When orzo is cooked in one skillet with broth and cream it can take on a risotto like texture, very creamy, soft oh so comforting. This orzo goes one step further and adds some chopped baby spinach and parmesan cheese – and it’s still done in 15 minutes!
Orzo are little tiny little pasta that hold their shape and bite. They are basically the size and shape of rice and are very similar in their cooking method. Sauces adhere to the little paste really well. It can almost be compared to a risotto type of texture.
A lot of creamy orzo recipes are made in 2 pans. One to boil the orzo and the other to make the sauce. But then I thought to myself why not just boil the orzo IN the sauce at the same time? This helps make our lives a little cleaner one pan at a time.
No one wants a long side dish, or a complicated one. Side dishes should be easy and uncomplicated. So here is yet another orzo recipe from Happily Unprocessed because you all keep asking me to make more! 😀
HOW TO MAKE SPINACH & PARMESAN ORZO
SOFTEN THE ONIONS / TOAST THE ORZO – No one likes a crunchy onion in their soft orzo, so be sure to let the onions sweat a bit over low heat to soften. Add the garlic only at the last 30 seconds to one minute. Then add the orzo. The orzo will get a little brown on the edges and begin to smell a little nutty.
COOK THE ORZO – Add the broth and milk to help the orzo cook until al dente. Stir every so often to make sure it isn’t sticking and cooking evenly.
REMOVE FROM THE HEAT – Add your chopped up spinach and cheese(s).
The chicken broth and parmesan cheese both have salt in them. I did not add salt while sweating the onions due to this. I personally feel salt is not needed in this side dish, although a little black pepper is nice.
If you wanted to make this a one pot MEAL, just add some diced cooked chicken or some shrimp !
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- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1/2 Cup Onion, diced small
- 1 Clove Garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
- 1 Cup Orzo
- 1 Cup Chicken Broth
- 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
- 1 Cup Fresh Spinach, stems removed and cut into small pieces (measure after chopping)
- 3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
- 1/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper (optional)
- In a large skillet, melt the olive oil and butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the onion and stir. Cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and stir. Add the orzo. Cook the orzo for a minute or 2 until it just begins to brown.
- Carefully add the chicken broth, then the milk. Turn the heat to low and cover. Stir the orzo occasionally to ensure it is cooking evenly and not sticking to the pan. Cook 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is al dente.
- Remove the orzo from the heat and add the spinach, stir and again cover to let it wilt. Sprinkle in the parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Stir to combine.
NOTE: You can add a little salt while cooking the onion or once the liquid is added. However, keep in mind the salt from the parmesan cheese is high as well as the chicken broth. I found no salt was needed for this recipe.
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