Cheesy Asparagus One Pot Orzo

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This Cheesy Asparagus Orzo is SO easy to make while camping! It cooks in one pot (no straining!) so cleanup is done in a snap, and this dish can easily be scaled to feed a crowd.

Overhead view of asparagus orzo in a camping bowl on a picnic table

One-pot pasta is a fundamental meal in the canon of camp cooking. Easy to prepare, easy to clean, and open to limitless variations, it’s by far one of our favorite go-to meals while camping. You can add or subtract ingredients, leave out spices you don’t have, and add others you do, but once you’ve mastered the basic concept, a whole world of options becomes available to you.

We originally made this cheesy asparagus orzo variation at Henry Cowell State Park on our way from Big Sur to San Francisco. We had originally planned to cook something slightly more involved that evening but found out upon our arrival that the park would be closing promptly at dusk. So we switched gears to this run-and-gun meal and had plenty of time to watch the sun set. Ever since then, this dish has been a part of our heavy rotation when camping.

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Ingredients for asparagus orzo in a cooking pot on a camping stove

The cooking process is fairly straightforward. The orzo, asparagus, and spices are added to the pot along with 2 cups of water and a swirl of olive oil. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the orzo is tender. The exact time will depend on the brand of orzo you use (check the back of the package) – ours took 9 minutes total. If the pot begins to dry out, you can add a little more water as needed.

Ingredients for asparagus orzo in a cooking pot on a camping stove

Once the pasta is done, add the cheese to the pot which will melt in with the remaining water to create the sauce. Top with the sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, split between bowls, and dinner is served!

Overhead view of asparagus orzo in a camping bowl on a picnic table
Overhead view of asparagus orzo in a camping bowl on a picnic table

Cheesy Asparagus One Pot Orzo

This Cheesy Asparagus Orzo recipe is SO easy to make while camping! It cooks in one pot so cleanup is done in a snap, and this dish can easily be scaled to feed a crowd.
Author: Fresh Off The Grid
5 from 24 ratings
Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
2 servings


  • ½ lb asparagus
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup orzo
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup shredded cheese, (we used Trader Joe’s 4 Cheese Blend but you could use parmesan, asiago, or any blend)
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts


  • Cut off and discard the tough ends of the asparagus, and then chop asparagus into 1” pieces.
  • Add the asparagus, water, orzo, oil, and all the spices into a pot. Bring to a low boil (this took us 4 1/2 minutes) and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the orzo is tender.
  • Reduce heat and add the cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and pine nuts. Stir until the cheese has melted.
  • Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 523kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 815mg | Potassium: 948mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1240IU | Vitamin C: 11.7mg | Calcium: 213mg | Iron: 5.9mg

*Nutrition is an estimate based on information provided by a third-party nutrition calculator

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  1. I made this last night without the pine nuts, and with some added garlic, extra cheese/sundried tomatoes. It turned out SO well! and I couldn’t believe how easy and quick it was, from prep to cleanup. It’s essentially like an orzo mac & cheese and it’s approved by my picky carnivore man. Will make again for sure.5 stars

  2. I made this out camping!!!! so delicious! The only difference was I used riced cauliflower instead of orzo. Thank you for the wonderful recipes.5 stars

  3. This recipe was AMAZING. So easy from start to finish.
    This will be a new regular meal for sure!5 stars

  4. Delicious, easy and wonderful for camping
    This recipe will be on the regular rotation!
    Love Cristin’s idea of cauliflower rice!5 stars

  5. Katie Starfish says:

    Made as directed with the following exceptions:

    Grilled asparagus on the barbeque instead of putting it in the dish

    Toasted the pine nuts

    That’s it! And it was delicious.

  6. I’m in love with this recipe. I pretty much make this every time we camp. I chop the asparagus ahead of time and portion out all of the ingredients so that after a long day, I just dump and feed. Awesome recipes, amazing camping advice, wonderful gear recommendations…this is my new favorite site.5 stars

  7. Tried this last weekend and it was fantastic! My boyfriend was tired of us always eating the same 3 or 4 things camping. I think next time we’d add more tomatoes or maybe some green olives to salt it up more. We also plan on trying it with broccoli since his kids won’t eat asparagus. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Fresh Off The Grid says:

      Those all sound like awesome substitutions. It’s always nice to have a way to change things up without having to re-invent the wheel.

  8. GREAT recipe! It is on rotation in our camping recipes and nothing gets left behind! For more decadence, simply add more cheese!
    The asparagus usually holds 2-3 days (without necessarily any ice) so works well for a long weekend camping! Don’t wash beforehand and wrap in paper towels and plastic bag to keep intact during the transport.5 stars