You’ve got to try our easy Creamy Parmesan Spinach Orzo Pasta—it’s a game-changer! With a heavenly combo of creamy parmesan and fresh spinach, this simple, rich dish is bound to become your new favorite!

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 means 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 heartier meal.

close up of creamy spinach orzo

How to make parmesan spinach orzo

  1. In a deep pot or dutch oven, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. 
  2. Add orzo pasta 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! Here are some lighter dishes to serve with it:

a pot of parmesan spinach orzo pasta

Creamy Parmesan Spinach Orzo

5 from 3 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
This creamy parmesan orzo pasta is made with less than 5 ingredients, it’s so creamy and beyond delicious!

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves grated garlic
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • In a deep pot, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. 
    1 teaspoon salt
  • Add orzo pasta and and cook for 7-9 minutes, until al-dente.
    1 pound orzo pasta
  • 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.
    4 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 2 cloves grated garlic, 3 cups fresh baby spinach, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • Stir until the cheeses are melty and the orzo is all covered in creamy sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Video

Equipment

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Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | 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

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This might’ve been one of my first food dolls recipes to try and oh my goodness it was delicious.

    I love having a video to follow along!

  2. 5 stars
    Quick, easy, and delicious! Thanks for helping this cooking novice trick a man into thinking she can cook!