Parmesan and spinach orzo
Literally all I have been craving is pasta.
Yes, orzo is pasta!
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!
Substituting other pastas in this parmesan and spinach orzo
While you are free to substitute whatever pasta you want, keep in mind that your ingredient measurements may be off.
Larger pastas (ziti, rigatoni, penne) will need more cheese and spinach.
Stick to smaller grain pastas like ditalini, elbows, etc.
Adding ingredients to parmesan and spinach orzo
If you want some extra protein, some cubed chicken thighs would be a great addition! Or shrimp!
If you like another type of vegetable, a tender green would be a good substitute. I can’t help but love dinosaur/lacinato kale.
Omg, adding gruyere or even blue cheese crumbles to this would be epic. You don’t have to keep it to one cheese but to make this parmesan and spinach orzo simple, I chose to make it with a combo that everyone can get behind.
Other orzo recipes
Parmesan and Spinach Orzo
Servings are adjustable but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings.
- 16 oz orzo pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons 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.
Photography by Ari Laing