Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

One of the food items I’m always the worst at is trying to come up with side dishes to go with our meals. I get so focused on the main dish that I forget about anything else. I love orzo pasta, and have made a few meals with it before, and planned this to be the main dish, but it ended up working better as a side item.

Orzo is so versatile because it’s the size and shape of rice but still tastes like pasta. I have only made a few recipes with it and enjoyed every one of them. The trick is to get the orzo cooked just right. Since it’s so small it’s easy to overcook, make sure to keep a close eye on it while it boils.

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Each brand of orzo is slightly different, so start by cooking the orzo as directed on the package. Typically, you are just boiling the pasta in water for a set amount of time, usually about 10 minutes. Stir it occasionally, so the orzo doesn’t stick to the pan, then drain in a colander. Remember, the pieces are small, so you need a small-slotted strainer for this. My regular spaghetti one has too large of holes, so I use one that is netted, similar to an open sifter.

You need to act quickly when making this, so nothing sticks to the pan, so it helps to get the ingredients measured out before you start, especially the spinach and parmesan cheese.

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook these for about a minute, until the garlic is fragrant.

Add the flour and whisk this into the oil mixture, then stir in enough milk to whisk the flour until there are no lumps. I find about 1/4 to 1/2 of the milk is enough for this. Once there are no lumps, continue to whisk in the rest of the milk. Bring this to a simmer and cook for about 6-8 minutes. The sauce will start to thicken.

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Pour in the spinach and cook for a few minutes until it has wilted.

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese until it melts.

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Add the orzo to the sauce and stir until it is coated. Garnish with extra parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides


Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Servings: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup spinach chopped
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded
Instructions
  1. Cook orzo pasta as directed

  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in medium pot and add minced garlic, salt, and pepper

  3. Cook about 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant

  4. Add flour and whisk until combined

  5. Slowly add milk while whisking to eliminate lumps

  6. Simmer for about 6-8 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken

  7. Mix in spinach and cook for a few minutes until it wilts

  8. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese until it's melted

  9. Add the orzo to the sauce and stir to coat

  10. Garnish with extra parmesan cheese and serve immediately

Recipe Notes

Src: https://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/cheesygarlicparmesanspinachorzo/

Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

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12 thoughts on “Cheesy Spinach Orzo Pasta Sides

  1. I am also terrible at side dishes. I always forget and we are half way done eating by the time I remember. This sounds amazing I love cheese and spinach!

  2. Sides are harder than they seem! But I really like what you did here – I am a huge fan of orzo so I might have to give this one a go! Pasta? Check. Cheese? Check. Garlic? Check check check. I am in!

  3. A recipe that makes in 30 minutes or less for four is exactly what I look for in a recipe! The ingredients are super simple and things that I won’t have to run around looking for. My mouth is watering just looking at the pictures!

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I often substitute one for the other if we are out of one of the cheeses and it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference. So I would think it would still work well!

  4. I think this is a great side dish but could also be an awesome main dish! Add a little grilled chicken or shrimp and voila! I love fresh baby spinach! This looks delicious.

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