Creamy Bacon and Gruyère Orzo

creamy bacon gruyere orzo recipe

Comfort Food Alert! I made this over the weekend because I had a half box of Orzo pasta in my cupboard, half a package of bacon and some Gruyère cheese that I’d been craving last time I was at the grocery store. Lucky for me, all of this came together in a creamy, dreamy one-pan meal! Did I mention it only takes about 20 minutes to make?

Creamy Bacon and Gruyère Orzo Recipe

8 slices bacon – cooked and chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves – minced
1-1/2 cup uncooked Orzo pasta
2-1/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup Gruyere cheese
4-5 basil leaves

I start this by getting my bacon ready. Pre-heat your oven to 400-degrees.

If you’ve never baked your bacon then you’re really over complicating your life! To make mine, I actually lay it flat on a metal rack which is placed on a foil lined baking sheet. Less cleanup and the metal racks can just get thrown in the dishwasher!

uncooked bacon

Bake your bacon at 400-degrees for about 15-20 minutes until it’s just at the crispy point.

cooked bacon

Once your bacon is cooked, let it cool then chop it into small pieces. Set aside.

Start the pasta by melting your butter on medium high heat. Add in your chopped garlic and cook for one minute.

Add your uncooked orzo and cook while stirring for about two minutes.

raw orzo

Add your chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer and cover your pan.

orzo recipe

Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender. You’ll still have some liquid leftover even after the pasta is cooked and that’s great! It will be a nice starchy liquid that serves as a sauce.

cooked orzo

Next you’ll add your cheese, bacon and basil and stir until combined. If it’s a little thick, add a bit more chicken broth. And that is IT! You’re done!

bacon gruyere basil orzo

gruyere bacon orzo

creamy bacon gruyere orzo

We ate this as a quick lunch, but it would also be good with some chicken breasts and a little veggie side. Try this Grilled Basil Garlic Chicken from A Family Feast. And since your oven would already be pre-heated to 400-degrees, I recommend some Roasted Green Beans.

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Cucumber Basil Fizz Cocktail

cucumber basil cocktail recipe

I started my first herb garden this year. I named my first two little herb sprouts after two of my good friends in Chicago, Katie and Caitlin. I nurtured them for a month and Katie and Caitlin grew into a whole bunch of thyme and rosemary!

I also planted basil and cilantro in another planter and have had some success, specifically with the basil! A little too successful actually. I realized it was getting a little out of control, but I didn’t really know what to do with it once it had grown. I googled ‘what do you do with basil after you’ve grown it?’ and got my first tutorial on pruning herbs. The next step was to ask my friend Lenna to come over and PLEASE help me taste test some cocktails made with my home grown basil. She didn’t put up a fight (thanks Lenna!)

We played around with a few measurements and had three cocktails (each… oops) and I think we came up with a winner!

Cucumber Basil Fizz Cocktail Recipe

3 oz. vodka
1 oz. lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
2 basil leaves
1 slice cucumber
2-3 oz. soda water

Start by muddling your cucumber and basil. I honestly don’t have a muddler (it’s on my registry, I swear!), so I just used a wooden spoon.

basil cucumer cocktail

cucumber basil cocktail ingredients

Add your vodka, lime juice and simple syrup and stir to combine. Strain over a glass of ice and then top with your soda water. I actually used lime flavored La Croix in mine, but soda water would work too!

cucumber basil cocktail

lime la croix cocktail

Top with an additional basil leaf and sip!

basil cucumber cocktail recipe

cucumber basil drink

Note: I think this would be bomb with gin as well! You could also skip the vodka completely and use a little more soda water for an alcohol free drink this summer. Enjoy!

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One-Pan Creamy Garlic Parmesan Shells

creamy garlic parmesan shells recipe

I’m definitely not going to say that planning a wedding is hard, but I will say that it is time consuming. I’ve been checking things off my list left and right and now that I’m under the 5-month mark, everything is feeling pretty great! Along with wedding planning, trips to Michigan, and the fact that it’s gorgeous outside here in WV most every day, I haven’t been in the kitchen much. We’ve been eating a lot of steak and roasted broccoli or treating ourselves to takeout. After this last trip to Michigan and catching up with a few friends, I’m back in Morgantown and I’m ready to cook! These creamy garlic Parmesan shells are a little twist on mac and cheese and a very quick and easy side dish to a perfectly prepared steak courtesy of my fiancé who obviously asked me to give him credit.

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Shells Recipe:

12 oz. shell pasta – cooked and drained
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic – minced
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese – grated
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
Salt if desired

Start by cooking and draining your pasta according to the package directions.

In the same pan you boiled your pasta, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. We’re going to be making a roux! Once the butter has melted, add in your chopped garlic and let it cook for about 30 seconds, until it’s fragrant.

minced garlic

Add your flour and stir until smooth and bubbly.

roux ingredients

roux recipe

Slowly pour in your chicken broth and milk. Whisk until everything is smooth.

creamy sauce recipe

creamy sauce ingredients

Keep on medium heat, just below a boil and whisk frequently until it’s thick enough to coat your spoon.

creamy sauce

Add in your Parmesan cheese.

creamy parmesan sauce

Sprinkle in your oregano and black pepper and taste to see if salt is needed. The cheese and chicken broth can be pretty salty, so give it a taste just to be sure!

creamy garlic parmesan sauce recipe

creamy garlic parmesan sauce

Add your noodles back to the pan and stir and serve.

garlic parmesan shells

creamy garlic parmesan shells

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