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Spinach Orzo Pasta, Garlic, Parmesan and Cream Cheese

20 mins
4 servings

This creamy garlic parmesan and spinach pasta is a favorite of the family for weeknight meals! This comforting side dish or vegetarian meal is quick and easy to prepare. Although this creamy parmesan orzo pasta looks a lot like risotto, it is much faster and easier to make. This pasta is a favorite of our family for weeknight comfort and it’s great for adding fresh spinach to your diet. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1lb (450g) orzo
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Make garlic parmesan orzo using spinach by boiling water. Stir occasionally until the pasta is al dente. Use a fine mesh strainer to drain the orzo. Keep at least 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in an ovenproof skillet on medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook for about one minute, stirring frequently.
  • Mix 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid with cream cheese. Turn the heat up to medium and bring to a simmer. Once it has cooled, add 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Toss in the cream cheese mixture.
  • Give the spinach a quick stir. Mix in 1/2 oz butter and Italian seasoning. Toss in the Parmesan cheese, red chili pepper flakes, and plenty of pepper. Season with salt as needed.
  • Toss the pasta with the sauce in a skillet. If you wish, add more spices. Stirring constantly, cook the pasta until it is fully cooked and the sauce has thickened slightly – about 3 minutes. You can add more pasta water if the sauce becomes too thick.
  • Divide the creamy garlic orzo pasta, spinach and Parmesan among two bowls. Top with more Parmesan. Serve immediately Enjoy!

Here are some tips for making creamy garlic parmesan orzo with spinach pasta:

  • Frozen spinach can be used if it is thawed and squeezed well. However, fresh spinach is better.
  • This creamy orzo recipe can easily be enhanced with fresh basil.
  • You can substitute half-and-half or heavy cream if you don’t have cream cheese. It is possible to reduce the amount of pasta water.

 

What can you serve with creamy garlic parmesan orzo and spinach?

This garlic parmesan and spinach orzo pasta recipe can be eaten as a meal, but a slice of good toasted garlic bread will make it even better!

 

How long can you keep the creamy spinach and orzo?

For up to three days, keep the creamy orzo pasta in a sealed container in your refrigerator. In the microwave, heat gently.