Cacio e Pepe Orzo

Stop what you are doing and get this on the dinner table! Ah-mazing! We have a few family members who love Cacio e Pepe and will eat it almost anywhere at anytime!! Cacio e Pepe is translated as “pepper and cheese” in most Italian countries. This is a dish you don’t want to complicate as you really want the simplicity to shine. The orzo comes together quickly and is just delightful!

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Cacio e Pepe Orzo

Course: Main Course
Keyword: Under 30 Minutes, Weeknight Meals
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Denise


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 cups orzo
  • 4 1/2 cups broth
  • 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

To Serve:

  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


  • In a large saucepan, melt 3 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Once melted, add shallot and garlic. Cook 5-6 minutes.
  • Lightly season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add remaining butter and orzo. Toast orzo 4-5 minutes or until butter is melted and orzo starts to have a slight nutty aroma.
  • Add broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to low and cover. Cook 10-12 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat.
  • Add heavy cream. Stir well. Add Parmesan, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp lemon juice. Mix well and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed. You want a decent bite of pepper to make it cacio e pepe.
  • Serve immediately. Garnish with extra pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.


Because of the nature of this dish and the creaminess, it will thicken up quickly. If you aren’t serving immediately, or have leftovers, add an extra 1/2 cup of broth when you reheat. Adjust seasoning and cheese as needed.
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