The Food Dolls Make the Easiest Creamy Tuscan Orzo

These recipe creators want to make weeknight dinners joyful and, yes, simple.

6 minutos de lectura

“We really hated having to cook,” says Alia Elkaffas, who, along with her younger sister, Radwa, turned a tiresome chore into the rockstar Minnesota-based recipe creator brand known as The Food Dolls. But it’s safe to say that becoming viral food influencers was never part of their original career goals. 

The Elkaffas sisters, whose parents emigrated from Egypt to the Midwest more than 40 years ago, first cooked as young girls at the urging of their parents. “My dad would force us to go help mom in the kitchen so she didn’t have to cook by herself, because my dad, he was just not a good cook,” says Alia.  

Both sisters went into separate careers as adults, Alia as a business administrator and Radwa as a dental hygienist. The pair got back into cooking, Radwa says, when they got married and had kids. 

“When we would talk on the phone with each other, it was always like, ‘What are you going to make for dinner?’” says Radwa. “And we didn’t want to spend hours like our mom did, we really didn’t. We wanted to find that shortcut to put dinner on the table.”

Thus was the inspiration for launching their vlog in 2015 — and some of those shortcuts have been the key to their overwhelming success. Now boasting millions of followers across Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, their one-pot meals, mason jar salads, slow-cooker soups, and baked goods hacks have served as the canvas for a robust archive of recipes. 

The Elkaffas’ process is a collaborative one. “We kind of feed off of each other,” Radwa says. “Half the time, we’re together, we’re making something, we’re like: What if we did this?” 

The result is a compendium of recipes that can be executed quickly but do not sacrifice flavor. Just look to their recipe for focaccia, which they “hack” by making in a slow cooker with store-bought frozen dinner rolls. 

Their recipes also nod to their Egyptian heritage. “We didn’t really introduce the Egyptian stuff until a couple of years ago,” Radwa says. “And the response has been humbling and amazing because people are very interested in our culture and want to try these recipes.” 

Their website now has an entire section dedicated to Middle Eastern and Egyptian recipes, and headnotes on recipes like Sanyet El Batates (Egyptian baked potatoes) offer insight into a given dish’s provenance. (The potatoes — baked with tomatoes, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, and seasoning — are served in traditional Egyptian homes, though rarely in restaurants.) 

The Food Dolls have also expanded their brand beyond recipes. Now appearing on their reels, blogs, and TikTok videos: ASMR-worthy tips about organizing kitchens and pantries; kitchen “must-haves,” like the viral Our Place pots and pans; hacks for cleaning chairs, cast-iron pans, and more; and refrigerator restock videos. But the theme remains the same: Life at home should be easier, not harder. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in their recipe for Creamy Tuscan Orzo, a perfect-for-winter dinner that combines pasta, onions, cream, cheese, spinach, and sundried tomatoes — and that takes just 15 minutes to prepare. “It’s super flavorful,” Radwa says of the dish. “I love the simplicity of the recipe, but mostly, that it does not lack in flavor at all.” 

Creamy Tuscan Orzo 

This one-pot recipe can be served either as a side dish or, as Alia and Radwa suggest, a meatless main course. “Tender orzo, veggies, and savory seasonings combine with cream and cheese, creating a vibrant dish that’s salty, savory, and easy to make,” they say. “Made with minimal prep time and a total time of under 30 minutes, it’s a dream on busy weeknights. Plus, it stores well, meaning you can make a big batch ahead of time and enjoy it for days.” 



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • ½ medium onion chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic minced

  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • ¼ cup sundried tomatoes

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta

  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

  • 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach

  • Fresh basil for garnish

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and butter until the butter is just melted. Add the onion and sauté until it becomes translucent. 

  2. Add the orzo and seasonings and stir to coat. Add the garlic and sundried tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. 

  3. Add the chicken stock and cream and bring the liquid up to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The orzo is done when it is opaque and soft to the tooth. 

  4. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese and spinach. Cover the pot and allow the orzo to rest and thicken. Adjust the seasonings to taste and serve warm, garnished with the fresh basil. 

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of The Food Dolls