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Creamy Spinach Orzo Pasta

Ingredients

  • 12 to 16 ounces orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 to 2 ladles pasta water, divided
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, divided
  • 12 ounces fresh baby spinach
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I’m guessing, some of you will find all of the ingredients needed to make this Creamy Spinach Orzo Pasta, in your kitchen! Reminds me, I need to create a blog listing my must-have fridge and pantry staples . Basically, I had zero desire to run to the market the other evening. So, I foraged through my fridge and found spinach I needed to use. In my opinion, there was no better option than to create this fabulous creamy pasta dish. Serve this super quick and easy orzo pasta as a side dish, or as a main course paired with your favorite protein.

You have no idea how much fun I had filming a TikTok video creating this fabulous spinach pasta dish. Be sure to check out the video below. If you have not yet signed up for this social media platform, use my code 5SSIS800K0H06 to create an account.

a pan of creamy spinach orzo pasta

SUBSTITUTES FOR ORZO PASTA

No orzo pasta in the pantry? No problem! This Creamy Spinach Pasta recipe will also work well with any of the following:

  • acini de pepe
  • couscous
  • ditalini
  • cauliflower rice
  • spaghetti or linguine to serve as a main course

Spinach

Frozen spinach can be substituted for fresh. Be sure to thaw and squeeze out most of the water content. Kale may also be a great alternative as long as you cut into thin strips.

TIPS ON MAKING THE BEST CREAMY SPINACH ORZO PASTA

In order to achieve that rich, silky texture of this creamy pasta, you MUST use pasta water! In fact, I would suggest using pasta water in all of your pasta sauce recipes. This starchy liquid brings an entire new element of flavor and thickness to any sauce.

Additionally, consider the following useful tips:

  • drop the pasta at the same time you start preparing the sauce (timing is everything)
  • use my recipe ingredient amounts as a guide (this quick pasta recipe is more about technique)
  • Pecorino Romano is a great substitute for Parmesan (always use freshly grated)
  • add the grated cheese in small quantities (you will achieve a smoother sauce with no clumps)
  • use baby spinach (it’s more tender and the stems are not as woody)
  • crushed red pepper flakes are optional, yet highly encouraged
  • keep the added salt level to a minimum (the pasta water and cheese add enough saltiness)
  • transfer the pasta directly from the pot with a slotted spoon (the added pasta water will only enhance the sauce)
ingredients waiting to be mixed together in a pan for creamy spinach orzo pasta

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Serve this Spinach Orzo Pasta as a side dish, or main course. I think we can all agree that this makes for a great vegetarian pasta option. Additionally, this creamy pasta will pair perfectly with salmon, chicken, and/or pork.

LEFTOVER ORZO PASTA

Leftover spinach orzo pasta should be stored in an airtight container. The pasta will last up to four days in the fridge, making this Creamy Spinach Orzo Pasta a great addition to your meal prep menu.

Placing leftovers in the freezer is not recommended due to the content of cream and cheese.

Print
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a pan of creamy spinach orzo pasta

Creamy Spinach Orzo Pasta


Description

A Creamy Spinach Orzo Pasta recipe is a great way to use up fridge and pantry items. Serve this orzo pasta as a side dish, or to compliment your favorite protein. It’s a super quick and easy pasta recipe! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 to 16 ounces orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 to 2 ladles pasta water, divided
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, divided
  • 12 ounces fresh baby spinach

Instructions

  1. Boil water for the pasta. Do not forget to salt the water.
  2. Drop the pasta.
  3. In a separate pan on medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper. 
  4. Allow to cook for a minute or two before adding a ladle of the pasta water. Cook for another minute.
  5. Add the heavy whipping cream. Cook for another minute to start thickening.
  6. Season with black pepper.
  7. Whisk in about 1/3 cup of the cheese.
  8. Add the spinach to wilt.
  9. Add a touch more pasta water and another 1/3 cup of cheese. Cook another minute.
  10. Add the pasta directly from the pot with a slotted spoon.
  11. Season again with a touch more black pepper and crushed red pepper (optional)
  12. Mix.
  13. Check the sauce. Too thick? Add a touch more pasta water, and/or cream. Too thin, add small amount of cheese.
  14. Garnish with the remaining cheese.
  15. SERVE immediately and ENJOY!

Notes

SEE POST FOR TIPS AND NOTES!

  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving

Keywords: how to make creamy spinach orzo pasta, orzo pasta recipe ideas, pasta with spinach recipes, vegetarian pasta recipes, easy pasta side dish recipes, quick and easy pasta recipe ideas, pasta recipes under thirty minutes, weeknight pasta dishes

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I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

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