One Pan Orzo with Tomatoes, Spinach, and Basil is a stovetop meal that can be on the table in 20 minutes or less. Yay!! It's a delicious pasta dinner with hardly any cleanup.
I love this quick and easy meatless orzo pasta dish so much that I made it almost every week, not too very long ago. It's that good!!
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- The ingredient list:
- Ingredient information:
- Why this one pan recipe works
- Can gluten-free pasta be used?
- Is this recipe vegetarian?
- How to make turn this one pan pasta meal into a vegetarian dish
- Can other vegetables be used in this dish?
- How long does this recipe take to make
- How many servings does this recipe make?
- How to store leftovers
- Can this one-pan pasta dish be frozen?
- Is this stovetop orzo pasta dish healthy?
- The health benefits of garlic
- Additional orzo recipes
- Additional one pot recipes
- Printable Recipe Card
The ingredient list:
*Please note that the exact measurements along with a new "shop the recipe" feature from Instacart is available in the printable recipe card.
GRAPE TOMATOES (cherry tomatoes also work) - I feel grape or cherry tomatoes have the best consistent flavor year-round. That's not to say that they aren't even more flavorful during the late spring and summer, but grape or cherry tomatoes are superior to their larger counterparts during the fall and winter months. A smaller tomato is also excellent when making a quick pan sauce.
OLIVE OIL - The choice is yours if you want extra virgin olive or regular olive oil. The tomatoes will be sautéed in the oil over medium/high heat so either oil will work. Some folks save extra virgin olive oil as a finishing oil and don't use it for sautéing at higher heat. I used extra virgin olive oil in this recipe. The choice is yours.
BUTTER - I like to add butter to this dish for its richness. I also use salted butter in my cooking and baking instead of unsalted butter, but either will be fine.
FRESH SPINACH - For this recipe, I like to use large-leaf spinach instead of baby-leaf spinach because it holds up better when cooked. However, if you're not a fan of the stems, feel free to remove them. They don't bother me, so I didn't remove the stems.
DRIED ORZO PASTA - I adore these little rice-shaped pasta. Did you know that in Italian, "risoni" means orzo, which translates to "big rice"?
Feel free to substitute whole-grain orzo pasta for even more nutrients. A whole grain orzo will have a slightly nuttier flavor and a bit firmer texture than a standard durum wheat flour orzo.
CHICKEN STOCK - I like to use a low (or no) sodium chicken broth (or stock) whenever possible. Beef broth (or stock) is an acceptable substitution for chicken, or you can use water or vegetable broth for cooking the orzo. Use whatever you have on hand or that you prefer. This recipe is very forgiving and easily adapts to personal preferences.
FRESH BASIL LEAVES - This ingredient finishes this easy one-pan pasta dish with abundant flair and flavor. I strongly urge you to use fresh basil leaves instead of dried basil because the taste of fresh basil leaves far surpasses dried basil in this particular quick-cooking recipe, where freshness is essential!
PARMESAN CHEESE - Lastly, and certainly not least, is everyone's favorite finishing touch to an Italian meal! A freshly grated (or shaved, as seen in the photos and video), high-quality Parmesan cheese adds the final savory, slightly salty accompaniment that takes this quick and easy orzo pasta dish from good to outstanding in one easy step!!
Why this one pan recipe works
Pasta is the ultimate comfort food, at least in my book. This easy orzo pasta is not only delicious, but it's also nutritious, creamy, and fresh!!
Can gluten-free pasta be used?
Yes, it sure can. If you have a favorite variety of gluten-free pasta, feel free to use it. Be aware that the cooking time may vary slightly depending on the type of pasta used.
Is this recipe vegetarian?
Not as written, no.
How to make turn this one pan pasta meal into a vegetarian dish
Orzo pasta with tomatoes and spinach can easily be made vegetarian using water or vegetable broth instead of chicken stock to simmer the pasta.
Can other vegetables be used in this dish?
