Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spinach-Parmesan Orzo

I've got a serious love for spinach. I make it as a side dish REALLY frequently - as in, at least once per week. It's incredibly healthy, super easy to prepare, and cheap (especially since local grocery stores here almost ALWAYS have a B1G1 Free/50% off sale on bagged spinach). 

Sometimes I make creamed spinach, or, with an Asian meal, Japanese spinach "salad". Usually, though, I just saute it in a little teeny spot of olive oil for about 5 minutes or until wilted. Easy!

I had an extra bag of spinach (thanks to one of those aforementioned sales), and wanted to make something a little nicer than the usual sauteed spinach. After a quick scan of the pantry, I found some orzo and then remembered that I had a little bit of grated Parmesan from my Chicken Parmesan that needed to be used up. Since I ALWAYS have chicken stock on hand (whether it's my usual recipe, or my slow-cooker stock made from the leftovers of storebought or homemade rotisserie chicken), I knew I could come up with something without having to go to the store....Spinach-Parmesan Orzo (who saw that one coming?)

Spinach-Parmesan Orzo

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 10oz bag baby spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil. 

Add the orzo and cook, stirring, until the orzo is lightly browned. 

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the broth has been absorbed and the orzo is tender. 

Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant (I forgot to add the garlic when I made this!). Add the spinach and a generous pinch of salt. Cook until wilted. Drain off any excess liquid and set aside. 

Once the orzo is done, add the drained spinach along with the Parmesan cheese. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. 


  1. I'd eat all of it...pasta,spinach and cheese..heaven...

  2. This is the first time I've cooked orzo - love it and will be cooking this side dish again and again. Thanks so much!

    1. You're welcome, Amanda! I'm glad you enjoyed it!