Orzo casserole makes delicious side dish

January 23, 1991

Inexpensive Orzo is a simple pasta, made from wheat flour, that can be used in many recipies. Orzo is found in many Greek dishes, including lamb or tomato stuffing recipies. Greeks also serve orzo in place of rice, serving it with butter and Parmesan cheese. At first glance, orzo is hardly distinguishable from long grain rice and is prepared in a similar manner.

In this recipe the orzo is first toasted in butter, giving it a nutty flavor. The soup mix, combined with garlic and mushrooms, creates a savory flavor that's perfect to serve as a side dish instead of rice.

Orzo Casserole

1 envelope onion recipe soup mix or onion-mushroom soup mix

3 1/4 cups water

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups orzo macaroni

6 ounces white mushrooms or shitake mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Throughly combine soup mix with water, set aside.

In three-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat and cook garlic with orzo, stiring constantly, 2 1/2 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in soup mixture. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered ten minutes. Add mushrooms to saucepan, do not stir. Simmer covered ten minutes. Stir in parsley. Turn into serving casserole. Liquid will not be totally absorbed. Let stand about ten minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Makes about ten one-half cup servings.

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