Creamy Orzo with Fennel

creamy orzo with fennel

A silky smooth, creamy orzo packed with fennel, aromatic fresh dill, and toasted fennel seeds. A perfect mid-week meal or stay-home date night!


  • 40g vegan butter
  • 8g fennel seeds
  • ½ an onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 x fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • 300g orzo
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 800ml hot vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Small bunch of fresh dill


  1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the vegan butter followed by the fennel seeds. Toast until fragrant and beginning to quietly pop, then remove the seeds from the pan with a spoon, leaving behind the vegan butter. Set the fennel seeds aside.
  2. Place the saucepan back over medium heat and add the onion. Fry until beginning to soften then add the garlic. Fry for a further minute before adding the sliced fennel. Fry for 3-4 minutes but do not let the fennel brown.
  3. Add the orzo followed by the wine and stir well. Reduce the heat slightly and cook until the wine has mostly evaporated. Add some of the stock and stir well.
  4. Keep adding the stock, little by little until the orzo is fully cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with the fresh dill before serving.

For added texture and bold fennel flavor, I like to toast some fennel seeds to add to the top of the cooked orzo. To make this a one-pot dish, be sure to do this first in the same saucepan you’re about to use for the orzo. Be super careful not to let them burn – just toasty and fragrant is great.

creamy orzo and fennel

When frying your onions and garlic, don’t let them brown. For this recipe, we just want to cook them until nicely softened and fragrant. If necessary, add a tiny splash of water to keep things from catching.

fennel orzo vegan recipe

It’s best to make sure the fennel is sliced very thinly before adding it to the pan. If you have a Chinese mandoline then use it! If not, use your sharpest knife and go super thin. This way the fennel will almost melt into the pasta.


Like with risotto, don’t add all the water at once. It’s best to add a little at a time, stirring between additions. Once gorgeously smooth and glossy and the orzo is cooked through, you’re good to serve!

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