Indulge in a creamy and flavorful meal with our Creamy Spinach Orzo. This delightful dish combines the delicate taste of orzo pasta with the richness of a creamy spinach sauce.
In this article, we’ll guide you through crafting this comforting and satisfying pasta dish that’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a cozy meal at home. Let’s get cooking!
- 8 oz (about 1 1/2 cups) of orzo pasta
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 5 oz (about 5 cups) of fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Fresh basil leaves, chopped, for garnish (optional)
Steps to Make
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant.
Add the fresh baby spinach leaves to the skillet. Cook, tossing frequently, until the spinach wilts and reduces in volume, about 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the heavy cream, grated Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes. Stir until the cheese is melted, and the sauce becomes creamy.
Season the sauce with salt and black pepper to your liking. Sprinkle the lemon zest over the sauce for a burst of fresh flavor.
Add the cooked orzo pasta to the skillet with the creamy spinach sauce. Gently toss everything together until the pasta is evenly coated.
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the skillet. Stir well to incorporate the lemon juice into the creamy sauce.
Divide the Creamy Spinach Orzo among serving plates. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired for an extra burst of herbaceous flavor.
In conclusion, our Creamy Spinach Orzo is a delectable and satisfying pasta dish that combines the comforting richness of creamy sauce with the freshness of spinach and a zesty touch of lemon. It’s a delightful meal that’s easy to prepare and perfect for any occasion.
Can I use frozen spinach instead of fresh baby spinach?
Yes, you can use frozen spinach, but be sure to thaw and drain it before adding it to the skillet.
Can I make this dish with a different type of pasta?
Certainly! You can use your favorite pasta shape, such as penne, fettuccine, or spaghetti, instead of orzo.
What can I substitute for heavy cream if I want a lighter version?
You can use half-and-half or whole milk for a lighter sauce. Keep in mind that the sauce may be less creamy but still delicious.
Is there a way to make this dish vegetarian or vegan?
To make it vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. To make it vegan, substitute the heavy cream with a dairy-free alternative like coconut cream and use nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan cheese.
Can I add protein like chicken or shrimp to this pasta dish?
Absolutely! You can sauté cooked chicken breast or shrimp separately and then add them to the pasta just before serving for added protein.