Alfredo Risoni is a unique side dish that is calorie conscious. It combines orzo pasta with cauliflower rice in a creamy Alfredo sauce.
Cauliflower rice is very popular. And for a while I’ve been trying to really love it, with little success. If you already love it on its own, congratulations. I personally don’t use cauliflower so much to reduce carbs as calories. A few weeks ago I decided to combine it with orzo pasta. Basically a half and half ratio. Everyone loved it! Like, you can’t even taste the cauliflower. Which is a really big plus in my book. In researching what I should call this side dish I found out that orzo – style pasta is also known as risoni. I like the name and the way it rolls off my tongue. I’m going to be playing around a lot with risoni. And I’m starting here, with this Alfredo Risoni, as an introduction.
What is Risoni?
You may have heard of orzo pasta, which looks like rice. That is what we are talking about here – rice shaped pasta. And if you can’t specifically find pasta that is labelled as “risoni” then use orzo – that is what I did for this recipe. Risi is the Italian word for rice. Risoni pasta can be served as a side dish like rice. Or turned into a risotto. Stirred into soups, used as a stuffing for tomatoes and peppers, and so on.
Ingredients for making Alfredo Risoni
- Risoni Pasta (or Orzo)
- Cauliflower Rice
- Fat Free Half and Half
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Lemon Juice
- Salt and Pepper
- Serve this as a side dish for air-fried salmon, shrimp or chicken
- This is the brand of frozen cauliflower rice I like best
- I cook this recipe in a non-stick frying pan
- Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days
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- 1 1/2 cups dry risoni (or orzo) pasta
- 10 oz bag of frozen cauliflower rice
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 cup fat free half and half
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Microwave the bag of cauliflower rice according to package directions.
- Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a large, non-stick frying pan.
- Add the cooked cauliflower to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Set off the heat while preparing the risoni.
- Boil a pot of salted water and cook the risoni or orzo pasta according to the box directions.
- Drain the pasta.
- Return the pan with the caulflower rice to the stove top over medium heat.
- Add the remaining two tablespoons of butter and stir together the cauliflower rice and risoni until the butter is melted.
- Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
- Stir in the lemon juice and fat free half and half. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until starting to thicken.
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese and cook briefly, stirring often, until it's melted into the risoni.
- Stir in the parsley off heat. Season with salt and pepper and serve.