Quick and affordable, this One Pot Orzo with Spinach & Mushrooms is a delicious vegetarian meal perfect to shake up your weeknight routine.
I need to take a moment and thank my Mama, y’all. For all that I saw her accomplish while we were growing up, one of the most persistent and annoying things you have to do as an adult went unnoticed – planning and making dinners. Redundant and unavoidable, deciding on weeknight dinners is just a relentless chore. The weekends give you some kind of break (if you get a weekend), but nights where you work and have responsibilities the next day, dinner can be such a PAIN. We have a short list we rotate through pretty consistently, which is great, but sometimes you just want something new, something easy, and someone else to decide.
Allow me to make that decision for you with this One Dish Creamy Spinach Orzo! It’s an easy one-dish recipe, but a little different with a creamy sauce and orzo to fill you up. Not to mention, this dish is really budget-friendly. I keep thinking about the rising cost of food, so this recipe was definitely rooted in the desire to not be broke!
What is Orzo?
Orzo is a small rice-shaped pasta. It’s bigger than a rice grain, but has that same oval shape. Because it rides the line between pasta and rice, it can be cooked as easily as pasta but served in the place of rice. It is commonly found in soups and salads, but here it will become the star player.
Can I Substitute Another Pasta Shape for One Pot Orzo?
You absolutely can sub out another small pasta shape in this recipe. The amount of liquid is tailored to the size and shape of orzo, though, so your best bet is mini farfalle, small shells, or orecchiette. If you want to use a bigger pasta shape, add another 1/4 cup of stock to your dish.
What is the Best Pot to Use?
This recipe comes together in about 20 minutes and all in one pan or pot. You really want to make sure it’s going to work before you get started!
I prefer to use an enameled cast iron Dutch oven for things like this because the sides are so tall. I can add liquid and stir without worrying about spillage. You can use any pot or skillet that has taller sides and will fit the ingredients inside. You will also need one that has a lid. When it doubt, go a little bigger than you think!
What Ingredients Do I Need for One Pot Orzo with Spinach & Mushrooms?
This one-pot recipe is a breeze to put together with fairly common ingredients.
- Orzo: This delicious small pasta makes a great base for this dish.
- Spinach: Fresh or frozen is great here, but remember to decrease the quantity if you use frozen and drain it well before adding.
- Mushrooms: I’m using button mushrooms here, but portobellas would also work.
- Onion: Regular white or yellow onions work best here.
- Stock: You can use homemade or store-bought for this recipe. Use vegetable stock to keep it vegetarian.
- Ricotta: This traditional Italian soft cheese adds so much texture and flavor to this dish.
- Basil: You can use an Italian blend of herbs in place or in addition to the basil.
- Garlic: I’m adding three cloves, but measure the garlic with your heart, y’all.
- Olive oil: A little olive oil goes a long way in this dish!
- Salt and pepper: These are added to taste and adjustable before serving.
How to Make One Pot Orzo
This dish comes together so quickly! This is a great beginner recipe because it is just so easy.
- Cook the vegetables. Put a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, allowing it to get completely hot before adding the onions. Cook for at least 5-7 minutes, stirring as needed, until they are translucent. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook for at least 10 minutes. You want them to reduce in size by about half, getting some of that water out.
- Toast the orzo. Sprinkle in the basil and garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the uncooked orzo, stirring it through the mixture. Toast the orzo for 1-2 minutes.
- Cook the orzo. Add the stock. Stir to combine, then turn up the heat to high and bring the mixture to boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down to low, cover, and allow the orzo to simmer for 8-10 minutes. The liquid will be reduced and the orzo will be tender.
- As tested by me, the liquid amounts worked for this amount of orzo. However, if you feel like your dish needs more liquid, add a splash of stock. If it seems too wet, let it sit on low heat for a bit longer until it is the consistency you want.
- Finish the dish. Add the spinach, stirring to wilt it down in the orzo. Stir in the ricotta cheese, then taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
That’s all it takes! Serve warm, garnishing with freshly grated parmesan, fresh basil, or a dollop of ricotta and a drizzle of olive oil.
Tips for Making Ahead and Storing this Recipe
This recipe is so quick to make that you barely have any prep! That said, you can reheat the dish if you want to make it ahead of time.
After completely cooking and cooling your orzo to room temperature, you can store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To reheat your dish, spoon out into a saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until it is as warm as you like. You can also spoon your orzo out into a small casserole dish and warm in a 300-degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until it is as warm as you prefer. You may need to add a splash of stock or even half and half to loosen up your stored pasta prior to reheating.
Love Pasta? Try these other recipes!
One Pot Orzo with Spinach & Mushrooms
- Dutch oven or skillet
- 16 ounces orzo
- 16 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
- 4 cups stock
- 2 cups fresh spinach, loosely packed
- 1 cup ricotta
- 0.5 cup diced onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon basil or italian herb blend
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, allowing it to get completely hot.
- Add the diced onions, cooking for 5-7 minutes or until translucent and lightly browned.
- Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook for at least 10 minutes or until they are reduced by half. When you drag a spatula through the middle, you should not see liquid seep into the clean "trail" through the pan.
- Add the basil and garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the uncooked orzo, stirring it through the mixture. Toast the orzo for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the stock and stir to combine.
- Turn up the heat to high and bring the mixture to boil.
- Once it boils, turn the heat down to low, cover, and allow the orzo to simmer for 8-10 minutes. The liquid will be reduced and the orzo will be tender.
- Add the spinach, stirring to wilt it down in the orzo.
- Stir in the ricotta cheese, then taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
- Serve warm and garnish with parmesan cheese, fresh basil, or a dollop of ricotta.