One Pot Spinach Mushroom Orzo

Topped with a creamy Parmesan sauce, Spinach Mushroom Orzo a very satisfying meal
Topped with a creamy Parmesan sauce, Spinach Mushroom Orzo a very satisfying meal

One Pot Spinach Mushroom Orzo is very tasty main course option that is easy to adjust to fit even vegetarian or vegan diets. It takes full advantage of the protein punch of spinach and the satisfyingly earthy, meaty quality of Cremini mushrooms. Topped with a creamy Parmesan sauce, it’s a very satisfying meal that uses Orzo, a largely misunderstood and often ignored pasta. Orzo is frequently confused with Arborio rice which is used in risotto. It’s also often confused because its similar in appearance when cooked to couscous.

Orzo is the word for barley in Italian and also might refer to a popular barley based beverage. It’s also a very popular tiny pasta shape or pastini that resembles the grain but is usually made from semolina or whole wheat flour. Also often referred to as ‘risoni’, orzo is not often the main event as its usually added uncooked to soups or stews. This is because it tends to hold its shape while readily absorbing liquids. Orzo is a great choice because it adds a pleasing bulk to any prepared dish.

Also key to this dish, and what makes it a main course in my eyes, is the 4 cups of baby spinach added right at the end. Spinach is a dark leafy vegetable believed to possess powerful antioxidant, cancer fighting properties. It’s a particularly rich source of calorie-free protein and contains Vitamins A, C and E. Its dark green colour comes from chlorophyll which has powerful anti inflammatory properties. Its also low in fat and carbohydrates and is packed with water soluble fibre making it an ideal food for aiding digestion and assisting in weight loss. Eating spinach also promotes eye-health and healthy bones and it’s considered an excellent food if you’re battling hypertension. The zinc and magnesium in spinach help you relax so, eating it promotes better sleep. While its iron and folate content battle anemia which among other things can lead to hair loss its antioxidants in general can make your skin look and feel healthier.

One further note about Spinach. It’s a very versatile food that can easily be added to most stews, soups and pasta dishes. Adding spinach is a powerful Veteran Move that can quickly add significant nutritional value to any dish…

Orzo, mushrooms, spinach, garlic, Parmesan, chicken stock and milk all together create a delicious meatless main course
INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound Cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried orzo pasta
2 cups low-sodium chicken (or vegetable broth)
2 cups whole milk
4 cups packed baby spinach (about 4 ounces)
Measure put all the ingredients beforehand then heat oil and brown the mushrooms
Measure out or grate 1 cup Parmesan cheese.
Mince 2 cloves garlic and slice 1 pound Cremini mushrooms.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or braising pot over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add mushrooms, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and tender, approximately 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and orzo and saute for about a minute
Add the garlic and dried orzo pasta and sauté until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock and the milk, bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer until the pasta has absorbed most of the liquid
Stir in broth and bring to a boil then add the milk and bring it to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered.
Swapping vegetable broth and soy or almond milk works well and easily makes this a vegetarian or vegan dinner option
Stir frequently to keep the orzo from sticking, until the orzo is al dente. It will thicken somewhat and form a creamy sauce
Stir frequently to keep the orzo from sticking and until it’s al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed… approximately 10 minutes.
It will thicken somewhat and form a creamy sauce
Remove from heat and add baby spinach. Once the spinach starts to wilt...
Remove from heat and add baby spinach. Once the spinach starts to wilt…
Add the Parmesan and stir until the spinach is wilted and the cheese is melted
…add the Parmesan and stir until the spinach is fully wilted and the cheese is melted…
Serve immediately and serve with more Parmesan to taste
…about 1 minute. Serve immediately and serve with more Parmesan to taste

Try this recipe. If you like it… even if you don’t… please comment and like the blog. Come back and see us some time!

One thought on “One Pot Spinach Mushroom Orzo

  1. Pingback: Proscuitto Quiche with Spinach and Parmesan | VeteranMovesforMenIntheKitchen.com

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