This Creamy Spinach Orzo is the side dish to end all other side dishes!
Not only will you impress everyone at the table, but this colorful and tasty dish is packed with veggies and creamy goodness, without adding a cream! Hungry? Let’s get cooking!
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You may ask how you can get a creamy texture with no cream, and I’ll tell you – it’s all in how you cook this amazing and easy Creamy Spinach Orzo side dish!
Ready to eat? Read on and see how to make this easy orzo side dish recipe today!
What Is Orzo?
It’s got a funny sounding name, but orzo is nothing more than pasta. It’s often in the shape of a flattened grain of rice, or it can be almost in a teardrop shape.
It’s a quick-cooking pasta, so don’t set it and forget it! This dish cooks up into perfection in about 10 minutes.
What You Need To Make Creamy Spinach Orzo
- Large skillet with lid
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife – Henckels are my absolute favorite for quality, durability, and value!
Ingredients to Make This Easy Spinach Side Dish Recipe
- Spinach – fresh spinach washed and spun dry
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Low sodium chicken broth – or vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian
- Lemon juice
How To Make One Pot Spinach Orzo Recipe
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the chopped garlic and sautee until fragrant.
- Add the orzo and cook over medium heat until the orzo becomes lightly golden brown.
- Add the broth and put the lid on, cooking as per suggested cooking time on the package, or until the orzo is el dente. Soft, but still some firmness. Most of the liquid will have evaporated.
- Add the spinach and mix well to wilt the spinach.
- Add the tomatoes and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Chef Jenn’s Tips
- This easy spinach orzo side dish can be made ahead of time and reheated. It’ll lose some of its creaminess, but it’ll still be delicious.
- A pinch of red pepper flakes will add a bit of spicy zip to this easy pasta side dish recipe.
- Fresh spinach works best, but thawed and squeezed frozen spinach will also work. Make sure it is well squeezed, and add about a cup.
- The color from the tomatoes really adds a great visual appeal to this dish, but if you don’t like tomatoes, chopped red bell peppers would look great, too! Just toss them in a few minutes before the orzo is finished cooking.
- Want some more flavor? Add about 1/2 cup of crumbled feta as a garnish to this dish.
Make it a Meal
Is Creamy Spinach Orzo Freezer Friendly?
Like most pastas, this dish will freeze tolerably well. It’ll lose some of its creaminess in the thawing process, and the tomatoes will lose some of their liquid.
It is best eaten fresh, but if you do freeze it, chill it completely and put it in a zipper-top bag with as much of the air removed as possible.
Freeze it for up to 3 months.
To reheat, thaw it and then warm it gently in the microwave.
Orzo is very much a pasta, and has gluten in it from the wheat flour.
Orzo needs to be boiled in liquid, much like any other pasta, in order for it to cook.
Orzo is a pasta, so it is higher in carbs but low in fat. Look for whole wheat orzo for the most nutritional value.
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Step By Step Process
Creamy Spinach Orzo
- 1 1/4 cup orzo
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 1/2 cups low or no sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups spinach raw
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Melt the butter and sauté the garlic over medium high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the orzo and toast over medium heat until lightly golden brown.
- Add the chicken stock and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 6 minutes until the orzo is tender but still firm. (Check the package to see the recommended cooking time.)
- When cooked, fold in the raw spinach, stirring to wilt it. You might need a bit more heat to get the spinach wilted. Remove it from the heat.
- Add the sliced grape tomatoes, and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning adding salt and pepper as needed.
A Note on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.