to. He uses a lot of orzo, a rice-shaped pasta, which I've rediscovered my love for.

As much as I love to cook, being in the kitchen for more then 30 minutes isn't always desirable or a possibility, so it's essential for me to come up with quick and easy recipes that I can count on to satisfy my family. For this dish, I just toss the veggies in my food processor and pulse them into tiny pieces (which cuts down on the prep time having to chop everything) and then cook all the ingredients until the orzo and veggie mixture is soft and has a rich cheesy flavor.

My friend's kids love his version of this dish and I was so happy to see Kenya and Chloe felt the same way about mine.

Carrot, Broccoli & Cheese Orzo  (serves 4)

  • Prep Time: 1 mins,
  • Cook Time: 14 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
A dear friend of ours who is an amazing dad to twins (and a really good cook to boot) turned me on to the idea of this recipe. He's always looking for new and interesting recipes to feed his kids and encourages them to be balanced eaters through the...

Ingredients

  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 cup white or whole wheat orzo
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preparation

  1. 1. Place shallot and garlic in food processor and pulse to chop.
  2. 2. Add baby carrots and broccoli florets to the food processor and pulse, scraping down the sides half way until finely chopped.
  3. 3. In a large stock pot, heat 2 tbsp of butter or olive oil and sauté the chopped vegetables, raw orzo and salt for 4 minutes stirring continuously.
  4. 4. Add the salt, water and broth to the pot and cook over medium heat for 10
  5. minutes uncovered, or until the liquid starts to evaporate and the mixture thickens.
  6. 5. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
  7. 6. Serve.
Carrot, Broccoli & Cheese Orzo

Nutrition Information

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Comments






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  7. Andrea

    February 28, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Just made this for dinner tonight. It’s delicious. My husband, three year old and one year old are going to love it!

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  9. dawnpolk

    February 21, 2014 at 11:27 am

    love this one! thank you for sharing all of these great recipes!

  10. Carrie

    December 10, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    This recipe is simple and easy and tastes great! And between frozen broccoli and baby carrots, its mostly stuff I have on hand anyways.

  11. M.T.

    December 10, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I just made it for the first time tonight. Gosh, it’s delicious and easy!

  12. bschulman

    December 6, 2013 at 1:37 am

    My 1.5 year old (and my husband and I!) loved this! It tastes like “comfort food” but is healthy! A few changes I made: didn’t use shallot, but used some dried onions I had on hand; I didn’t use a food processor (with a decent knife, it was easy enough to chop the veggies– and a little less cleanup); used veggie broth instead of chicken broth. Awesome, will make it to the regular rotation for sure!

  13. Tasha

    November 26, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Easy, healthy and delicious. My toddler enjoyed it!

  14. forevertasha

    November 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Soooooo good – YUM!

  15. Tristen d

    September 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    yum

  16. Sara

    August 10, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    This is my tot’s favorite dish and the reason I became a devoted fan of weelicious. It wasn’t my fav at first but now I am in love with it. Yummy. We usually add in a parsnip or two for even more flavor.

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  18. hopesicle

    June 10, 2013 at 10:43 am

    This is so delicious! I didn’t use shallots, and I used garlic powder instead of garlic. I didn’t have baby carrots so I just used regular ones. I think it would be even better w/ sharp cheddar cheese but I’m sure it would add extra fat too.

  19. Danielle

    February 2, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Great recipe. My kids love it and its so easy.

  20. Natasha Garcia

    January 14, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Please put me on your mailing list. I have a picky eater that only wants to eat bananas, rice and peanut butter and strawberry sandwitches

  21. Sarah

    December 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Sadly, not a hit with my family. I had to use an onion instead of shallot (that’s what I had on hand) and I think that made the flavor too strong. I will try again another time with shallot instead of onion.

  22. msdrea

    November 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Do I add the salt while cooking? I don’t see what to do with salt in the recipe

    • catherine

      November 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Yes! Add it with the water and broth. I’ve updated the recipe, thanks!

      • msdrea

        November 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

        Thanks just made it and she loved it! Not surprised! Does this freeze well?

