This Creamy Mushroom Orzo With Spinach is not only velvety but also easy and delicious! You can prepare it and adapt it as you wish. Ready in 30 minutes on the stovetop, you will love this vegetarian meal or enjoy it as a side dish. Orzo pasta is such a versatile ingredient. You can enjoy it in a soup or appetizer or make it in a risotto style like this recipe.
If you are a spinach lover like me (remember these delicious sausage pinwheels or spinach cheese manicotti?), you will love adding it to this creamy mushroom orzo! Of course, the star of the dish, the mushrooms are sautéd and so flavourful, it goes so well with the creamy orzo and then topped with some Parmesan cheese.
How to Cook Orzo with Mushrooms
First of all, making this recipe is really simple. You have a little bit of chopping to do beforehand, but then it is quite easy to assemble. Let’s review the ingredients you will need:
– Onion, garlic, salt, and black pepper.
– Orzo pasta, of course!
– Mushrooms of your choice! Pick your favorite ones. I really enjoy the little white or brown cremini mushrooms.
– Spinach is optional, but it is nutritious and delicious!
– Vegetable broth or chicken broth, both work well.
– Heavy cream
– Parmesan: optional but oh so good! It is a staple in this house!!
This is a simple recipe that can be accomplished in 30 minutes or less. Lets get cooking!
On medium-high heat, in a large pan or an iron skillet, drizzle some olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic and then add the sliced mushrooms. Cook until lightly browned and add the orzo. Stir so the orzo is coated with the cooked ingredients.
Pour some chicken stock (if this is what you choose to use) and stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer while stirring frequently. Once the liquid is absorbed, add some more and cook, stirring often.
Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper!
After 20 minutes, the cooked orzo should be al dente as you have gradually added the broth to the skillet over medium heat.
Lastly, pour the heavy cream and add in the roughly chopped spinach. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Serve with some grated parmesan cheese and enjoy this mushroom orzo while hot and creamy!
Other vegetables you could add to your pasta dish:
Red pepper: they would give some more color and sweetness to your dish. Dice them and add them with the onions at the beginning.
Asparagus: Add them steamed at the end of the dish. Cut them in thirds if you wish, and then toss them in the creaminess.
Peas: Add a handful or 2 of frozen peas with the last pour of broth. If they are fresh, add them at the same time as the orzo.
Is Orzo And Risotto The Same Thing? Is Orzo A Rice?
It is not. Orzo is a shape of pasta, while risotto is an Italian dish using a certain type of rice, arborio rice. Therefore orzo and risotto are not the same thing, it has, however, a similar shape and size and almost the same texture.
Can I Use Orzo Instead of Rice?
Yes! Orzo is a great option to swap rice if you want to change things up. Here the mushroom orzo is prepared in a very similar way to the Italian risotto except that it is a pasta dish!
For example, in this mushroom wild rice soup, you could easily replace it with orzo and adjust the cooking time. Have fun with it!
What Can I Serve Mushroom Orzo With?
The options to serve this dish with are endless. You can serve it in any season and adapt it. It can be a main dish or a side dish; let me share some inspiration with you:
Vegetarian main dish: add more vegetables such as asparagus, peas, broccoli cut into bite-size pieces, or cubed butternut squash. For this option and to keep it vegetarian, you will use vegetable broth.
Main dish with protein: How about cooking some bacon and sprinkling it generously on top before serving? Or you sauté some chorizo and toss it in? Lastly, use that leftover roast chicken you have in the fridge and voilà a full dish. For this version, you can use either chicken or vegetable broth.
Side dish: Consider serving mushroom orzo on the side of grilled meat; it is an amazing match! Also, you can accompany it with this delicious herbed butter roast turkey breast or juicy roast beef, serving them up for the holidays or a Sunday night dinner.
FAQ About This Mushroom Orzo Recipe
Which mushrooms could I use? I would say creminis are the easiest to find and a great size for this recipe. If you love portobello ones, consider cutting them into smaller pieces as they are a bigger mushroom.
How do you clean the mushrooms? Mushrooms do not need to be washed under water. They will absorb the moisture and then release it into your dish, which is unnecessary. Using a wet paper towel, rub the top of the mushroom to clean it, cut the tip of the stem, and that is all! Repeat on all the mushrooms.
Is orzo pasta good for you? As far as pasta is concerned, it is a carbohydrate, and this recipe a creamy one. You might not want to eat this every day! I would not consider orzo pasta bad for you but if you are looking for a healthier option, try to find a whole wheat version of the pasta.
I don’t have heavy cream; what can I substitute it with? You can replace it with milk, like a 2 or 3%. Adjust to 1/3 of a cup instead of 1/2 cup. You can also add some fresh goat cheese or Boursin to add some creaminess.
Can I use kale for this recipe? Absolutely, kale is such a great nutritious ingredient. Ir is a wonderful option to switch it from spinach to kale, just as I did for this frittata.
Pin it HERE!!
Pin it HERE!!
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 300 gms (1 1/2 cups) of mushrooms of choice (I used cremini)
- 1 cup of orzo pasta
- 2 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 2 cups of spinach, washed and chopped
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
- On medium-high heat, in a large pan or an iron skillet, drizzle some olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes or until tender.
- In the meantime, clean the mushrooms with a wet paper towel and slice them.
- Add the mushrooms to the skillet. Cook until lightly browned (4-5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the orzo. Stir so the orzo is coated with the cooked ingredients
- Pour 1/2 a cup of chicken stock and stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer while stirring frequently.
- Once the liquid is absorbed, add another 1/2 cup and cook, stirring often. Repeat until you have used up all the liquid. (It will take 15 minutes more or less)
- Pour the heavy cream and add the spinach all at once.
- Gently toss and cook another 5 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve!
For more information and helpful tips read the blog post!
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DOWAN 10 Ounces Porcelain Bowls Set, 6 Packs, Small Bowls, Ceramic White Bowls for Kitchen, Dessert Bowls for Ice Cream, Small Serving Bowls for Dipping, Rice, Prep, Side Dishes,Cereal,Microwave Safe
Baron’s Orzo Pasta Original | 2 Pack of 21.16oz Kosher Jars | Natural Israeli Rice-Shaped Orzo for Soups, Casseroles & Salads | Cooks in 10 Minutes for Creamy & Delicious Risotto’s or Rice Pilaf
Backcountry Cast Iron Skillet(12 Inch Large Frying Pan + Cloth Handle Mitt, Pre-Seasoned for Non-Stick Like Surface, Cookware Oven / Broiler / Grill Safe, Kitchen Deep Fryer, Restaurant Chef Quality)
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 306Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 431mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 9g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.