Creamy, Cheesy Lemon Thyme Orzo

This is an easy side dish that goes really well with any kind of meat or meat alternative.

This would be really good with some baked chicken and a salad. It works well for a summer meal and also a cozy winter meal.

It’s a pretty diverse dish. It requires a bit of attention, just needs to be stirred frequently, so it would best be made with something else that you can probably just shove in the oven if you can’t easily multi-task like myself.

But it only takes about 30 minutes total!

Also, you can use any herbs you want. I just chose thyme because we had it in the house and it happened to be available. If you want to make it kid friendly, just leave the herbs out or just put very little.

It’s a very customizable side so get creative!

Creamy Cheesy Lemon Orzo

Super easy lemon orzo with a cheesy twist!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheese, Lemon, Orzo


  • Medium Sauce Pan


  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 4 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 lb Dry Orzo
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 tbsp Thyme
  • 3 Cups Water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Half and Half
  • Pecorino Cheese


  • Heat the butter in the pan on medium heat until melted. Add the garlic and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the orzo in dry and let toast for about 2 minutes or until it starts to brown a little. Add 1/2 cup of water to deglaze the pan. Add the juice of 1 lemon, the thyme (can be dried thyme), salt and pepper. Continue to add water in 1/2 cup increments until soaked up and creamy. Let cook for about 8 minutes (WHILE stirring FREQUENTLY). Add in the half and half when the orzo becomes al dente. Lastly, mix in the cheese and continue to stir until the orzo is fully cooked and the cheese is melted.

hi there, i’m michelle

welcome to my little home on the internet! I'm a Registered Dietitian and am here to share with you evidenced based and realistic ways to better your health for the long haul. Here you'll learn ways to eat that are both practical and sustainable. Enjoy!

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