Creamy Spinach Artichoke Orzotto

updated Apr 5, 2021
Mediterranean Monday
Creamy Spinach Artichoke Orzotto

This twist on risotto is loaded with wilted spinach, tender artichokes, and bright, fresh lemon.


Prep5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 25 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig; Food Styling: Catrine Kelty

This creamy, lemony, veggie-packed orzotto is exactly what you should be eating when you pop open spring’s inaugural bottle of rosé. It’s a one-pot pasta that’s given the risotto treatment: Orzo is simmered in broth and stirred while it cooks so that its natural starches release, which, when combined with grated Parmesan and a bit of butter, gives every bite velvety texture. Load up the pot with sweet spinach and tender artichokes and the result is a complete meal that perfectly walks the line between comfort and freshness, making it the ultimate choice for these first sunny days of the new season.

Orzo — or really any other pasta, for that matter — can handle way more vegetables than you think. Here, an entire box of baby spinach and a full bag of frozen artichokes are stirred in. At first it might seem like the ratio is totally off, but as the spinach wilts, you’ll end up with a cheesy pasta dinner that also puts veggies first. Win-win! Plus, calling for veggies that you can easily find in the supermarket means you don’t have to wait for the farmers market to open to enjoy this spring dish.

More Orzotto Recipes We Love

Welcome to Mediterranean MondaySheela Prakash‘s monthly column of Mediterranean recipes. Here, Sheela will teach you all about the Mediterranean diet’s feel-good way of cooking and eating, and share vibrant, easygoing recipes. Cook with us using #mediterraneanmonday, and for even more great recipes, order a copy of Sheela’s cookbook Mediterranean Every Day.

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Orzotto

This twist on risotto is loaded with wilted spinach, tender artichokes, and bright, fresh lemon.

Prep time 5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 3 cups

    low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • 2 ounces

    Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1 firmly packed cup grated on a Microplane or 2/3 cup store-bought)

  • 1

    medium shallot

  • 1

    small lemon

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups

    dried orzo pasta (10 ounces)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup

    dry white wine

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag

    frozen artichoke hearts

  • 5 ounces

    baby spinach (about 5 packed cups)

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter


  1. Place 3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat and maintain a bare simmer. Meanwhile, finely grate 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1 packed cup). Mince 1 medium shallot. Finely grate the zest of 1 small lemon, then halve the lemon.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, high-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.

  3. Add the shallot and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups orzo, season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  4. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the pan is almost dry, about 1 minute.

  5. Begin incrementally adding the broth a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly between each addition. Wait until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed by the orzo before adding the next 1/2 cup.

  6. When about half of the broth has been added, stir in 1 bag frozen artichokes. Continue adding more broth a 1/2 cup at a time and cook until all the broth is absorbed and the orzo is creamy and tender. The orzo will need 12 to 15 minutes total cooking time.

  7. Remove from the heat. Stir in 5 ounces baby spinach a few handfuls at time until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Squeeze the juice from the reserved lemon halves into the orzotto. Add the reserved zest, 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, and half of the grated cheese, and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Serve immediately with the remaining grated cheese for topping as desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.