Spinach and Parmesan Orzo

  • 5MINS
  • 16MINS
  • Serves 4
  • 257KCAL

We’ve used our favourite pasta shape to make this rich, filling, meat-free Spinach and Parmesan Orzo. Perfect for lunch or dinner, the tiny rice-shaped pasta pieces cook down until you have an indulgent, risotto-like dish, with a creamy, cheesy sauce. Finish with grated Parmesan and a sprinkling of black pepper and that’s dinner sorted!

  • Everyday Light pinchofnom.com
  • Freezable pinchofnom.com
  • Quick Meals pinchofnom.com
Easy Peasy Spinach and Parmesan Orzo pinchofnom.com
5

NutritionPer Serving

  • Calories257
  • Carbs40g
  • Protein12g
  • Fat5g
  • Saturates2.5g
  • Sugars3g

Spinach and Parmesan Orzo - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card below. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff in the blurb!

Our oh-so-creamy Spinach and Parmesan Orzo is a one-pot midweek wonder. Forget about the effort that normally comes with risotto-like dishes! This orzo dinner is so simple to make with a short list of budget-friendly ingredients, you can serve up luxury at a moment’s notice – and it’s only 257 calories per portion.

If you’ve never tried orzo pasta, you won’t regret it – it’s easily one of our favourite pasta varieties! Because it’s so small and rice-shaped, it combines really well with other ingredients and soaks up flavours like a dream. It’s one of the tastiest ways to recreate risotto-like creaminess without the need for a pot of cream anywhere in sight!

The trick with orzo is to cook it until it’s tender with a nice ‘bite’ to it; this will leave your dish with a moreish bit of texture. Don’t forget to add a sprinkling of black pepper for the perfect finishing touch (it really brings through all those gloriously cheesy flavours!).

We think this dish is filling all on its own, but you can serve it up with a tasty side salad, grilled chicken or fish if you’re looking to turn it into an even heartier midweek feast.

What diets is this Spinach and Parmesan Orzo suitable for?

Spinach and Parmesan Orzo can be enjoyed on vegetarian diets, as long as you substitute Parmesan for suitable alternatives. 

If you’re cooking for people with allergies, be extra careful when checking ingredients and preparing food!

Do you need any special ingredients to make Spinach and Parmesan Orzo?

You don’t need any special ingredients or equipment to make this recipe. 

Hints & Tips

Below we added some of our communities most common hints and tips. We hope you find them useful.

We added tuna and it was lovely 🙂
Easy to make, we really enjoyed it and served with homemade garlic bread
Parmesan Orzo
I used spring onions instead of spinach and it tasted just as nice.

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‘Delicious side dish to have with a pan-fried sea bass fillet!’

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How many calories are in this Spinach and Parmesan Orzo?

There are 257 calories per portion in this Spinach and Parmesan Orzo, which means it falls into our Everyday Light category. 

To cut down the amount of calories even more, you can simply halve the portion size and serve with a healthy accompaniment!

This Spinach and Parmesan Orzo is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet, and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers.

As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.

Step 1

Spray a saucepan with low calorie cooking spray, and place over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, until soft.

Step 1 pinchofnom.com

Step 2

Add the garlic, cook for another minute. Add the stock cube to the water and then pour into the pan along with the cream cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.

Step 2 pinchofnom.com

Step 3

Add the orzo and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When cooked, the pasta should be tender but with a ‘bite’ and most of the liquid will be absorbed, with a little remaining as a creamy sauce. Add a little more water if you need to.

Step 3 pinchofnom.com Step 3 pinchofnom.com

Step 4

Add the parmesan and spinach and stir for about a minute until the spinach wilts. Season with black pepper and serve!

Step 4 pinchofnom.com

Spinach and Parmesan Orzo - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

What could I serve with this Spinach and Parmesan Orzo?

Our Spinach and Parmesan Orzo is delicious and filling all on its own, or you can make it into an even heartier dinner by serving it alongside the following tasty dishes:

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How do you know when Spinach and Parmesan Orzo is cooked?

You should cook this Spinach and Parmesan Orzo until the Orzo is tender with a ‘bite’ and most of the liquid has been absorbed (make sure there’s a little bit leftover to keep the creaminess!). This will take around 12-15 minutes.

To keep your family safe, the advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes.

How long can you keep Spinach and Parmesan Orzo in the fridge?

Once you’ve put it out, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.

If you allow any leftovers to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill.  You can keep leftovers of Spinach and Parmesan Orzo in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so. 

Can I freeze Spinach and Parmesan Orzo?

Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen in individual portions, but please remember to do the following;

  • Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
  • Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.

Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer! 

How do I reheat Spinach and Parmesan Orzo?

From chilled: Place in a microwave proof container with loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.

From frozen: Allow to defrost, and heat covered in the microwave for 3-5 minutes then stir. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes until piping hot.

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Spinach and Parmesan Orzo

We’ve used our favourite pasta shape to make this rich, filling, meat-free Spinach and Parmesan Orzo. It's creamy, cheesy and so easy to make!
  • Prep Time
    5 MINS
  • Cook Time
    16 MINS
  • KCals 257
  • Carbs 40G

Ingredients

  • 200 g orzo
  • 1 medium onion peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
  • 650 ml boiling water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 50 g reduced fat cream cheese
  • 75 g baby spinach
  • 30 g Parmesan cheese finely grated
  • black pepper to taste
  • low calorie cooking spray

Saucepan

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Check out our oven temperature conversion guide.

Please do not screenshot this. Recipes are updated often

Instructions

  1. Spray a saucepan with low calorie cooking spray, and place over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, until soft.
  2. Add the garlic, cook for another minute. Add the stock cube to the water then pour into the pan along with the the cream cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.
  3. Add the orzo and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When cooked, the pasta should be tender but with a ‘bite’ and most of the liquid will be absorbed, with a little remaining as a creamy sauce. Add a little more water if you need to.
  4. Add the parmesan and spinach and stir for about a minute until the spinach wilts. Season with black pepper and serve!

Looking for Slimming World Syns or Weight Watchers (WW) Points?

With ever-changing plans and point calculations, we have made the decision to remove WW Points from the website - referring to your individual plan or advice from your consultant is always going to give the most accurate results.



We agreed with Slimming World to remove their trademarked terms from our website

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7 comments

See what others have to say

SueWednesday 29th June 2022

I have started to use Pinch of Nom recipes for our healthy eating and we have not been disappointed with any of the recipes I’ve used.
We’ve had
Honey Chilli Chicken
Creamy Garlic Chicken
Cajun Dirty Rice
Chicken,Leek and Bacon Cottage Pie
to name few.
I keep meaning to take photos but I’m too eager to eat my meal I forget.

Reply

    SharonMonday 4th July 2022

    Hi Sue, thanks for your lovely comment! We’re so pleased to hear that you’ve enjoyed every recipe you’ve tried. Hope you continue to enjoy them.Thanks for letting us know.

    Reply

Debra HallowesThursday 2nd June 2022

Made the spinach and Parmasen orzo for tea wow will definitely make again

Reply

    HollyMonday 6th June 2022

    Hi Debra, thanks so much for your message we are so glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe!

    Reply

Tara MadgwickThursday 7th April 2022

I really fancied making this but when I saw the amount of liquid and only 1 stock cube, I really wasn’t sure whether it would be a little bland. Well … what a super tasty lunch. Not complicated, just simple and tasty. Will definitely make this again.

Reply

    HollyFriday 8th April 2022

    Hey Tara, thanks so much for your message we are so glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe!

    Reply

      Tara MadgwickFriday 8th April 2022

      Smashing! Even the husband loved it! Its a keeper. X

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