This simple one pan recipe is perfect for an easy side dish!
It’s also nutritious and flavorful, one the whole family will like.
Just because it’s WW friendly doesn’t mean everyone can’t enjoy it. My kids love the cheesy broccoli soup from Panera and said this reminds them of it.
What you need to make Cheesy Broccoli Orzo:
- Orzo pasta
- Broccoli florets
- Reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- Fat-free half and half
- Chicken broth (use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
- Onion, carrots, and celery
- Salt and black pepper
Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta that adds a unique texture to the dish. It can be found in most grocery stores in the pasta aisle. It’s a great alternative to traditional rice.
The broccoli florets are packed with vitamins and minerals. It adds a vibrant green color and a delicious crunch to the dish.
I used reduced-fat cheddar cheese, but you can also use reduced-fat sharp cheddar, or cheese of your choice.
The difference between rice and orzo:
Many people may be familiar with rice as a popular staple in many cuisines, but what about orzo? While both rice and orzo are grains, they have distinct differences that make them unique.
Rice is a versatile grain that comes in many varieties such as white, brown, basmati, and jasmine. It is often cooked by boiling it in water until tender, and it can be used as a base for dishes like stir-fries, pilafs, and sushi.
Rice is known for its fluffy texture and ability to absorb flavors from the ingredients it is cooked with.
On the other hand, orzo is a type of pasta that resembles grains of rice. It is made from semolina flour and is typically shaped like a long grain of rice or a small oval.
Orzo is often cooked by boiling it in water or broth until al dente, similar to cooking pasta. It has a slightly chewy texture and a delicate flavor that pairs well with a variety of ingredients.
When it comes to nutritional content, rice and orzo have some differences. While rice is a good source of carbohydrates, orzo offers additional protein due to its semolina flour content.
Orzo also contains more fiber compared to rice, which aids in digestion and helps you feel full for longer.
How to make Cheesy Broccoli Orzo:
Spray a nonstick skillet with olive oil spray. Add the diced onion, celery, and carrots. After 5 minutes add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the orzo and chicken broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil then set the heat to low and cover with a lid.
Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chopped broccoli and fat-free half and half. Cover with the lid and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
This recipe makes 8 servings (1/2 cup per serving).
Click here to track the points on your WW app.
Health benefits of the dish:
The broccoli in this dish adds vitamins A and C, folate, and fiber, which are essential for optimal health. It also contains antioxidants that can help protect your body against cancer and heart diseases.
The orzo is a rich source of carbohydrates that can provide your body with the energy it needs. It’s also low in fat, which makes it a great choice for people looking to manage their weight.
The cheese adds calcium to your diet, benefiting your bone health.
Yield: 8 servings (1/2 cup per serving)
Click here to track the points on your WW app.
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup orzo (uncooked)
- 2 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for a vegetarian option)
- 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
- 1/2 cup fat-free half and half
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Spray a nonstick skillet with olive oil spray. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the minced garlic. Cook 1 minute.
Add the orzo and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add broccoli and half and half. Cover and cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lid, stir in the cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix together until the cheese melts.
Here are some more WW friendly recipes:
If you’re looking for some zero point recipes, check out my post 20 Zero Point Recipes or my post 20 (More) Zero Point Recipes. Both are filled with delicious recipes that won’t cost you a single point! They’re perfect for days when you’re running low on points, or trying to save up points for a night out.
If you’re looking for dessert recipes you can visit 50 Weight Watchers Freestyle Desserts. It’s filled with delicious desserts perfect for Weight Watchers!
Are you looking for a meal plan that’s Weight Watchers friendly? I have over 100 meal plans that you can choose from and I post a new one each week. Click here to check them out!