This creamy mushroom orzo with thyme is a perfect weeknight dinner option because it’s easy to prepare and oh-so-filling and delicious. It’s a really great quarantine dinner recipe since it doesn’t require a ton of fresh produce.
This creamy mushroom orzo is a favorite in our house. I love how quickly it comes together and how luxurious the sauce is. It’s a perfect option for leftovers too!
For this recipe, I used a base of:
- Sliced baby bella mushrooms
- Diced yellow onion
- Minced red Fresno chili pepper (use crushed red pepper if you can’t find red Fresno)
- Lots and lots of garlic
After the aromatics softened and became, well, aromatic, I added white wine and let it reduce down. From there, I added cream and dry thyme and dry parsley.
I wanted a really thick sauce that stuck to every piece of orzo, so I removed about half a cup of the liquid and added 2 teaspoons flour and whisked until combined. I added it back to the pot and let it thicken. Finally, I added my orzo and tossed it with my rich, thick sauce and it was perfection!
The creamy mushroom orzo with thyme recipe takes less than thirty minutes to throw together and it’s still full of flavor and so easy to prepare!
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Creamy Mushroom Orzo with Thyme
- Large pot
- Wide pot
- 16 ounces dry orzo 3/4 cup pasta cooking water reserved
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion peeled and minced
- 12 ounces baby bella mushrooms trimmed and sliced
- 1 red Fresno chili pepper trimmed and minced (or use crushed red pepper)
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1 teaspoon dry parsley
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the Orzo:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the orzo, stirring as you pour it in to prevent it from sticking. Cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain and set aside.
Sauté Mushrooms and Onions:
- Meanwhile, prepare the creamy sauce. In a wide pot over medium-high heat heat the extra virgin olive oil and the butter until melted and frothy. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for 8-10 minutes until the mushrooms are well-browned and softened.
- Add the minced pepper and garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Cook the Sauce:
- Pour the wine into the pot and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Bring to a boil and cook for 4-5 minutes to reduce slightly.
- Add the heavy cream and pasta cooking water and reduce the heat to low.
- Remove 1/2 cup of the liquid from the pot. Sprinkle the flour over the reserved liquid and whisk until smooth. Pour the slurry back into the pot and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Finish the Creamy Mushroom Sauce:
- Season the sauce with thyme and parsley. Add the cooked orzo and stir to coat with the sauce. Add the lemon juice and season again with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat.
- Divide the cooked orzo between bowls and garnish with lemon rounds, if desired. Enjoy!