This quick and easy parmesan spinach orzo pairs well with chicken, fish, or as a standalone dish!
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I picked a fight every time we ate it because “it’s not pasta, it’s rice!” and would have to sit there and (un)patiently listen to her tell me that it is, in fact, pasta.
It was a whole big thing. But I’m over it (sorry, Mom).
Even though it still LOOKS a lot like rice. Just saying.
Anywho, my mom sent me some
rice orzo in a care package awhile back, and I recently discovered the last half of the package sitting in my pantry. “Eureka!” I thought. “I’ll make some orzo!”
And make orzo I did.
This parmesan spinach orzo
rice pasta is great because it is quick to make but still flavorful. Annnnd it has parmesan cheese. Which means I am instantly a fan.
Plus, it’s a great, light side dish for pretty much anything. Pair this orzo with chicken, fish, meat, or a side of grilled veggies.
Versatility! I like it.
This spinach orzo has quickly become one of my favorite go-to dinner dishes.
It’s a great, quick side dish, but it also tastes great when you double the sauce recipe and toss it with some grilled fish or chicken.
Want to make it even heartier? Add steamed broccoli, peas, or any other veggies you have on hand to the mix.
An easy parmesan spinach orzo recipe for busy weeknights.
- 2 and 1/2 cups uncooked orzo (I used whole wheat)
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp. flour
- 1 cup milk (I used skim)
- 2/3 cup spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded, plus extra for garnish
- Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute for 1 minute or until onions are translucent.
- Add flour to pot, stir to form a roux, and cook for an additional minute.
- Add milk to the pot a little at a time and whisk constantly to work out any lumps from the roux. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened, about 8 minutes.
- Add chopped spinach to sauce and cook an additional 2 minutes or until spinach has cooked down. Remove sauce from heat.
- Stir parmesan cheese into sauce. When cheese has melted, add cooked orzo to sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with extra parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Add chicken, shrimp, sausage, sautéed mushrooms, broccoli, or any other veggies you have on hand to this orzo to make it a little heartier.
This recipe makes just enough sauce to cover the orzo. If you’d like a little more sauce, reduce the amount of dry orzo by 1/2 cup or add a bit of extra milk to the sauce during cooking.
If the sauce is too thin, let it cook for a few extra minutes. Too thick? Add a splash of milk to thin it out.
Use shallots or yellow or white onions in place of the green onions if you like.