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Spinach Parmesan Orzo

Pasta is a versatile meal in any form, just take this creamy Spinach Parmesan Orzo for example. Creamy orzo pasta in a Parmesan cream sauce with fresh baby spinach leaves makes a simple, but tasty side dish or vegetarian main meal.

Spinach Parmesan Orzo

Sometimes the simplest things taste the best. Just like I sometimes need a break from the rigmarole of everyday life, sometimes my taste buds need a break from complex flavor combinations.

This Spinach Parmesan Orzo is just the thing for times like that.

Spinach Parmesan Orzo

With a simple, yet creamy, low-fat sauce coating the tiny rice-shaped pasta and wilted spinach, it makes a great side dish for virtually any meal you want to serve it with.

I think it’s especially yummy with chicken or fish, grilled or fried.  

Spinach Parmesan Orzo Pasta

Looking for a vegetarian option and thrown by the use of chicken broth? No worries, we’ve already thought of that.

You can easily sub vegetable stock or broth, although I’d probably suggest the stock since it’s got a much higher flavor concentration.

While this serves 4 people perfectly as a side, if you’re looking for a lighter, Summer-style meal- it’s perfect for 2. Whichever way, however you decide to serve it and enjoy it’s quick, easy, and delicious in it’s simplicity.

Spinach Parmesan Orzo Pasta Skillet Supper

 This is the happy place where health & comfort (food) meet.

Other Spinach recipes you might enjoy: Spinach & Cheddar Egg Bake, Creamy Tortellini with Spinach & Tomatoes, Greek Spinach Chicken Feta Pockets, Spinach & Artichoke Bagel Melts.

Spinach Parmesan Orzo

A creamy pasta side dish cooked in a rich broth with Parmesan cheese & fresh baby spinach stirred right on in.
4 from 30 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 4 tbsp butter divided
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3-4 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat and add 1 cup orzo. Stir until the orzo is lightly browned/toasted. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the orzo is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  • While the orzo is simmering it is a good time to prepare the spinach. In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Add 10 ounces of baby spinach and a pinch of salt. Saute until wilted. Set aside until orzo is done.
  • When orzo is done add the spinach and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and mix well. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. The Parmesan will add some saltiness to the dish, so be sure to give it a taste to ensure you don’t add too much salt!


recipe adapted from Life Tastes Good
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4 from 30 votes (26 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


    1. I love basmati rice! I may just have to give this recipe a try with a rice base instead of pasta. The idea sounds delish! My favorite way to prepare basmati is making a yellow rice with it.

      1. OMG!
        Loved it..Sent to to family members & friends…
        Love new recipes…tired of the same old things…I also make my own concoctions..🙂

    1. So glad you loved it, Connie! I usually pair it with chicken dishes, but salmon is a beautiful choice. I can’t wait to enjoy the two together!

  1. Thoughts on the flavor profile and substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth to make this vegetarian?

    1. Oh, you can totally make that easy swap to go the vegetarian route! It will still be flavorful and yummy, I just personally prefer the flavor from the chicken broth.

  2. I’ve been making this for years but never had a recipe. I served it as a side to chicken and cooked spinach as a side also, in a little olive oil.

  3. 5 stars
    This is was a hit! The first time I made it was for a big group and it paired well with salmon and halibut.

    1. Yes, but make sure it’s thawed completely and you’ve drained/strained all excess liquid. I stick mine between a layer of paper towels to ensure I’ve squeezed out as much as possible before adding to the pasta.

  4. First time making orzo and it was fantastic! Then made chicken soup with orzo; I’m hooked. Thank you for this tasty and easy recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    After realizing my spinach was spoiled, I tried to remedy this with hopefully a can of spinach…only had collards. So, I left it out. It still turned out good.