Side dishes can get pretty boring around our house so I am always on the lookout for a fun new spin on a simple side dish. Orzo pasta tends to be one of our favorite go-to side dish pastas and I love to find easy ways to liven up our traditional side dish fare. This Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Orzo definitely illustrates how the simplest of ingredients can pack just as much of a punch as a more complex dish.
If you haven’t tried orzo pasta, it really is one of my favorite short pastas that is an ingredient in some of my favorite dishes. It stands well alone in Spinach & Tomato Orzo Pasta Salad, offers a delicious accompaniment to my favorite saucy Slow Cooker Pot Roast Italiano, and is a fantastic accompaniment as a Cheesy Orzo with Parmesan Sage Pork Chops for one of my favorite Italian weekend dishes.
This Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Orzo though is sweetly simple with few ingredients and loads of flavor. The sun-dried tomatoes add chewy sweet flavor, the basil and lemon zest add a bright freshness, and the Parmesan cheese adds creaminess to this dish.
Definitely add this fun new dish to your tired side dish rotation and I promise you won’t be disappointed with this easy and simple side.
- 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- ⅓ cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon (zest & juice)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Add orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente.
- Drain and set aside.
- Place basil leaves and sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor.
- Pulse 4 or 5 times until blended.
- In a large bowl, toss together the orzo, basil-tomato mixture, olive oil, the zest of one lemon, the juice of one lemon, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
- Serve warm or chilled.