Go Back
+ servings
parmesan orzo with spinach in bowl f
Print Recipe Pin
5 from 7 votes

Parmesan Orzo with Spinach (one pot)

You're going to want to try Parmesan orzo with spinach if you're looking for a quick, family-friendly, easy dinner idea with good nutrition. Just 15 minutes in one pot.
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian-style, Vegetarian
Servings (change as needed): 4 as side dish
Author: Cheryl


  • 2 1/2 cups broth (vegetarian or chicken) PLUS 1/2 cup more to loosen pasta at the end if needed.
  • 1 cup milk, any kind I use 2%, but you can use whole to make it richer or skim for extra light.
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach, packed, roughly chopped (6-7 good handfuls - about 6 oz)
  • 1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoon pesto optional, but delicious if you like pesto
  • 3 tablespoon sun dried tomatoes. oil squeezed out, roughly chopped optional
  • salt and pepper to taste amount of salt will depend on saltiness of broth


  • COOK ORZO: In medium skillet (Note 1), bring 2 cups broth and 1 cup milk to a boil. Stir in orzo. Lower heat to medium high (liquids should be gently boiling). Stir, uncovered, for about 8-9 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed. TIP: Stir a lot toward the end so that orzo doesn't stick to pan.
  • ADD OTHER INGREDIENTS TO FINISH: Lower heat to medium low. Add chopped spinach, Parmesan and, if using, pesto and sun dried tomatoes. Stir until well until combined and spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. If too thick, add more broth to the consistency you prefer. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add additional pesto and Parmesan if you like. Serve with extra Parmesan on the side.


  1. Cooking Time will vary a bit depending on the type of skillet you use and if you double the recipe. The orzo will cook quicker in a larger, flatter skillet. You may need to add more liquid or cook the orzo longer. The recipe is very forgiving, though, so don't worry. Just add more broth or milk as needed or increase/decrease the heat as needed. 
  2. Make Ahead: If you make this ahead of serving time, it will thicken on standing. Before serving, stir in additional broth or water to loosen it up. You can refrigerate the dish in a sealed container for 3-4 days. Reheat on stove or in microwave with a splash of water, milk or broth. 
Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 944mg | Potassium: 607mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4995IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 279mg | Iron: 2mg