I LOVE orzo pasta! It is such a nice change of pace from rice. I'm not such a fan of rice - not the taste, the consistency. I eat it and it's okay, but I prefer to make orzo. Sadly, Don (aka the hubs) really loves rice, so I've been trying to convince him orzo is a better option. Don't get me wrong, he LOVES pasta, just not as a rice substitute - he's still a work in progress.
I think you'll love how easily this recipe can be adapted to suit your needs. I know I sure do! I like how I can make this recipe as written for a delicious side to just about any protein, but we have also enjoyed this orzo pasta dish as a meatless entree. A great addition I like to add from time to time is sauteed mushrooms, so don't be afraid to mix things up and experiment with this recipe.
Recipe Prep Tips
- To make this all in one skillet, I sautee the spinach and garlic first and then remove it from the skillet and keep warm until the orzo is done.
- Use a skillet with a tight fitting lid. If you don't have a skillet with a tight fitting lid, you can put a clean kitchen towel between the lid and the skillet to ensure a tight fit.
- I don't salt the orzo when cooking. I know! That is probably frowned upon by a lot of pro chefs, but the Parmesan is pretty salty, so I prefer to add it first and then give it a taste. If you feel it needs salt at that point, then go ahead and add it a little at a time to your liking. Or just add more Parmesan, because cheese is good <smile>
- Scroll down below the recipe to see step-by-step photos
- I also adapted this recipe for fall using butternut squash. Click here for the recipe > Butternut Squash Orzo Pasta
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Orzo Pasta with Spinach and Parmesan
Orzo Pasta with Spinach and Parmesan is an easy recipe using fresh ingredients to maximize flavor.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 14 ounces water
- 2 teaspoons Chicken Base (I use Better Than Bouillon)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic. Saute for about 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant. Add 6 ounces of baby spinach and a pinch of kosher salt. Saute until the spinach is wilted to your liking, about a minute or two. Remove the spinach from the skillet to a plate and reserve until ready to mix with the orzo.
- Increase the heat to mid-high and melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add 1 cup orzo pasta and stir until lightly browned. Add 14 ounces of water and 2 teaspoons chicken base and bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the orzo is tender and the liquid is mostly absorbed.
- When the orzo is done add the spinach and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and mix well. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. The Parmesan will add some saltiness to the dish, so be sure to give it a taste to ensure you don't add too much salt!
Prep Time: 10 mins.
Total time: 30 mins.