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Creamy Balsamic Orzo
5 from 6 votes

Creamy Balsamic Orzo

Elegant and the definition of comfort food, my Creamy Balsamic Orzo comes together in 30 minutes.  It's perfect for any night of the week.
Prep Time21 mins
Cook Time9 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 5
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the creamy balsamic dressing:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 3 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Vegenaise, (or mayonnaise)

Everything else:

  • 1 pound orzo
  • 10 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas
  • 2-4 oz mozzarella, sliced or cubed to ½ inch pieces (omit to keep this meal vegan)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced, plus more to garnish

Instructions

Make the orzo

  • Make the orzo according to package instructions. Be sure to salt the pasta water. (I add 1 tsp sea salt per 12 cups of water.)
  • While the orzo cooks, you can prepare the tomatoes, mozzarella (if using) and make the balsamic dressing.

Make the balsamic dressing

  • To a small mixing bowl, add the garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, Vegenaise (or mayonnaise), maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar. Whisk everything together with a fork.
  • Keep whisking until the dressing emulsifies. There should be no separation between the oil and the other ingredients. This could take a minute or two. Just keep whisking until you get there.

Put it all together

  • Once the orzo is done, drain it, and put the orzo back in the pot you cooked it in.
  • While the orzo is still warm, add in the halved tomatoes, followed by the drained chickpeas, then the parsley. Gently fold them into the orzo.
  • Now mix in the Creamy Balsamic Dressing. Start with about ¾ of the dressing. After it's completely mixed into the orzo, taste, and add the remaining dressing, if desired.

Serve and enjoy!

  • Garnish each serving of Creamy Balsamic Orzo with mozzarella and parsley, and serve.

Notes

This dish is vegetarian.
This dish is gluten-free if made with gluten-free pasta.
This dish is vegan if you don't add mozzarella.