Creamy Orzo Pasta – Julia’s Album

This creamy orzo pasta is full of veggies (roasted butternut squash, spinach, and garlic) and takes solely half-hour. It is an ideal dinner for busy household weeknights while you’re craving consolation meals on a chilly Fall or Winter night time. Serve this cozy meal as a meatless essential course or as a aspect dish alongside your favourite proteins (rooster, beef, pork, seafood).

creamy orzo pasta with butternut squash and spinach in a white bowl.

Orzo pasta

What makes this 30-minute dinner completely different out of your normal creamy pasta recipes is that it is full of contemporary veggies, equivalent to roasted butternut squash and spinach, and there is solely ½ cup of cream used. I used store-bought peeled and pre-cut butternut squash which saved me a ton of time and made the entire recipe a breeze! Good for a comfortable household weeknight dinner but in addition applicable for entertaining company. Creamy orzo pasta additionally works nice as a aspect dish to cooked or grilled meats (rooster, beef, steak, lamb, pork) or seafood (shrimp, salmon, scallops). You’ll be able to make this year-round (not simply throughout Fall and Winter) and use candy potatoes as a substitute of (extra seasonal) butternut squash. For extra orzo pasta inspiration, check out these 2 recipes: Creamy Butternut Squash and Sausage Soup with Orzo and Spinach and Creamy Rooster Orzo with Veggies.

creamy orzo pasta with butternut squash and spinach in a white bowl.

Why you may find it irresistible

  • Simple 30-minute recipe. Roast the peeled and cubed butternut squash within the oven when you make creamy orzo pasta with spinach within the skillet on the stovetop. Every thing comes collectively in simply half-hour. This recipe is even faster in case your native retailer carries pre-cut peeled butternut squash.
  • Flavorful meatless dinner. If you happen to’re in search of a meatless recipe that’s filling, scrumptious, and never boring, this butternut squash and spinach orzo may turn out to be certainly one of your new favorites! It is a Fall and Winter consolation meals which you can make year-round (and use candy potatoes as a substitute of butternut squash when it isn’t in season).
  • Nutritious consolation meals. Though this creamy orzo pasta is pure consolation meals, it’s also full of veggies. You’ll be able to even double the quantity of veggies when you prefer to make it more healthy!

What’s orzo?

Orzo is a short-cut pasta resembling long-grain rice in form.  It’s produced from flour, like normal pasta.  Typically, orzo is made with semolina (durum wheat used for making pasta).

What sort of orzo to make use of?

Some shops supply completely different sizes of orzo.  I favor the sort of orzo that’s bigger in dimension. On this recipe, I used orzo by Delallo model, Quantity 65 lower.  It was bigger than different orzo sizes provided at my native retailer.

How one can cook dinner orzo

  1. Mix orzo and water in a deep saucepan or massive high-sided skillet in a 1:2 ratio. For instance, mix collectively 1 cup of orzo with 2 cups of rooster inventory.
  2. Prepare dinner on a low simmer for about 5 or 10 minutes or longer till the orzo is totally cooked via. Stir sometimes, in order that the orzo does not get caught to the underside of the pan.
  3. If the liquid absorbs too quick and the orzo will not be cooked but, add ¼ cup of liquid and proceed simmering till the orzo is mushy and all of the liquid is absorbed. Add extra liquid, if wanted.

Fundamental substances

  • Orzo is a staple meals of Italian delicacies. This pasta resembles long-grain rice and is straightforward to cook dinner!
  • Spinach. I used contemporary spinach and cooked it proper in the identical pan because the orzo pasta. You too can use frozen spinach – thawed and drained of any liquid.
  • Butternut squash. I used store-bought peeled and pre-cut butternut squash which made this recipe actually fast and straightforward to place collectively. When you’ve got complete butternut squash, I like to recommend that you just peel it and dice it upfront.
  • Cream. I used solely ½ cup of heavy cream so as to add a contact of creaminess.
  • Seasonings used to make this creamy orzo pasta with butternut squash and spinach flavorful embrace smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and contemporary thyme.

How one can make creamy orzo pasta (the overview)

Right here is the recipe in a nutshell. For an in depth listing of substances and recipe directions, scroll all the way down to the recipe card under.

1) Roast butternut squash (peeled, cubed, and tossed with olive oil, freshly thyme, salt, and pepper) on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet within the preheated oven at 400 F for about 20 or half-hour. Proceed with the remainder of the recipe whereas the squash is within the oven.

2) Prepare dinner orzo with minced garlic, seasonings, and rooster inventory in a big high-sided skillet in a 1:2 ratio (1.5 cups of orzo with 2.5 cups of rooster inventory) for about 5 or 10 minutes till fully cooked via.

3) Add spinach to the skillet and cook dinner till it wilts.

4) Assemble the dish by including roasted butternut squash to the creamy orzo pasta skillet. Season with salt and pepper. High with contemporary thyme.

creamy orzo pasta with butternut squash and spinach - close-up photo.

Cooking Ideas

  • Use a high-sided, heavy-bottomed skillet equivalent to a cast-iron skillet or a good-quality chrome steel pan. This can assist keep away from the burn spots and can guarantee even cooking with out meals getting caught to the underside of the pan.
  • Make this recipe gluten-free by utilizing lengthy rice as a substitute of orzo.
  • Scale back energy by utilizing chopped cauliflower or cauliflower rice as a substitute of orzo.
  • Toppings. When serving, you’ll be able to add grated Parmesan cheese, pink pepper flakes, contemporary herbs, or cracked black pepper to the orzo pasta.
  • Make forward tip. Roast butternut squash cubes as much as 2 days forward. Preserve them refrigerated in an hermetic container till prepared to make use of.

Variations and substitutions

  • Pasta. If you cannot discover orzo, you need to use another sort of short-cut pasta, equivalent to bow-tie (farfalle), fusilli, orecchiette, rotini, or rigatoni. If utilizing this sort of pasta, you may need to cook dinner it as you’d usually cook dinner pasta – in a big pot of boiling water – and solely then add it to this recipe.
  • Use different greens. Swiss chard, arugula, or kale will work nice on this recipe moreover spinach.
  • A superb substitute for butternut squash is good potatoes. This fashion you may make this recipe year-round by utilizing candy potatoes when the butternut squash will not be in season.
  • Add sausage or rooster. I like to recommend spicy Italian sausage, rooster sausage, or skinless boneless rooster thighs. You too can plant-based sausage equivalent to Past sausage model.

How one can garnish orzo pasta

Garnish orzo pasta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and freshly floor black pepper. Different nice toppings are pink pepper flakes, chopped chives, chopped contemporary herbs (parsley, basil, thyme, cilantro), chopped inexperienced onions, chives, or toasted pine nuts.

Storage Ideas

  • Fridge. Retailer the leftover creamy orzo pasta in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 3 days.
  • Freezer.  Freeze the leftovers in an hermetic container for as much as 2 months.
  • Reheat within the microwave oven. Reheat the refrigerated leftovers in a microwave oven for about 1 minute. Style and reheat for 30 further seconds or extra, if wanted. You may need so as to add a small quantity of milk or cream if the orzo is just too thick.
  • Reheat on the stovetop. Reheat it in a big, high-sided skillet on the stovetop on low-medium warmth. Add a small quantity of rooster inventory, milk, cream, or just water to skinny out the sauce.

What to serve with it?

Different orzo pasta recipes you may like