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Food & Drink


I’ve been cooking several “one pot” recipes lately, and I’m starting to think it’s been a while since I’ve had a tremendous traditional side dish. So, I had an orzo bag in my pantry, and the baby portobellos were on sale the week before, so I cooked up this super easy Parmesan Portobello orzo.

The flavors of this Parmesan Portobello Orzo are easy. Chicken, mushrooms, garlic, broth, and Parmesan. And a bit of seasoning and pepper too. The benefit of keeping the flavors accessible is that this dish can be served alongside many things. I had planned to eat it with chicken, but it can be done with a roast of beef and pork chops. It could also, as I’ve eaten it, just on its own!


Two tablespoons olive oil ($0.32)

Two cloves of garlic ($0.16)

8 oz baby portobello mushrooms ($2.19)

Pinch of salt and black pepper ($0.05)

2 cups uncooked orzo ($1.50)

3 cups chicken broth* ($0.45)

1/3 cup grated Parmesan ($0.55)


Rinse the mushrooms, then cut them into large slices. Chop the garlic. In the meantime, cook the garlic with olive oil inside a huge pan at medium-low heat for one to two minutes until the garlic becomes soft and aromatic. Include the mushrooms, a dash of salt, and freshly cracked pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and release all their water (5-7 hours).

Add the cooked orzo and stock from the chicken to your skillet. Stir it around before putting a lid on top, and allow the dish to rise to boiling. Once it is burning and you’re ready, stir it to remove any pasta stuck inside the pan. Removing the lid, turn the heat to a simmer and let the pasta simmer at a low temperature for about 10 minutes. Stir every halfway through to stop the noodles from sticking.

After 10 minutes, check the orzo to ensure it’s cooked (if not, remove the lid and cook for another few minutes). Mix into the pan to distribute any leftover broth (it will continue to soak through the noodles). After the broth is absorbed and the pan is off the heat.

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Joseph M. Kay

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