One-Pot Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Orzo

updated Aug 15, 2022
One-Pot Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Orzo

A one-pot recipe for creamy orzo pasta with mushrooms, spinach, and plenty of Parmesan cheese.

Serves6 to 8

Prep5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 22 minutes

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Credit: Shelly Westerhausen

We all have nights when we come home after a not-so-great day and need to sit down to something as comforting as possible, as quickly as possible. This orzo and mushroom dish is the answer. It’s the creamiest, cheesiest orzo you can imagine, filled with tender mushrooms and baby spinach, that cooks up as the perfect one-pot meal in under 30 minutes.

It also only requires a single utensil to eat, which means you can most definitely just grab a fork (or a spoon, for that matter) and take your bowl straight to the couch.

Credit: Shelly Westerhausen

The Secret to the Creamiest Pasta Dinner

This one-pot pasta is as creamy as can be for a couple of reasons. First, the orzo is cooked in a mixture of chicken (or vegetable) broth and whole milk. The broth lends flavor, while the milk provides the richness you crave.

Second, by stirring the orzo frequently as it cooks, you’re not only keeping it from sticking to the bottom of the pot, but you’re also forcing it to release some of its starches into the liquid, which helps to thicken it and transform it into a luxurious sauce. It’s a bit like stirring rice when making risotto, except this is both easier and faster.

More Orzo Dinners We Love

One-Pot Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Orzo

A one-pot recipe for creamy orzo pasta with mushrooms, spinach, and plenty of Parmesan cheese.

Prep time 5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 22 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces

    Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup), plus more for serving

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 pound

    cremini mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound

    dried orzo pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)

  • 2 cups

    low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

  • 2 cups

    whole milk

  • 4 cups

    packed baby spinach (about 4 ounces)

Instructions

  1. Finely grate 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup). Mince 2 cloves garlic and slice 1 pound cremini mushrooms 1/4-inch thick.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and 1 pound dried orzo pasta (about 2 1/2 cups) and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Stir in 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth and 2 cups whole milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently to keep the orzo from sticking, until the orzo is al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed and has formed a creamy sauce, about 10 minutes or according to package instructions.

  4. Remove from the heat. Add 4 cups packed baby spinach and the Parmesan and stir until the spinach is just wilted and the cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Serve garnished with more grated Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.