This flavorful vegan broccoli cheddar orzo combines tender orzo pasta, crisp broccoli florets, and a luxuriously creamy vegan cheddar sauce that harmoniously blends savory and cheesy notes. This is a cozy and comforting meal you will love for an easy dinner or side dish.
If you love broccoli cheddar soup, you will love this heavenly cheesy broccoli orzo dish! It gets super creamy with the melted vegan cheddar shreds, milk, and touch of vegan parm. This is the perfect recipe for a one-pot meal for the weeknight! Not only is this a great dinner recipe, but it can also be served as a side dish for other meals.
If you love this cozy dish, check out these other comfort food recipes:
- This Creamy Tomato Gnocchi Soup is one of my favorite recipes of all time.
- Curl up with a cozy bowl of Savory Sage Mushroom Lentil Stew that will be one of your new favorite meals.
- For a quick dinner try out this 15 Minute Miso Dumpling Soup.
- Orzo: This pasta resembles small rice grains but is actually a pasta. It works well in lots of dishes. You can use regular orzo or whole wheat orzo. You can even find a gluten-free orzo on Amazon if needed. If you love orzo you should check out my Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Orzo! *You could also use another type of pasta (like cavatelli)
- Vegan cheddar cheese shreds: There are lots to choose from on the market now. In my recipe I used Violife cheddar because it melts great! This helps create that delicious creamy cheese sauce.
- Vegan parmesan cheese shreds: This is an optional addition to this recipe, but adds so much flavor! There are a few variations at some grocery stores. The most common one I see at my grocery is the one from Follow Your Heart, but Trader Joe's also has an option.
- Vegan butter: Used for cooking the onion. You can also use olive oil instead.
- Onion: I used a sweet onion in this recipe, but you could also use a yellow onion.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
Step 1: In a medium or large pot, begin heating vegan butter over medium heat. Add in diced onion and sauté until softened and slightly browned (6-8 minutes).
Step 2: Add in your minced garlic, carrots, and salt and spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Step 3: Pour in your orzo and vegetable broth. Add in the dijon mustard. Bring to a boil then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until orzo is al dente.
Step 4: Add in the milk and broccoli florets. Give it a good stir. Cover for another 4-5 minutes until broccoli is cooked through.
Step 5: Stir in the vegan cheddar shreds and parm until you have a creamy and cheesy orzo.
Serve your broccoli cheese orzo right away. Feel free to sprinkle some freshly ground pepper on top, nutritional yeast, or vegan parm! You can also add some herbs like italian seasoning.
▶︎For another delish side dish, try out these Bang Bang Brussel Sprouts!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up ro 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop. If dry, add in 1 tablespoon of water.
I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Lots of grocery stores now carry vegan cheese options. My personal favorite is Violife Just Like Cheddar Shreds because it gets a super melty texture. I use Follow Your Heart Shredded Vegan Parmesan (not grated) because its very accessible where I live. If you live near a Trader Joe's check out their Vegan Parmesan Shreds.
To enhance the protein content of vegan broccoli cheddar orzo, consider incorporating tofu or tempeh by sautéing or baking them, and add additional texture and protein with options like edamame or chickpeas. Canned chickpeas or white beans are quick and convenient choices.
Top your vegan broccoli cheddar orzo with toasted breadcrumbs, chopped nuts, or a sprinkle of vegan Parmesan or nutritional yeast for added texture and depth of flavor.
- Consider adding in other herbs or spices like thyme or rosemary. If you like a little heat add some cayenne pepper.
- Chop broccoli florets into smaller pieces. It tastes better with this recipe than having giant broccoli florets throughout your orzo. You can also use frozen broccoli but I think fresh broccoli is much more vibrant and crisp in this recipe.
- Add in more veggies like zucchini or cherry tomatoes to your creamy broccoli cheddar orzo.
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Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Orzo
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 2 cups vegetable broth low sodium
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ cup non-dairy milk unsweetened (like soy or almond)
- 2 heaping cups broccoli florets cut into smaller pieces
- 1 cup vegan shredded cheddar I used Violife (melts well)
- ¼ cup vegan parmesan shreds- plus more for topping I used Follow Your Heart. Don't used grated parmesan.
- In a medium or large pot, begin heating vegan butter over medium heat. Add in diced onion and sauté until softened and slightly browned (6-8 minutes).1 tablespoon vegan butter, 1 medium onion
- Add in your minced garlic, carrots, and salt and spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes.3 cloves minced garlic, ½ cup shredded carrots, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Pour in your orzo and vegetable broth. Add in the dijon mustard. Bring to a boil then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.1 cup uncooked orzo, 2 cups vegetable broth, ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- Add in the milk and broccoli florets. Stir until combined. Cover for another 4-5 minutes until broccoli is cooked through.½ cup non-dairy milk, 2 heaping cups broccoli florets
- Stir in the vegan cheddar shreds and parm until it is melty and creamy.1 cup vegan shredded cheddar, ¼ cup vegan parmesan shreds- plus more for topping
- Enjoy right away. Feel free to sprinkle some freshly ground pepper on top and/or nutritional yeast.
- This is a great dish as it is, but if you want more protein consider adding tofu or tempeh by sautéing or baking them, and add additional texture and protein with options like edamame or chickpeas. Canned chickpeas or white beans are quick and convenient choices.
- Cut your broccoli florets into smaller pieces. It tastes better with this recipe than having giant broccoli florets throughout your orzo.