Toasted Orzo Risotto with Sweet Corn and Thyme

Toasted orzo risotto is a light, summer pasta dish that’s easy to prepare.

Toasted Orzo Risotto with Sweet Corn and Thyme ~ Savory Simple

I’m working on a menu project with several health coaches and we have regular phone meetings.  The meetings often begin with the question “What are you present to right now?”  We go around in a circle and discuss what we’re present to, or what’s on our mind at the moment.  As I sat down to write this post and drew a blank, I asked myself the same question.

Time for a little bit of honesty.  Sometimes I struggle with what to talk about on this blog outside of the recipe.  I feel pressure to share a witty anecdote or moving story because that’s such a big aspect of food blogging.  I worry that my site (and therefore my recipes) won’t be perceived as well if I don’t open up about myself 2-3 times per week.  That people won’t connect with me.  It’s not that I can’t write or tell a story and I’m not really a private person.  Maybe it’s that I don’t think my day-to-day life is interesting enough to share?  Here’s what today looked like:  I woke up at 7am and caught up on internet news while enjoying some coffee.  I spent about an hour commenting on other blogs and then got started on work.  At 11am I took a break to workout, shower and have some lunch.  And then I worked for the rest of the day while my cat kept me company.  Yesterday was exactly the same except that I also prepared this toasted orzo risotto and took photos of it for the blog.  I don’t think of any of this as being particularly exciting or worthy of sharing.  I also don’t mean to sound bored or complacent.  I love my job and I love my life.  I probably would have had more to talk about several years ago when I was single and less satisfied with my career.  I certainly never ran out of anything to talk about in my LiveJournal days! PS- it doesn’t exist anymore so don’t bother ;)

Do you judge a food blog by the quality of its recipes or the prose?  Do you need it to have both to be a truly satisfying read?  What brings you back?  These aren’t rhetorical questions, I’m actually curious to know the answer.  Maybe it’s because I feel pressure to share that I often draw a blank when it’s time to create a new post.  I certainly don’t struggle with new ideas for recipes.  Bloggers, do you struggle with this?  If so, how do you deal with it?  Thanks for listening, everyone.  That is what I’m present to.

Print Pin Recipe

Toasted Orzo Risotto with Sweet Corn and Thyme

Toasted orzo risotto is a light, summer pasta dish that's easy to prepare.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 entrees or 4 side dishes
Calories 375
Author Jennifer Farley


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup shallots, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 ear sweet corn (approximately 3/4 cup kernels)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 sprig thyme, leaves only (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 3/4 water or homemade stock
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • optional: Penzeys Sunny Paris Spice
  • optional: 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts


  • In a saucepan, melt down the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and sweat until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the orzo to the pan and turn the heat up to medium. Allow the orzo to toast while stirring. You can go lighter or heavier with the toasting. As the orzo browns, it will develop a nutty flavor.
  • Turn down the heat back down to medium-low and stir in the corn kernels, lemon juice and thyme.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water. Stir frequently to prevent the orzo from sticking to the bottom of the pan. As the water absorbs, continue to add more in 1/4 cup increments until there's approximately 1/4 cup remaining.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the rest of the water, pine nuts (if using) and seasonings.
  • Garnish with thyme and serve.


I love Penzeys Spices. Their spice blends are especially great and Sunny Paris is one of my favorites. It's great on eggs, pasta, pizza, etc. The ingredients are dried shallots, chives, green peppercorns, dill weed, basil, tarragon, chervil and bay leaf.
This is not a sponsored statement :)


Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 264mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7.3% | Vitamin C: 6.4% | Calcium: 2.2% | Iron: 8%

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About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Posts may contain affiliate links. I am a participant in the rewardStyle and Amazon affiliate programs, which help support Savory Simple by providing me with a small commission fee when you shop through my links, at no additional cost to you.

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  • Jennifer,
    I made this tonight for dinner and had to come back and comment. It turned out so well! My husband was thrilled with it. I only made a couple of adjustments – I didn’t have fresh thyme so I used a little dried Herbs de Provence, and I used a little Every Day spice from Trader Joe’s instead of Penzey’s. I also added in a couple of already cooked diced chicken breast at the end to make it a meal.
    Also, on your comments above… I appreciate blogs like yours that do not focus on 40 pictures of one dish. I am tired of bloggers that take lots of pictures of a simple casserole just to take up space. I am interested in your story, but if you don’t feel like writing a lot, that’s ok too. Some days, we are too overwhelmed with our lives to share it with others. I mostly visit blogs for the recipe or craft or whatever. I hope you are doing well!

    • Hi Kim,

      Your comment means so much to me. Thank you! I love hearing about when people make my recipes and I’m so glad you liked this one. I bet Herbs de Provence worked perfectly. I also really appreciate your insight about what you like to read on food blogs. I have been slowly becoming more comfortable sharing my life and telling stories on the blog, but it’s comforting to know that sometimes I can just say “here’s the recipe, enjoy!”

      Take care :)