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. 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We originally made this cheesy asparagus orzo variation at Henry Cowell State Park on our way from Big Sur to San Francisco.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.

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

Makes 2 servings
   
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
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.
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Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

Equipment Needed
Cooking pot
Sharp knife
Cutting board
Measuring cups & spoons
Tongs
Wooden spoon
Bowls & utensils for serving

Nutrition Info (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: 24.8% | Vitamin C: 14.2% | Calcium: 21.3% | Iron: 32.6%
*Nutrition info is an estimate based on information provided by myfitnesspal.com


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

  2. 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.

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