Deliciously Nutritious Cheezy Broccoli Orzo Recipe

Are you ready to take your taste buds on a journey of cheesy goodness and nutritious vegetables? If yes, then this cheezy broccoli orzo vegan recipe is just the perfect one for you. Whether you are new to vegan cuisine or an experienced cook, this recipe is sure to knock your socks off with its irresistible blend of flavors and textures.

As a vegan chef, I believe that plant-based cuisine can be just as scrumptious and indulgent as any meat-based option out there, if not more so. And this cheezy broccoli orzo recipe is a perfect example of my creed. With its creamy texture, delightful cheesy flavor, and tender broccoli florets, it’s hard to believe that it’s entirely plant-based.

This dish can work as a nutritious meal on its own, pair with your favorite protein source for a fulfilling dinner or make an excellent side dish for potlucks or meals with friends and family. Trust me; anyone who tries this dish will be begging for the recipe.

So grab your apron and let’s dive into this mouth-watering vegan adventure.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cheezy Broccoli Orzo(Vegan)
Cheezy Broccoli Orzo(Vegan)

Looking for a delicious and wholesome vegan recipe that is both easy to make and incredibly satisfying? Look no further! This cheezy broccoli orzo recipe is packed with flavor and will leave you feeling full and satisfied after every bite.

There are so many reasons why you will love this recipe. First and foremost, it’s completely vegan, which means you can enjoy it without any guilt or concern about animal products. It’s full of wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients like broccoli, nutritional yeast flakes, and extra virgin olive oil, which also makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their overall health.

But the best part of this recipe is its amazing taste! The cheezy broccoli sauce is thick, creamy, and indulgent (without any actual cheese), thanks to a combination of nutritional yeast flakes, seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, paprika), cornstarch, all-purpose flour, and vegan butter. It pairs perfectly with the tender broccoli florets and comforting orzo pasta.

This dish is versatile and makes a perfect side dish or main course. You can even add your own twist by substituting different veggies like spinach or mushrooms or using flavored orzo like lemon or whole wheat. And if you’re short on time? No worries! This dish can be cooked in just one pot or baked in the oven for a deliciously easy meal.

Trust us: once you try this cheezy broccoli orzo vegan recipe, you won’t be able to get enough!

Ingredient List

“A heaping bowl of savory goodness”

Let’s dive into the ingredients that you will need to make this cheezy broccoli orzo. The food items are easily available in grocery stores and if you are vegan, you might already have most of them at home.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups whole wheat orzo (regular orzo can also be used)
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped into bite-size florets
  • 2 cups of water (for cooking orzo)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for sautéing
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or cornstarch

Note: Nutritional yeast flakes give a cheesy flavor to the dish and can be found at any health food store or online.

The Recipe How-To

“Comfort food at its finest”

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients and their substitutions, let’s move on to the recipe instructions for making Cheezy Broccoli Orzo(Vegan) dish that will leave you wanting more.

Step 1: Prepping the Broccoli

Chop the broccoli florets into bite-size pieces and set aside. Don’t throw away the broccoli stem because it’s edible too. You can chop them and use them in this recipe or save them for later.

Step 2: Cooking the Orzo

In a large pot, bring 16 cups of water to a boil. Add 2 cups of whole wheat orzo and stir occasionally until it’s cooked to al dente texture (around 8-10 minutes). Once done, remove from heat, drain and set aside.

Step 3: Making the Cheezy Broccoli Sauce

In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of vegan butter over medium-high heat.

Then add 1 medium onion (diced) and sauté until translucent (around 4-5 minutes). Next, add chopped broccoli florets and stir occasionally until they soften (around 4-5 minutes).

Sprinkle in 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, then whisk continuously until well combined.

Slowly add in 2 cups of water while still whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens then reduce the heat to low.

Next, add vegan cheddar cheese flavor by sprinkling in 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes, stirring as you go along.

Finally, Sprinkle in some black pepper, seasoning salt to taste.

