Creamy orzo with mushrooms and spinach

Super speedy one-pot stovetop pasta dish!

I have been noticing a lot of one-pot dishes popping up on my social media feed lately. The funny thing, however, is that a lot of them aren’t actually one-pot meals. The meat and vegetables might get cooked in one pot, but then you have to prepare rice or pasta in a second pot to go with it. In the spirit of making a true one-pot meal, I turned to orzo, a small rice-shaped pasta that cooks very quickly and holds its shape. This dish reminds me of mac ‘n cheese, except it takes less time to prepare. Like many of my recipes, this one is absolutely customizable.You can use shredded kale instead of chopped spinach, but give it an extra minute to wilt. Glam it up by adding a little diced prosciutto along with the mushrooms, or by finishing it with a sprinkle of truffle salt or a drizzle of truffle oil. I love this dish because in my busy world, any dinner that is both delicious and ready in under 15 minutes is a real winner.


  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 3/4 cup (185 mL) diced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) orzo pasta
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) chicken or vegetable broth (use low sodium if possible)
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) milk
  • 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) coarsely chopped baby spinach leaves (stems removed if desired)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


  • Place a 2 quart (2 L) Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and let it warm for a few seconds then add the onion and mushrooms then sauté until softened, 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute longer, then add orzo plus a few grinds of salt and pepper, and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Pour in the broth and milk, give it a good stir, then let come to a boil.
  • Cover the pot, reduce heat to just simmering, and let the pasta cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. This will form a creamy sauce for the pasta.
  • Note that if the liquid has absorbed and your pasta isn’t quite done (this will depend upon the width of your pot and the intensity of the heat on your stove), you can add another few tablespoons of milk or broth until the orzo is al dente.
  • Sprinkle the spinach and half the parmesan cheese over top and stir. Let spinach wilt and cheese melt for one minute. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  • Serve immediately with remaining parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Serves 3 – 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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