This Carrot, Broccoli and Cheese Orzo is a quick and healthy recipe that’s a great alternative to the usual pasta dishes you may find yourself making. It can also be easier to eat for little ones and the leftovers are great to use in the lunch box.

Carrot Broccoli Cheese Orzo recipe from Weelicious.comPin

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 is always on the hunt for new and interesting recipes to feed his kids who he has encouraged from an early age to be balanced eaters by trying to always expose them to a wide variety of new foods. He told me that he uses a lot of orzo, a rice-shaped pasta, which I’d not made in a long time but subsequently rediscovered my love for.

Carrot Broccoli Cheese Orzo recipe from Weelicious.comPin

As much as I love to cook, being in the kitchen for more than 30 minutes (maximum!) isn’t always desirable let alone a possibility, so it’s essential for me to come up with lots of quick and easy recipes that I can count on to satisfy my entire family. The beauty of this dish is that I can 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 together until the orzo and veggie mixture is soft and has a rich cheesy flavor. It takes no time to get on the table and you have a lot of flexibility in terms of what types of vegetables you use, depending on what’s in season or your families preferences are. You can even try adding mushrooms or sliced almonds for a bit of crunch if you’re so inclined.

My friend’s kids love his version of this dish and I was so happy to see that my kids felt the same way about my take on it.

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Carrot, Broccoli and Cheese Orzo

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Servings: 4 servings
Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

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 kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions 

  • Place shallot and garlic in food processor and pulse to chop.
  • Add baby carrots and broccoli florets to the food processor and pulse, scraping down the sides half way until finely chopped.
  • 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.
  • Add the salt, water and broth to the pot and cook over medium heat for 10
  • minutes uncovered, or until the liquid starts to evaporate and the mixture thickens.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.

Nutrition

Sodium: 650mg | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 2g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Calories: 200kcal | Fat: 9g | Protein: 8g | Carbohydrates: 23g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

Comments

  1. Made this for dinner for my picky eater and he loved it! I added some chopped up shrimp in the last 2 minutes of cooking.

  2. I make something similar but using rice and cheddar cheese. This is way better. Much creamier than rice. Our new favorite.

  3. 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.

  4. […] I keep these dry in the pantry so that I can cook it any day of the week. I also cook a bunch on the weekends so that I have them at the ready to mix into any manner of meals. Carrot Broccoli Cheese Orzo. […]

  5. 17 recipes to satisfy your pasta cravings | Everyfoodrecipes, cooking tips, and how-to food videos—all rated and reviewed by millions of home cooks,make the perfect birthday cake, or plan your next holiday dinner. says:

    […] in a big bowl of pasta. Whether its tossed with veggies and a lemon juice sauce like the Carrot Broccoli Cheese Orzo from Weelicious above, fresh from the garden tomatoes, meaty pasta sauce, or a homemade cream […]

  6. […] in a large play of pasta. Whether a tossed with veggies and a lemon extract salsa like the Carrot Broccoli Cheese Orzo from Weelicious above, uninformed from a garden tomatoes, juicy pasta sauce, or a homemade cream […]

  7. 17 recipes to satisfy your pasta cravings – The Express | Everyfoodrecipes, cooking tips, and how-to food videos—all rated and reviewed by millions of home cooks,make the perfect birthday cake, or plan your next holiday dinner. says:

    […] in a big bowl of pasta. Whether its tossed with veggies and a lemon juice sauce like the Carrot Broccoli Cheese Orzo from Weelicious above, fresh from the garden tomatoes, meaty pasta sauce, or a homemade cream […]

  8. 17 recipes to satisfy your pasta cravings – The Times | Everyfoodrecipes, cooking tips, and how-to food videos—all rated and reviewed by millions of home cooks,make the perfect birthday cake, or plan your next holiday dinner. says:

    […] in a big bowl of pasta. Whether its tossed with veggies and a lemon juice sauce like the Carrot Broccoli Cheese Orzo from Weelicious above, fresh from the garden tomatoes, meaty pasta sauce, or a homemade cream […]

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

  10. 17 Recipes to Satisfy Your Pasta Cravings | Everyfoodrecipes, cooking tips, and how-to food videos—all rated and reviewed by millions of home cooks,make the perfect birthday cake, or plan your next holiday dinner. says:

    […] in a big bowl of pasta. Whether its tossed with veggies and a lemon juice sauce like the Carrot Broccoli Cheese Orzo from Weelicious above, fresh from the garden tomatoes, meaty pasta sauce, or a homemade cream sauce. Any way you […]

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

  12. 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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. […] saw this recipe on Weelicious and thought it sounded healthy & fast, so I made it. It didn’t disappoint! Ada ate a […]

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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 🙁

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

  26. Texas…

    […]Weelicious ™ – Fast, Easy & Fresh Homemade Home Made Baby Food Babyfood Recipes, Toddler Food and recipes for the entire family! » Blog Archive » Carrot, Broccoli & Cheese Orzo[…]…

  27. […] Recipe: http://b12.ba4.myftpupload.com/2011/03/08/carrot-broccoli-cheese-orzo/ […]

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

  30. 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.

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

    […] other dishes that he will eat, so after researching a bit I just came across the following recipe, Carrot, Broccoli, & Cheese Orzo.  It looks delicious, and it will be a perfect lunch item for […]

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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 :-)!

  35. 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.

  36. 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 🙂

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

  38. 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. 🙂

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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!

  42. 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.

  43. 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!

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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!

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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!

  50. 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.

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

  52. 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!

  53. 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.

  54. 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!!!

  55. 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…..

  56. 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!

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