Easy orzo pasta with roasted garlic and tomatoes and fresh basil is just what I crave on a hot summer night. In the summer, I’m all about the quick and easy meals that are light and refreshing.
When Cade and I first started the blog I was whisked off on a fun little business trip where we got to try small servings of an entire menu. During the tasting a roasted garlic pasta was served to us with huge whole garlic cloves that were heavily fragrant.
I carefully ate around them only to notice my seat mate was enjoying the entire dish, full cloves of garlic and all. “Do people really eat garlic?” I thought. I mean, I knew it went in dishes but to be an actual component felt odd.
I sliced a chunk off of a clove, swirled and twisted my noodles up around it and the fork and I’ve been sold ever since. The sweetness of the garlic comes out in the roasting time and no, it doesn’t remove the smell off your breath, but it’s worth it!!
Ingredients in this Orzo Recipe
This orzo recipe may give you garlic breath, but we are going to add a few more flavor to it! Here is what you will need:
- Cherry Tomatoes: black cherry, piccolo or Vittoria varieties are our favorites
- Olive Oil: for roasting the tomatoes and cooking the garlic
- Salt and Pepper: for seasoning the roasted tomatoes and for seasoning the whole dish
- Garlic: flavor, flavor, flavor
- Butter: helps pan roast the orzo and adds loads of flavor
- Orzo: sauteing the pasta beforehand adds a delicious nutty flavor
- Lemon Juice: fresh is best
- White Wine: we use cooking wine, but feel free to use whatever brand you want
- Chicken Stock: could easily swap this out for vegetable broth to make this dish vegetarian
- Water: helps cook the orzo
- Basil Leaves: I highly suggest using fresh basil only.
- Parmesan Cheese: freshly grated parm on top is the best
- Red Pepper Flakes: adds heat, add as much as you want!
- Pine Nuts: adds texture and flavor
The measurements for all the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.
How to Make Roasted Garlic Tomato Basil Orzo
This recipe comes together so easily and most of the time is spent waiting for the tomatoes to roast and the orzo to cook. Here are the basic steps:
- Roast the tomatoes.
- Pan roast the garlic and then the orzo.
- Let the orzo simmer in all the flavors.
- Add the liquids to cook the pasta.
- Season to taste and top with the pine nuts, basil and parmesan.
All the details can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post. You can also save or print the recipe from there.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
We have so many recipes that use garlic, tomatoes and basil. It is a classic combination of simple flavors that you can just never go wrong with.
This is a great recipe for summer because it is light and fresh and you can use your garden cherry tomatoes. My favorite!
This is a dish that you can eat hot or cold which makes it a perfect summer salad option. It travels well to BBQs and family get togethers.
Even more garden vegetables could be added to this dish if you desire. Asparagus, zucchini or peas would all be great options. You could also add chunks of grilled chicken to the pasta. It’s so versatile!
What to Serve with It
Orzo is such a great little pasta to carry the bold flavors of roasted garlic and tomatoes. It allows the other ingredients to be the star while still holding the whole dish together. The fresh pops of lemon and fresh basil are so bright, and the crunch of the toasted pine nuts is perfection!
More Orzo Recipes to Try:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently until coated and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
10 ounces Cherry Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat and add the minced/finely chopped garlic. Cook until fragrant and soft but do not let it burn.
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 6 cloves Garlic
Melt the butter in a sauté pan with a high lip over medium-low heat.
2 teaspoons Butter
Add the orzo, and mix well. Stir continuously until the pasta is lightly golden brown, about 4 minutes.
1 3/4 Cups Orzo
Add the lemon juice, white wine, salt and a pinch of pepper and allow to cook for a few minutes.
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice, 1 Tablespoon White Wine, 3/4 teaspoon Salt, Pinch Pepper
Pour in the chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
1 Cup Chicken Stock, 2 1/4 Cups Water
Remove the tomatoes from the oven and add to the orzo, stir and add salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the basil and sprinkle with parmesan, chili flakes and pine nuts.
1 Handful Basil Leaves, Parmesan Cheese, Red Pepper Flakes, Pine Nuts