  23. mrsdhurd

    November 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Amazing!!! LOVED IT

  24. Rebecca

    July 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I have made this several times and it is always delicious! I always substitute half of a small onion for the shallot (just because I never think to buy shallots). I always use a whole can of chicken broth and enough water to equal 2 1/2 cups of total liquid. The last time I used 1 cup of zucchini instead of carrot and this made the dish the best ever. I did add a few carrots and 1 cup of broccoli, but I think it was the zucchini that put it over the top! Excellent!

  25. Nicole

    May 12, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Yummy! Made this as a risotto since that was what I had on hand. Also, used onion instead of shallot, again based on what I had on hand. It turned out great and my 16 month old loved it! I used frozen broccoli with fresh carrots, turned out great. My husband also really liked it. Will definitely make again and will try with orzo, which would make it faster & easier!

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  27. Lynn

    February 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I have made this several times with great success. have added smoked cheese to it. And used ham broth. Tonight, I failed. I subbed macaroni for the orzo. Not good. Star pasta is a good sub. Not macaroni. Just in case anyone else wants to try it! I

  28. Naomi G.

    February 8, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Not bad. Grew on me the more I ate it. Creamy and salty comfort food. I used wheel shaped pasta to make it easier for the little fingers. A whole box and kept stirring and adding water, like making risotto. I would add extra veggies, and some beans next time. I like how the broth thickens up.

  29. Amber Davret

    January 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    This is one of my go-to recipes. I have made it with endless variations too- adding chicken, different veggies, different cheese. It’s hard to go wrong and so easy and fast.

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  32. Anne

    January 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Very disappointed in how this turned out. I am not one to waste food, but after my son didn’t eat it I tried it and it was not good. I then had my husband eat leftovers and threw out the rest :(

  33. Mama

    January 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I made this for my 16 month old kid. It was SO good I would make it again whether she was around or not!

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  37. Aline Arantes

    July 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I did not have Orzo or chicken broth, but I have boiled some chicken seasoned with garlic and fresh mint and used some of the water to make the sauce. I cooked whole wheat spaghethi and added the sauce along with pieces of the cooked chicken. My 1 year old and my 3 years old ate it all. I will have it for dinner after they have gone to bed! Great recipe! Can’t wait to try the original one!

  38. jellyjello

    July 12, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    this is sooo great! my 1yo is asking for more! i love it too! i chopped n grated the veggies since she is afraid of the food processor right now but still quick n easy! thank you again!

  39. s_hart

    May 29, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Just finished this for lunch with my 2 and 1/2 year old son- we both loved it thanks!!!

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  41. Krista

    May 3, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    THis was delicious. I used broccoli slaw and just chopped it up finer. Took 30 seconds.

  42. Raheel

    April 17, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I’ve made this recipe a few times and my daughter loves it! I only just read the comments though and noticed someone asked about freezing. I have frozen this recipe. i just put it in to baby cubes and ice cube trays and it freezes really well as well as defrosts well. I actually add more stock then the recipe calls for so that it’s moist after I defrost.

  43. Pingback: Carrot, Broccoli, & Cheese Orzo | Nutritious Recipes for Babies, Toddlers, and Beyond

  44. Elizabeth

    April 3, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I didn’t have brocolli on hand, so I used red pepper instead. hubby and I liked it a lot, little man was ok with it until he came across a bigger piece of carrot. Will try this again for sure.

  45. Jessica

    March 30, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    I made this tonight and it was fantastic. We’re going on vacation soon so the cupboards are a bit bare. I used half alphabet soup pasta and half quinoa. The letters were fun for my toddler and the quinoa ensured she got her protein since i was betting on her not eating her tilapia. Best of all, it’s a complete lunch for her tomorrow!

  46. Julie

    March 29, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    my son LOVED this. he scarfed it up so fast, i had to make sure the orzo wasn’t going up the nostrils lol (they are the perfect size to fit right up there!) thanks for posting :-)!

  47. Sonya

    March 25, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Thank you for a great recipe. My 19 month old ate it right up as did my husband. This will definitely go into our rotation.