Step 4: Combine Ingredients

Now that your cheezy broccoli sauce is made, It’s time to combine all ingredients together.
Add your drained pasta into saucepan containing cheezy broccoli sauce stir well until well combined.

Voila! Your Cheezy Broccoli Orzo(Vegan) recipe is now ready to be served!

Substitutions and Variations

“Say cheese…vegan-style!”

One of the best things about cooking is that recipes can be tailored to suit your individual tastes and dietary needs. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try with the Cheezy Broccoli Orzo recipe:

– Gluten-free: You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free orzo instead of regular orzo. Additionally, you can substitute all-purpose flour with cornstarch for thickening the sauce.

– Dairy-Free: The recipe is already vegan, but if you want to make it even more dairy-free, you can use vegan cheese shreds like Daiya, Violife, or Follow Your Heart.

– Spicier: If you like a little heat in your dishes, add a pinch of cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes or chili powder to the spice mix.

– Adding Extra Veggies: This recipe is already loaded with broccoli florets, but it can be an excellent opportunity to get some of your other favorite veggies in too. Try adding sliced mushrooms, diced peppers, or Brussels sprouts alongside the broccoli.

– Lemon Orzo: For a citrusy spin on this dish, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over your finished orzo before serving. That tangy taste will balance well with the richness of cheezy broccoli.

– One-Pot Meal: You can turn this recipe into a one-pot meal by adding chickpeas or white beans into the cooking process for extra protein and texture.

No matter what variation you choose to use for this recipe, it will still end up as a hearty and flavorful dish that everyone can enjoy!

Serving and Pairing

“Broccoli never tasted so good”

Now that your cheezy broccoli orzo is ready, it’s time to enjoy this irresistible vegan dish! The first thing you’ll notice is the amazing aroma that will whet your appetite. Serve the hot and creamy orzo in deep bowls and sit back as the compliments come pouring in.

Cheezy broccoli orzo is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own as a satisfying, healthy meal or paired with other dishes to make a complete spread. It pairs well with a variety of sides such as roasted vegetables, salad, or garlic bread.

If you’re hosting a special gathering, the cheezy broccoli orzo makes a fantastic side dish, especially for potluck events. Your guests will fall in love with the creamy texture and unique flavors of this vegan delicacy.

To elevate the dining experience further, it’s wise to consider pairing the cheezy broccoli orzo with a crisp white wine. A Sauvignon Blanc would complement this dish perfectly by bringing out its citrusy notes.

In conclusion, the cheezy broccoli orzo is an excellent addition to your vegan cookbook. Its flexibility makes it an ultimate one-pot kind of recipe that is perfect for weeknight dinners and meal prep. Try it out today and discover why it’s gained popularity as one of the best vegan recipes out there!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“The perfect blend of creamy and crunchy”

Making this Cheezy Broccoli Orzo in advance is a great idea as it allows the flavors to mingle, resulting in an even more delicious dish. You can cook the broccoli ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Additionally, you can cook the whole recipe ahead, allow it to cool, and then store it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to five days.

Reheating the Cheezy Broccoli Orzo is an absolute breeze. You can reheat it either on the stove top or in the microwave. For stovetop reheating, heat a small amount of olive oil or vegan butter over medium heat until hot, then add the orzo, along with a splash of water if necessary. Stir frequently until heated through. Please note that when reheating on the stovetop, you may need to add some extra liquid to loosen up the dish as it may have dried out a bit in the fridge.

When reheating in a microwave, transfer the desired serving size to a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a damp paper towel or microwave-safe lid. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

Keep in mind that reheated orzo dishes tend to be thicker and stiffer than freshly made dishes; this is because pasta absorbs any liquid surrounding it, so you may need to add some broth, milk, or water while reheating to restore some creaminess.

Overall, this dish is perfect for meal prepping as it’s easy to make and stores well. You can make adjustments depending on how long you plan on keeping it- if you intend on storing it for a longer period of time, make sure to freeze instead of refrigerating it. Overall, whether you’re meal prepping for work or running errands- this recipe’s got your back!

