Parmesan and Spinach Orzo

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    Parmesan and Spinach Orzo from

    Parmesan and spinach orzo is a quick weeknight dish for all busy families!

    Parmesan and Spinach Orzo from

    Parmesan and Spinach Orzo from

    It’s already the last week in January. So we’re already like almost into the second month of the year? What the what?! Oh, and the Superbowl is next Sunday. I swear football season was just starting..

    Typically, I’d be excited that we’re in the last week of January (one month closer to warmer weather, right?) but now as I get older, I’m like nooo I’m turning another year older. My birthday is this coming Friday and this year, although I’m turning 27, I decided that I wanted to get out of town for my birthday. It’s the perfect excuse. It’s no big 3-0 milestone but I think everyone should celebrate their birthday by going all out and doing what you love. I love traveling (and eating) so Jason and I are headed to Austin, TX this week! I’M SO EXCITED. This was totally last minute but we snagged free plane tickets and the Omni Hotel in Austin is graciously hosting us! Great birthday present already! Right when we decided we were going to Austin, I whipped up a Word document and planned out our itinerary: where we were going to EAT (pretty much every single place in Austin), and how we were going to stalk Taylor Kitsch/Tim Riggins and the rest of the FNL film locations. Um yeah, that is happening! I’d love some additional recommendations for places to eat. I have a bunch on our list but more can’t hurt and if they’re the same ones I have on my list, then I’ll know for sure we’re hitting up the right spots!

    Parmesan and Spinach Orzo from

    I love cooking with orzo. I think it’s the most under-appreciated pasta out there. You have penne, rigatoni, elbows, fettuccine, etc., and they’re always in everyone’s pasta bowls but orzo is like the ugly step sister that always gets left out. Well, I’m about to give orzo a comeback! Orzo will be the pasta of the year. Ok maybe not, but I do have quite a bit of orzo recipes on the blog that you should give some love to and give orzo a bit of spotlight in your house!

    This parmesan and spinach orzo is so easy to make and I love how cheesy it is! I think you will love the simplicity of it, as well. Sometimes, the most delicious meals are the ones that require just a few ingredients!

    Parmesan and Spinach Orzo

    A cheesy and quick weeknight pasta dish!
    Prep Time: 10 mins
    Cook Time: 10 mins
    Total Time: 20 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 4
    Calories: 636kcal
    Author: Julie Chiou
    5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify MealtimeSign up here for all the secrets!


    • 16 oz orzo pasta
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup of milk, I used whole
    • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
    • Salt and pepper, to taste


    • Cook orzo according to directions on the box then drain and set aside.
    • In a large pot over medium high heat, cook garlic in olive oil until fragrant, about 1 minute.
    • Sprinkle flour into the pot then gently whisk in the milk. Let mixture thicken, about 1-2 minutes then add in the spinach and Parmesan cheese.
    • Add the orzo pasta to the pot, stir to coat and incorporate. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    • Serve hot and top with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.


    Adapted from Life as a Strawberry
    Nutrition Facts
    Parmesan and Spinach Orzo
    Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
    Calories 636 Calories from Fat 162
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 18g28%
    Carbohydrates 95g32%
    Fiber 7g28%
    Sugar 8g9%
    Protein 26g52%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. 



    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
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  • Fil says:

    Hi Julie,
    I’m really enjoying your recipes …. will have to give this a go this week. Have fun in Austin – it’s a city I’d love to visit.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    This sounds great!! Loving the look of that cheese in there :)

  • Tina Muir says:

    That looks wonderful! I actually picked up some orzo in trader joes, and then put it back as I wasnt sure what to use it for! Went for quinoa pasta instead! Damn! I should have kept it. This would be fantastic….now I must go back and get some!

    This would be a perfect pre long run meal for me! I have 16 miles this afternoon with two lovely runners who have run for USA. This would have been the perfect lunch to fuel me up! It is going on my Pinterest for later! Thanks for sharing!