  48. Catherine

    March 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I made this yesterday with several substitutions. I didn’t have the shallot or Parm cheese so I omitted them from the recipe. I didn’t have baby carrots so I substituted in 3 regular size peeled carrots. I defrosted some frozen broccoli inplace of fresh. My DS is 21 months old so I just cut up the carrots in chunks and left the broccoli uncut and added them to the pot(both were very tender as an end product). I used ww orzo to boost nutrition. I only used 1 cup of orzo with 1 cup of LS chicken broth and 1 cup of water. Because of all of these substitutions it took about 8 min longer to let the liquid to cook down but it came out creamy and delicious. Another Weelicious delicious recipe :-)

  49. Amy H.

    March 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    This was a good recipe but my dish turned out more runny than the picture looks. Next time I will add less water.

  50. Elizabeth

    March 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Do you think this would freeze well?

    • catherine

      March 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      Unfortunately, it would not. You can hold it in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. :)

  51. Sarah

    March 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    I love this, it’s so yummy! I used a little bit of onion because I didn’t have any shallots, and that seemed to work just fine. Also, I misread the recipe and only added 1/2 c water (so 2 cups liquid total) and it was still creamy, tender and delicious. Unfortunately, my 23 month old son didn’t care for it, but he did swallow the bite he took of it rather than spitting it out so he couldn’t have disliked it too much. I think it had more to do with the salmon that I served it with – he devoured that and it probably filled him up. By the way, this goes great with salmon. My husband and I are not really big salmon fans (trying hard to learn to like it since it’s so good for us and really want our son to be exposed to it early so he’ll hopefully continue enjoying it), but if you have a bite of the salmon with the orzo you can’t even taste it. :)

  52. GreenwichMommy

    March 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Everyone loved this one…Thank you for yet ANOTHER keeper!

  53. Jacquelyn

    March 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    We have tried this twice, and think it’s great. The first time, I made it as the directions indicated, and my husband and I really enjoyed it. Today I made it with cheddar cheese instead, and I have to say I like it a little bit better.

    Thank you for this recipe.

  54. January

    March 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    We are enjoying this right now, so so good, so creamy. I did not have orzo, so I used stelline (tiny stars). This is a keeper, it is a great lunch and it will make a perfect side dish to grilled chicken.

  55. Melissa

    March 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Any ideas for a non dairy substitute for the cheese? We’re having to take dairy out of my sons diet bc of some digestive issues and he LOVES cheese so trying to discover some non dairy substitutes for the little guy.

    • Corey

      November 7, 2011 at 8:16 pm

      Hi,

      I just omit the cheese all together for my dairy and egg allergic 20 month old. He LOVES this recipe. It is one of the few guaranteed recipes to get vegetables in him. The few other changes I make too are to use rotini pasta instead of the orzo (I find it’s easier for him to pick up), and I use 2.5/3 cups dry pasta and about 4 cups of broth.

      Thank you for this great recipe!

    • Megan

      May 8, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      I think it would be good without any cheese. I tried it after it thickened up but before putting the cheese in and it tasted great and was still creamy. It honestly doesn’t taste that much different with the cheese in it. It only adds a little flavor (or maybe that is just because I use buillon to make my broth instead of already made broth so it tastes stronger?)

      So make it without any cheese and see if you like it.

    • Christy

      March 10, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      Our daughter has a dairy allergy and we run into the same problem. Nutritional yeast is a good alternative to parmesan cheese, although I’ve only cooked with it a couple times. You can find it at health food stores or online. It’s deactivated yeast and from what I understand, is very good for you as well. I’m interested in trying this recipe with it. I don’t know the proper substitution, though. I think I’d sprinkle a very little in to start. I’d love to know if you find another substitute!

  56. Amber

    March 9, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Made this for dinner last night. My 16 month old really loved it, as did my husband. I saved some for lunch today and it really tastes good cold as well. Thanks for the great recipe. I’ll be making this again real soon.

  57. Casey

    March 9, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was loved by all, I am thankful that I doubled the recipe. I think my husband ate 1/2 of the recipe all by himself, he loved it!

