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.
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.
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.
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.
This is the happy place where health & comfort (food) meet.
Spinach Parmesan Orzo
- 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!