Orzo Pasta with Figs, Prosciutto & Blue Cheese

valleyfiggrowers@alkalyne.comRecipes, Side Dishes

Grey bowl with orzo pasta and figs

Side dishes sometimes are the stand-out on the dinner table. Take this Greek orzo recipe with figs, prosciutto, and blue cheese. It’s an orzo pasta recipe that takes less than 20 minutes to cook.

Grey bowl filled with orzo pasta recipe that has prosciutto, figs, and blue cheese

What is Orzo

It may be shaped like rice but is actually a small cut pasta that works in everything from orzo salad to orzo pasta salad. It’s used in a lot of Greek and Italian cooking.

What Kind of Figs to Use

Sun-Maid and Orchard Choice Mission Figs are our pick here as they bring a bolder fig fruit flavor that stands up to tangy blue cheese and savory prosciutto. Together, they make quite a trifecta. Golden Figs would work too—they bring more of a delicate sweetness and fig fruit flavor.

Eat Your Greens: Make It Vegetarian

Skip the prosciutto and bulk up the spinach. Make sure to season to taste with salt and pepper and maybe a glug of olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice. 

Tips for Making the Orzo Recipe

The orzo pasta recipe has minimal prep that can happen while your orzo pasta cooks.

Often, garlic is added to a recipe to fry toward the end, so it doesn’t burn. Here, the garlic is added at the beginning because soon after spinach will get added in. Spinach has a lot of water in the leaves and that stops the frying of the garlic. 

Next, you’ll stir in the chopped figs and prosciutto. Then, the orzo goes in and chicken broth cooks down until most of the liquid cooks out.

Finally, you’ll take the orzo pasta recipe off-heat and stir in the blue cheese crumbles. One note here is to wait until after adding the blue cheese to season to taste since cheese adds a bite of saltiness and to avoid over-salting. 

Switch Things Up: Orzo Salad

Instead of toting a pasta salad to a picnic, why not re-envision this into an orzo salad? One simple addition can take the flavor into antipasti territory: a vinaigrette made with Italian seasoning. Other additions for an orzo pasta salad would include small mozzarella balls, sliced banana peppers or pepperoncini, maybe some olives. 

Or, take the orzo pasta salad in a different direction and skip the blue cheese, adding in feta cheese or Parmesan cheese: blister cherry tomatoes, chiffonade some fresh herbs like basil or fresh parsley, then whisk lemon zest and pepper into the dressing.  

What to Serve with Orzo Pasta

The orzo pasta recipe is perfect with grilled chicken or pork chops. If you decide to make it vegetarian using our tips above, warm up some garbanzo beans to stir in.

Orzo Pasta with Figs, Prosciutto & Blue Cheese

Cold pasta salads like our fig orzo pasta recipe are a classic. Tossed with gorgonzola and California dried figs, slices of prosciutto thread orzo pasta.
Grey bowl with orzo pasta, figs, prosciutto, and blue cheese.
Servings 10 servings


  • 1 pound orzo rice shaped pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped spinach leaves packed
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue cheese


  • Cook orzo according to package. Set aside. In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, about 1 minute. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in figs and prosciutto and cook 1 minute longer. Add pasta, stirring to combine. Pour in chicken broth and cook until most of the liquid has absorbed, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.
    Makes about 7 cups

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Share This Recipe