  58. Rachel

    March 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Made this today for lunch. My 2yr old gobbled it up and so did I, LOL. :) Thank you!

  59. Jill

    March 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    this is like rice-a-roni – only better! Thanks for the food processing idea…perfect! :)

  60. esther feldsher

    March 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    wow catherine, sounds like you have some incredibly talented, dedicated and innovative friends! so jealous. for our veggie family, we substitute veg. broth for the chicken broth.

  61. Amy

    March 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    I just made this and my entire family loves it!

  62. anahita

    March 9, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I use orzo a lot too. I usually make a nice pasta sauce with either meat or chicken and all sorts of veggies, blend everything down and then finish off the cooking with orzo in it. My 2yr old loves it. He thinks it’s rice ;) I make sure to leave it nice & juicy, not dry. That’s the secret.

  63. Julia's Child

    March 9, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Yum! I just found some whole wheat orzo, finally, and I cannot wait to try this.
    S.

  64. Sooz

    March 9, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I made this last night for my daughter’s lunch today and it was so easy to make especially using the food processor to do the chopping. Thank you!

  65. Lesley

    March 9, 2011 at 5:16 am

    Made this last night. Myself, Daddy and Dannell (2) LOVED this!!! Yummy!!!!

  66. Noelle

    March 8, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    She ate it! She ate it! My very picky 13 month old ate something with carrot in it. Thank you so much for this idea.

  67. Kari

    March 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Sweet! Just figured out what we’re having for lunch today. Thank you! :)

  68. jen

    March 8, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Will this freeze well in containers in individual servings? I can’t wait to try this with my little one!

    • Erin

      March 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      I am also wondering if this can be frozen?

  69. yeni

    March 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Great idea! My 3yo will only eat one-pot type of meals, so this is perfect for him.

  70. Erin

    March 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    The food processor idea is AWESOME!!! That will save me so much time. I have 14 month old twins and a 3 year old…I try to chop things small enough when I’m cooking so my girls can eat whatever I cook right out of the pot but it takes soooo long. I can’t wait to try this recipe and the get the food processor going!!!!

    PS. My 3 year old is a picky little boy and so far 99% of your recipes have been a hit with him :). My girls are eating me out of house and home and have LOVED everything!

  71. Ursula

    March 8, 2011 at 10:26 am

    This is totally off subject but a friend of mine just sent me a clip of a video & before the video there was a nice & easy commercial…with you in it! I was like, wait a minute…isn’t that Catherine? Cool commercial. Congrats.

    • Ashlee

      March 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      So it was you – I saw the commercial too and thought so!

    • catherine

      March 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks you:)

  72. Karen

    March 8, 2011 at 9:28 am

    OMG, this looks so good. I can’t wait to make this for my 20 month old. She’s going to LOVE this. Thank you as always fir the best recipes, I can’t wait for your book to come out!!!

  73. Lisa

    March 8, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Hi Catherine,

    My son just turned 1 yesterday and I’d like to try this recipe…What type of chicken broth would you recommend? Awesome site by the way…always looking forward to see what’s new! Thanks…..

    • Stacy

      March 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      I save a lot of money making my own chicken broth. Plus, then I know exactly what is in it :) I roast a chicken at least once a week and then use the carcass to make broth. I freeze the broth in a variety of portions for convenience (using pint and quart sized mason jars,and silicone muffin pans) http://givinguponacleanhouse.blogspot.com/2009/12/kid-friendly-super-easy-chicken.html

      I can’t wait to try this recipe!!

    • catherine

      March 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      I recommend low sodium chicken broth, I usually buy mine from trader joes :)

  74. Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}

    March 8, 2011 at 8:23 am

    This looks tasty. My daughter won’t eat food all mixed together like that yet. Everything must be deconstructed. I hope this phase ends soon so I can make dishes like this for her!

    • Heather

      July 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      any luck? how old is she? mine is 2 1/2 – great eater, but same issues with mixed foods

      • Dalton

        February 5, 2014 at 12:26 am

        What I find so inrniestteg is you could never find this anywhere else.