Tips for Perfect Results

“Orzo, the unsung hero of pasta dishes”

One key to making this Cheezy Broccoli Orzo recipe a hit is to cook the orzo pasta until it is perfectly al-dente. You don’t want it too gummy or overcooked, which will result in a mushy dish. It’s best to keep an eye on the orzo and check it frequently for doneness while cooking.

Another crucial factor is not to add the broccoli too early when cooking the orzo. To maintain its texture and vibrant color, add the broccoli florets during the last three minutes of cooking only. Also, plunge them immediately into ice water after steaming to stop the cooking process.

When making the cheezy sauce, use medium heat to prevent burning and sticking on the stovetop. Stir continuously until you get a smooth texture, and avoid leaving it unattended.

Nutritional yeast flakes may not be familiar to everyone, so make sure that you add enough to give it that ‘cheesy’ flavor. Use a tablespoon as a baseline measurement before adding more according to your preferences.

If you prefer a milder cheese taste, you can swap the nutritional yeast with grated vegan cheddar or another type of non-dairy cheese that melts easily.

For the perfect consistency of your cheezy broccoli orzo dish, let it sit for at least five minutes before serving. This helps distribute the sauce evenly and locks in all the flavors.

Lastly, for optimal results, I recommend using whole-wheat orzo pasta over regular ones. It’s healthy and has a nuttier flavor that goes well with this dish’s earthy tones.

With these helpful tips, you’ll surely end up with a mouthwatering cheezy broccoli orzo vegan recipe that everyone will love. It’s simple yet bursting with flavor – truly one of my favorite one-pot dishes!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this vegan Cheezy Broccoli Orzo recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves delicious and healthy meals that are easy to prepare. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or just looking to add more plant-based meals into your diet, this recipe is one that you don’t want to miss. With its combination of wholesome ingredients, rich flavour and creamy texture, it’s sure to delight your taste buds and make any mealtime a special occasion.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations and substitutions if you feel like getting creative in the kitchen. And be sure to share your feedback and tips with us here at the Vegan Cookbook.

Remember that cooking is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. Enjoying the process of preparing a meal can be just as rewarding as enjoying the final product. So take your time, savour each step and have fun creating your own unique version of this amazing dish.

Thank you for reading this article and we hope that you’ll soon be savouring every bite of your delicious Cheezy Broccoli Orzo!

Cheezy Broccoli Orzo(Vegan)

Cheezy Broccoli Orzo(Vegan) Recipe

A deliciously cheesy tasting broccoli and orzo dish.This recipe was created to mimic Rice-a-Roni's Broccoli Au Gratin, a favorite before going vegan. This dish is very quick. It will be on the table in less than 30 minutes. Only 5 grams of fat and packed with over 11 grams of fiber per serving! Adapted from My Vegan Cookbook.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Vegan
Calories 124.7 kcal


  • 16 cups water (for cooking orzo)
  • 2 cups whole wheat orzo
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon light vegan butter
  • 1 1/2 cups plain rice milk
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground marjoram
  • 1 pinch garlic powder


  • In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Chop broccoli into bite size pieces and put into pot with water. Cook for 6 minutes and fish out with a large slotted spoon and set aside. Now pour orzo into the same pot and cook for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • While the orzo is cooking prepare the cheeze sauce. In a blender place; olive oil, vegan butter, rice milk, flour, corn starch, paprika, onion powder, seasoned salt, sea salt, black pepper, marjoram and garlic powder. Blend until smooth.
  • After the orzo has finished cooking, drain the water completely. Place pot back on the stove and turn heat down to medium to low. Pour cheeze mixture in with the orzo and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off heat and let stand for 10 minutes before eating. You can add the broccoli to the orzo and mix it together or eat it separately.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 757gCalories: 124.7kcalCarbohydrates: 17.4gProtein: 9.8gFat: 3.9gSaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 449.1mgFiber: 7.3gSugar: 1.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy, European, Greek, Vegan, Weeknight
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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