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    lol you’re not getting old. You’re going to have an absolute blast in Austin. I’m kind of jealous. I’ll be following along on whatever pictures you share, of course! :) Cupcakes are a must!!

  • Tieghan says:

    Happy early B-day!! I am a little jealous of your mini Austin Vcay, but pretty excited to hear about it. Especially the Taylor Kitsch/FNL stuff!! I hope you have so much fun!!

    And this orzo? Um, wow it looks so good. I love the cheesy spinach combo. So cozy!

  • Liz @ The Lemon Bowl says:

    I am drooling over this Julie!! Reminds me of a dish Rich and I used to always order at our favorite restaurant in Boston. Yum!!

  • Kristin S says:

    I grew up with orzo as the main pasta in our home so of course it’s my favorite. This looks delicious!

  • Sara @ Confectionary Tales says:

    I love orzo! It’s rice but pasta. This also looks delicious – something I definitely will be trying.

    And happy early birthday! I think a weekend in Austin sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate :)

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says:

    I’ve been craving a good pasta meal like this so I love the spinach added in!

    Happy early Birthday, go out and celebrate it girl!

  • Véro @ French Cooking for Dummies says:

    I’m not sure I had orzo before, I definitely need to look for it, sounds delicious! I’m even thinking it could be nice to cook this recipe risotto style… Very inspiring ;) Oh, and happy early birthday! Have fun in Austin!

  • Laurie says:

    My niece has a cute boutique in Austin call Hem Jeans. It’s on 12th. Stop by and check it out in between meals. Say hi to Aimee for me!

  • Claire Gallam says:

    this looks amazing Julie!!

  • Mary says:

    Hi there, just recently discovered your blog and I LOVE it. So many awesome recipes! Anyway, one place to definitely go is Amy’s Ice Cream. My dad lived in Austin for a few years and that is the number one place that sticks out in my mind. Not a meal, but some delicious dessert! Or snack! Or why not a meal, really? Lol…

    • Julie says:

      Thanks so much Mary! I’m adding that to my list! Love dessert places :)

  • Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living says:

    Happy early birthday! Love how simple and cheesy this dish is. I do love the texture of orzo – it’s definitely not used enough in hot cheesy dishes.

  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen says:

    OMG! Such fabulous news about your Austin trip! Have a blast and enjoy all that deliciousness while there. And, happy birthday early! (Just in case I forget on Friday.) LOVE this spinach and parm orzo dish…Mmmm! Have a fabulous week, my friend! Pinned!

  • Jenny Flake says:

    What a perfect bowl of Orzo!! Loving this Julie!

  • Kevin @ Closet Cooking says:

    So easy and so good! Love that stringy cheese!

  • DessertForTwo says:

    You’re going to LOVE Austin. I’m from Dallas, but even I’ll admit that I love Austin slightly more. It’s so great! Let me know if you need any food recs. In college, we went to Austin almost every weekend :)

    PS Orzo is my favorite pasta! :)

    • Julie says:

      Feel free to email me places to eat!! I’m always looking for more to add to my list in case we aren’t in the mood for one of the other ones I have on the list!! :)

  • Layla @ Brunch Time Baker says:

    Your photos are beautiful! This rice is like the best to both worlds!

  • Maria says:

    I want this for dinner tonight!

  • Heatherchristo says:

    have a blast in Austin- please eat all of the delicious Mexican food for me!!! In the mean time, this orzo looks awesome- love all the cheese!

  • Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain says:

    I now have a MAD craving for this!!! Orzo is the best and when you put it with some parm, forget about it!

  • Kristin says:

    Absolutely amazing and so simple. Delicious recipe. Pinning for later, of course ;).

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says:

    I love orzo! This looks fantastic!
    Have fun in Austin, Julie!

  • Sommer @ASpicyPerspective says:

    Julie, I completely agree get away and doing something that you enjoy! This is recipe sounds delish and I love how easy it is to make for busy evenings!

  • Gaby says:

    I’m always looking for quick weeknight dinners and this looks perfect.

  • Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says:

    Drooling over that stringy-cheesy bite, yum! And have such a great time in Austin. I’ve been wanting to visit there for a while. You must put lots of pictures on Instagram. Happy early birthday friend : )

    • Julie says:

      Oh you know I’ll be putting a ton of photos on IG! ;)

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    I love orzo and yes please to parmesan + spinach!

  • Leah says:

    Hi Julie! I lived in Austin for 10 years and here are my top 3 places to eat:
    Matt’s El Rancho for Tex Mex
    Salt lick for BBQ
    Hoover’s for Soul food

    Have a great bday weekend in Austin! I think I’ll make your yummy orzo dish this weekend!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Leah! Thanks for this! We’re definitely hitting up Salt Lick cause we’ll have a car!! Yay :) thank you so much!!

  • Helen @ Scrummy Lane says:

    Mmm …. I love how easy and simple this is. A lovely twist on macaroni cheese!

  • marla says:

    You certainly can’t go wrong with this orzo pasta dish!

  • Kristen says:

    Well I will be stalking your IG the next couple of days. How wonderful!!! Please do not hold back on the food pics. Have a great time!

  • Sreerupa says:

    I lived in Austin 4 years before moving to Chicago. “Moonshine” has THE BEST brunch I’ve ever had. Gourmet, delicious brunch buffet. Sundays only though!

  • Jade says:

    I made this tonight for dinner. I used organic whole wheat orzo. It turned out delicious and my boyfriend ( who’s pretty picky) loved it as well. Great recipe!

    • Julie says:

      I’m so happy you and your boyfriend enjoyed this, Jade!

  • Francesca says:

    This looks delicious Julie!

  • Kelly says:

    Thanks for another great one, Julie! I had this as a side dish with Italian hot turkey sausage and the flavors paired deliciously!

    • Julie says:

      Glad this one worked out for you as well, Kelly!

  • Kaitlin says:

    Made this for dinner tonight after seeing it on Pinterest – it was delicious! The only problem I encountered was a lot of orzo getting stuck in my mesh strainer. But now that I’ve dealt with that I’m excited to eat the leftovers tomorrow!

    • Julie says:

      Glad you enjoyed this, Kaitlin!

  • Katie says:

    Loved this! I beefed it up with some mushrooms and cherry tomatoes

    • Julie says:

      Great idea!

  • Elena says:

    Just made this today- it’s sooo delicious! I love anything with pasta, spinach, and cheese, so this was perfect. All I added were some mushrooms, but followed everything else. This will definitely become a regular in our house.

  • Carrie says:

    Loved this!!! I substituted whole wheat flour and almond milk for the flour and whole milk. Worked great!

  • Rose Anne says:

    I used half and half for the milk and used only about half the box of orzo. My husband said dinner was a “10” tonight. Absolutely delicious!

  • Kayra Tisdell says:

    Cooked this tonight, it was delicious! I added bacon and a left over chicken breast for my husband and son.

  • Patti says:

    I have a ton of arugula? Think I could sub for spinach?

    • Julie says:

      Yes, definitely!

  • JoJo says:

    This was absolutely delicious, fast and easy. I was thinking to add chicken to it but wasn’t sure if there would be enough sauce to coat it. Made grilled chicken on the side and dinner served. Awesome!

  • Charlotte L'Heureux says:

    Want to try….

  • Andrea says:

    substitute for flour to make it gluten free??

    thank you

    • Julie says:

      I believe arrowroot or cornstarch.

  • Amountz says:

    Can I make this the day before serving?

    • Julie says:

      Yes, you could. I would say that the spinach will likely not be as pretty in green color so if that bothers you, I’d reheat the pasta on the stove then put the spinach in on the day you serve.

  • JuJu says:

    I adore s recipe sounds divine. And I will make it tomorrow…..I may add mushrooms to it and toasted pine nuts…hope that is okay.

  • Jackie says:

    Do you know if this dish would freeze well?

    • Julie says:

      Hmm, I don’t believe so. I haven’t ever tried it though so I can’t be 100%

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