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Orzo Mac and Cheese Recipe

This creamy Orzo Mac and Cheese packs a ton of flavor in every bite! It's savory, comforting, and so easy to make. The best part is that it comes together in less than 30 minutes!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course, Side
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 427 kcal


  • Stovetop


  • 2 ½ cups orzo
  • 3 tablespoon butter*
  • 4 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups milk*
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar*
  • 1 cup shredded smoked gouda


Cook orzo

  • Cook your orzo in boiling salted water until al dente, following the packaging instructions. In the meantime, make the sauce.


  • Into a medium pot or a cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Once it starts to gently bubble, add the flour and whisk until a paste is formed. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes, bubbling gently.

Cheese sauce

  • Gradually add the mix while mixing constantly to prevent clumps from forming. Add in the dijon mustard (optional), ground nutmeg (optional), garlic powder (optional), salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
  • Add the shredded cheese and use a spatula to stir until it melts.
  • Add the cooked orzo and stir until it's well coated. At this point, you can taste and adjust the flavor if needed, maybe adding more salt or black pepper if desired. Serve right away!


Storage Instructions
Fridge: Let your leftovers cool to room temperature. Then, transfer to a container and cover with a lid. Save in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezer: Let your leftovers cool to room temperature. Then, transfer to a container and cover with a lid. Freeze for 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.
To reheat
Stovetop: Add mac and cheese to a small pot with a splash of water. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until warmed through.
Microwave: Add your mac and cheese to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1-2 minutes or until warmed through.
To make this recipe vegan, use vegan butter, plant-based milk, and vegan cheese.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients, and with olive oil.
Keyword cheddar cheese, mac and cheese, orzo, pasta