This balsamic orzo with mushrooms is a little sweet, a little acidic, and a little rich which makes it a perfectly balanced dinner recipe that we loved!
For this balsamic orzo, we make a simple orzo with mushrooms, leeks, and Brussels sprouts and top it with a thick, buttery balsamic sauce.
The mushroom orzo is so easy to prepare and easy to substitute your favorite proteins or vegetables, such as:
- Leeks: Use shallots or a yellow onion
- Mushrooms: Use any variety of mushroom or use eggplant, zucchini, or diced chicken.
- Brussels Sprouts: Any green crunchy vegetable, like asparagus, sugar snap peas, broccolini, or chopped broccoli florets
You can also use any variety of pasta that you like, although a short pasta would be preferable here. Try this recipe out with farfalle, penne, or ditalini.
Balsamic butter is absolutely one of my favorite sauces because of how easy it is to prepare. Simply reduce balsamic vinegar to a thick sauce and whisk in two tablespoons butter. Be sure to use a good quality balsamic from Modena as it will have a delicious flavor. The final result is a luxurious, glossy sauce that is sweet and salty and acidic.
What is your favorite way to use balsamic vinegar? Do you like it on pasta or on chicken? Tell me in the comments!
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Balsamic Orzo with Mushrooms
- Large pot
- Wide pot
- 16 ounces dry orzo
- 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil plus more, if needed
- 2 leeks trimmed, rinsed, and thinly sliced
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms cleaned and sliced
- 16 ounces Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
Balsamic Butter Sauce:
- 1 cup Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Grated parmesan cheese optional
- Herbs, such as basil or parsley, or microgreens optional
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the orzo, stirring as you pour in the orzo to keep it from sticking, and cook until slightly under al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Cook the Vegetables:
- As you wait for the water to boil, cook the vegetables. Heat the cooking oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and leeks and cook for 10 minutes until they are beginning to brown. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Transfer to a bowl.
- If the pot needs more oil, add a teaspoon or two. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the Brussels sprouts. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until they begin to turn golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Deglaze the Pot:
- Return the mushrooms and leeks to the pot of Brussels sprouts. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the wine is almost completely evaporated.
Finish the Mushroom Orzo:
- Add the lemon juice and zest to the pot along with the orzo. Toss to coat and cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and keep warm.
Prepare the Balsamic Butter Sauce:
- While the mushroom orzo is simmering, prepare the balsamic sauce. Add the balsamic vinegar to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the balsamic vinegar is reduced by half and has thickened to a glaze consistency.
- Stir the butter into the balsamic vinegar and whisk until incorporated. Continue whisking until thickened and reduced a bit more, about 3-4 minutes more. Sprinkle with a touch of salt. Turn off the heat.
- Spoon the orzo into bowls and garnish with grated parmesan cheese and microgreens or herbs. Drizzle the balsamic sauce on top. Enjoy!