Orzo Mac and Cheese Bar

  • Servings : 24
  • Prep Time : 0m
  • Cook Time : 0m
  • Ready In : 0m

Let guests customize their mac and cheese with a variety of add-on toppings like Chef Thomas Horner does with this Orzo Mac and Cheese Bar. Use the risotto technique to make orzo pasta into a creamy base.


Step 1

Bring the stock to a simmer, then reduce the heat to keep it warm.

Step 2

Heat the oil in a large, wide pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions or shallots and cook until softened. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the orzo and salt, stirring to coat the orzo with oil and toast it slightly.

Step 3

Stir about 2 cups of stock and some of the wine into the orzo. Slowly stir and cook until the orzo absorbs the liquid. Continue to slowly stir in the stock and wine, letting it absorb almost all of the liquid, until it is creamy but still ad dente.

Step 4

Stir in the cheese until it melts; season with pepper. Put the mac and cheese in a warming pan and set it on a buffet line with each topping option in a separate container.


  • 6 qts. chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions or shallots
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 lb. Barilla Orzo
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 8 cups shredded Cheddar or other cheese
  • Black pepper
  • Optional toppings:
  • Sauteed sliced mushrooms
  • Cooked sausage
  • Rendered bacon lardons
  • Sauteed rock shrimp
  • Sauteed asparagus tips
  • Sliced scallions

Nutrition information includes base recipe only- note any additional toppings that may be added.

Chef Recommended Cuts
  • Ditalini
  • Orzo
  • Pastina
Related Recipes:
  • Braised Short Rib Penne

  • Rigatoni Sausage Caponata

  • Baked Orzotto with Cavallo Nero and Spring Peas

  • Campanelle al Salmone

  • Barilla Elbow Mac and Cheese with Turmeric and Roasted Cauliflower

Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Servings Per Container 24

Amount Per Serving
Calories 577
Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g
Saturated Fat 10g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 47mg
Sodium 666mg
Total Carbohydrate 62g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 7g
Protein 26g

Vitamin A 8%
Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 30%
Iron 19%
Allergy Information:
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Please note: for the purpose of the nutritional assessment, total sodium does not include salt added to the cooking water. When salt is listed "as needed" in the ingredient list, 1 tsp total is included in the analysis.