Sure thing. Feel free to add whatever your favorites are. Peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts come to my mind.
The only thing you'll have to consider is keeping the veggies on the smaller side so that they'll cook within a short window on the stovetop.
How long does this recipe take to make
Approximately 20 minutes from start to dinner.
How many servings does this recipe make?
I wrote this recipe to serve four people. However, if left alone and unsupervised, I can easily eat 2-3 servings all by myself. That can be our little secret. LOL
How to store leftovers
Once cooled, store this pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can this one-pan pasta dish be frozen?
You bet. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave or stovetop until hot. If desired, add a small splash of water when reheating. Store any leftovers in an airtight freezer container for up to 4 months.
Sure. I'd suggest one 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes with their liquid.
They can, but since that's where some of the pasta cooking liquid comes from after the tomatoes have cooked down, you'll need to add a touch more stock or broth to the skillet than what the recipe calls for.
Yes. If you're not a fan, then by all means, leave it out. You can also swap out frozen spinach if desired. If swapping frozen for fresh spinach, make sure it's thawed and squeezed of all its liquid before adding it into the pot.
Yes. Feel free to use your favorite shape, but a small pasta is best for quick cooking recipes.
Sure. If you must, you must. Or, of course, you can add it to taste. Not everyone likes as much garlic in their food as I do.
Yep! Make sure it's completely thawed and squeezed dry from all the water. Add it to the pan after cooking the orzo, and give everything a good stir to heat through. Add the basil and Parmesan cheese as directed.
Is this stovetop orzo pasta dish healthy?
It certainly isn't unhealthy, that's for sure. With fresh spinach, garlic, and grape tomatoes (in-season year-round), this dish is definitely on the healthier side of the spectrum.
The health benefits of garlic
Do you know how healthy garlic is for you? Truly. It's one of the most beneficial things you can eat. Garlic contains high levels of antioxidants that may help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's as we age.
Garlic is very rich in vitamin C and B6, and it can even help boost the body's immune system along with many other benefits for the body and
Additional orzo recipes
Orzo and Shrimp Stuffed Avocados is an easy and elegant dish that can be served for a light lunch or dinner option.
Surprise! Chilled Orzo Pasta Salad with Sweet Corn and Blueberries may be a little unexpected, but after your first bite, you'll keep coming back for more!
Chicken, Orzo, and Mushroom Casserole is a hearty and delicious comfort food dish with great flavor and consistency. It's a real family pleaser!
Additional one pot recipes
One-Pot Linguine, Italian Sausage, Tomatoes, and Capers is an easy and satisfying meal for busy nights when time is tight, the family is hungry, and you don't want to fuss with too much prep or cleanup.
With only a handful of ingredients and 30 minutes to spare, you can please the entire family with this delicious and comforting Caraway Creamed Cabbage with Sausage.
When you make this recipe (and I hope that you will), I'd appreciate it if you'd take the time to come back and give it a star rating along with a comment on why you rated as you did. Google appreciates ratings on recipes and, in turn, will show my recipes to more people. Thank you!!
Printable Recipe Card
One Pan Orzo with Tomatoes and Spinach
- 16 ounces grape tomatoes washed and dried
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter (salted)
- 4 medium cloves (or to taste) garlic minced
- 1½ cups orzo pasta
- 2 cups chicken stock vegetable stock will also work
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves washed and dried
- 2 tablespoons basil leaves torn
- ¼ cup (or to taste) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large, high sided skillet, over medium heat.
- Add the washed and dried tomatoes to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes. Add the butter, garlic, and dried pasta to the pan. Stir well to coat the pasta with the butter, oil, and tomatoes.
- Add the chicken stock to the pan along with the spinach leaves, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium/low and cover and cook for 8-9 minutes.
- Remove the cover and stir in the fresh basil leaves and Parmesan cheese. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve hot with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.
I sincerely hope you'll enjoy this one pan easy pasta recipe as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!
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Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!