Spinach and Parmesan Orzo
If you’re looking for a cheesy and delicious side dish that pairs well with practically any meat course, look no further. This Spinach and Parmesan Orzo is the stuff dreams are made of (well, my dreams anyway…have I mentioned how much I love food? And cheese?) and it comes together really quickly for inclusion in an easy weeknight meal.
My husband loves to grill, and now that ours is no longer buried in snow he is in his element. I love this Spinach and Parmesan Orzo because he can throw some meat on the grill, I can easily whip this up in the kitchen along with a salad or some fruit and dinner is served. This is also a great dish to pair with a salad for a light meatless meal or easy lunch.
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Looking for more ideas for tasty and satisfying side dishes? Check out my Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Almonds, Zucchini Casserole, Loaded Cauliflower Bake, Zucchini Squares, Cheesy Potluck Potatoes, Crispy Corn Fritters, Buffalo Cheese Bread and more in my side dish recipe category!
Spinach and Parmesan Orzo
- 1 tablespoon light butter, I used Land O’Lakes
- 1 cup (6 oz weighed) dry whole wheat orzo
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups fat free chicken broth, or vegetable broth if making vegetarian
- 4 oz fresh chopped spinach
- 1 ½ oz freshly grated Parmesan, I use the smallest holed side of my box grater to shred
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- A sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet or saute pan, bring the butter over medium high heat until melted. Add the dry orzo and stir to coat. Cook for about 2 minutes until some pieces of the orzo begin to brown. Add the minced garlic and stir together. Cook for an additional minute or so until garlic is fragrant.
- Add the broth to the pan and bring to a boil (mine was basically boiling right away). Cover the pan and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 14-15 minutes until the broth is absorbed and the orzo is tender. Stir in the chopped spinach and continue stirring for 1-2 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Add the Parmesan, basil, Italian seasoning and black pepper and stir together until thoroughly combined. Serve immediately.
4 per (1/2 cup) serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com) Adapted from AllRecipes
Hey Emily, do you think I can make this with broccoli instead of spinach? Maybe if I blanch it for a minute or two before adding it to the orzo?
Thanks, love many of your recipes!
Sure, you could definitely add some cooked broccoli instead of spinach. Hope you love it!
Debbie, I was thinking the same thing, and I think broccoli would be great! Blanching it first is a good idea. I’d sub arugula, too. And I think blanched asparagus cut into small pieces would be super…fresh asparagus will be appearing at my farmers market before long. Yum!
Hope you love it! 🙂
Made this tonight! So delicious!!! My store didn’t have whole wheat orzo but they had tri-colored so I used that. Such a delicious side, I paired mine with orange roughy
Looks wonderful! I have some whole wheat orzo in my pantry!
Made this tonight, it was great! I like that I can sneak a vegetable in on my husband by having it in this delicious pasta dish! We both loved it, thanks for another great recipe!
Another awesome recipe! We had this side over the weekend with grilled steaks, and it was fabulous! Having pizza logs (one of our absolute favorites) for dinner tonight. Emily, your recipes and your website NEVER disappoint – thank you!
Made this last night. Awesome!! Big hit with the family. They were even looking for leftovers today, of which there were none!!
I’m so glad you and your family loved it!
Just made this and it was delish! Brought it down to a single lunch portion – 40g orzo, one bag spinach, 20g parmesan, one cup stock. Also threw in a tiny onion (finely chopped) when coating/browning the orzo. I feel full, satisfied and I can already tick “dose of greens” off today’s list!
Thank you for another fab recipe. 🙂
Off to Google ‘aragula’ and find out what it is…
I’m happy you loved it! 🙂
This was fantastic. Came together really simply. Even sent the link to my sister! Thanks for providing healthy recipes!!! Love your site.
Made this last night with some greek yogurt chicken – omg. Very delicious! I’m eating some leftover orzo for lunch, and it reheats pretty well. Definitely making this again. Thank you Emily!!
As it turns out this is the stuff my dreams are made of too! This was easy and absolutely delicious! The whole family declared it a winner-even one of my “no parmesan” kids loved it. Thanks!
I’m so happy to hear the whole fam loved it! Thanks for letting me know 🙂
If I cannot find whole whear orzo, would that change the points value?
My daughter picked this recipe for me to make but I’d like to add some protein and make it a one-pot dish. I was thinking of browning bite-size chicken breast pieces and adding them right into the orzo. Do you think that would work? Would need to be adjusted at all? Thank you!
This is such a great recipe! I’ve made it with both fresh and frozen spinach. With frozen, I just broke off a chunk of the block of spinach, microwaved it to defrost, and stirred it in at the end as usual. I’ve also used regular (non-whole wheat) orzo when that was all I had, and it was great too, no difference in the recipe. This dish feels indulgent but packs a lot of spinach, so it’s a great healthy meal option. I also love how quick and easy it is.
This is comforting and yummy!!
I really enjoy this recipe! After making it multiple times, I tried a variation that I liked that you might enjoy also. I added diced, sun-dried tomatoes (plain, not oil-packed) along with the spinach. Delicious!
Yum, that sounds great!
Did you weigh the piece of Parmesan before shredding it or did you weigh out 1.5oz of the shreds?
Love this recipe! Tonight I added diced chicken and a bunch of veggies to make it a full meal. My 5 year old loved it!