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Creamy Parmesan Spinach Orzo Pasta

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Our creamy parmesan spinach orzo pasta is a must try! What’s better than a delicious, creamy pasta dish? One that’s super simple, with just a few ingredients but rich in flavor, and made with orzo pasta – one of our favorites.

This recipe is heavenly, we can’t wait for you to try it out!

overhead pot of creamy orzo pasta

What is orzo?

You are not alone if you have wondered, “is orzo rice or pasta?” Orzo looks like a grain, but it is a type of semolina pasta! Given the small size of each individual piece of pasta, Italians would actually classify orzo as a pastina which means small pasta. Like we said, you are not alone in thinking orzo might be a grain. In fact, the name orzo directly translates to mean barley! This is because of how similar orzo and barley look.

This versatile pasta is typically made from a mix of whole wheat flour and semolina flour. However, some pasta-makers will use white flour or whole-grain flour as well. After making the pasta dough, it is then rolled out and punched into its traditional oblong shape.

Because it’s so small, orzo cooks pretty fast; 7-9 minutes will get you to a nice al dente (another Italian word, this one meaning that you’ll get a nice firm bite out of it). 

ingredients for creamy orzo spinach pasta

What can I add to creamy parmesan spinach orzo?

What we love most about this meal is how simple it is, but if you’re looking to spice things up in the kitchen and add a little more to the dish, there are a few options.

You could keep it vegetarian by adding more vegetables to the meal. Sautéed zucchini or yellow squash would be an excellent addition, especially during summer months when they’re in season. If you want to bulk up the protein in this recipe, ground beef is a wonderful compliment to orzo. That would turn this recipe into a nice, hearty meal.

close up of creamy spinach orzo

How to make parmesan spinach orzo

  1. In a deep pot or dutch oven, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. 
  2. Add orzo pasta and and cook for 7-9 minutes, until al-dente.
  3. Drain orzo, reserving one cup of the pasta water.
  4. Add drained orzo to a pan on medium heat.
  5. Add cream cheese, garlic, spinach, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese, adding reserved pasta water as needed.
  6. Stir until the cheeses are melty and the orzo is all covered in creamy sauce.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

How to store leftovers of parmesan spinach orzo

Store any pasta in an airtight container in the fridge and it will keep for about three days. When reheating pasta, we recommend adding a tablespoon of water or chicken broth per serving. You can pop this in the microwave or you can reheat it in a small stock pot!

plate of spinach orzo pasta

Other delicious pasta recipes to try

  • If you could even believe it, our One Pot Spinach and Artichoke Pasta is even easier to make than this parmesan spinach orzo. That’s because the pasta cooks together in one single pot!
  • Our One Pot Lemon Garlic Parmesan Pasta is another simple, single pan dish that packs in flavor without making a ton of dishes. It is an absolute must try for the summer season!

What to serve this pasta dish with

Don’t get us wrong, we love our creamy parmesan spinach orzo pasta. But sometimes, you need a little something extra to help balance out the heaviness of this creamy pasta dish! Here are some great recipes we have to lighten up your dinner time:

Creamy Parmesan Spinach Orzo

admin
This creamy parmesan orzo pasta is made with less than 5 ingredients, it's so creamy and beyond delicious!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course dinner, lunch
Servings 8
Calories 288 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb orzo pasta
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves grated garlic
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • In a deep pot, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. 
  • Add orzo pasta and and cook for 7-9 minutes, until al-dente.
  • Drain orzo, reserving one cup of the pasta water.
  • Add drained orzo to a pan on medium heat.
  • Add cream cheese, garlic, spinach, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese, adding reserved pasta water as needed.
  • Stir until the cheeses are melty and the orzo is all covered in creamy sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1295IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword creamy orzo pasta, easy orzo pasta, parmesan orzo pasta, spinach orzo pasta
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