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Three Cheese Orzo

April 13, 2011

Since I have already expressed my love for orzo pasta in a previous post, I probably should share pasta recipes using other shapes.  But I just love this shape.  So, because of my love for orzo I will share more recipes using it (in hopes of spreading the word).

This recipe takes a little more time, but it is worth it.  It incorporates lots of veggies, only half a bag of orzo (save the other half for the next orzo recipe!) & a few ounces of cream cheese that stand in to give it a delicious creamy texture.   The recipe doesn’t need much salt, if any – I always use a pinch when I saute the vegetables, but the wine & chicken broth provide enough flavor otherwise.  Also, the Italian-style tomatoes will provide enough seasoning for most, but an extra pinch of Oregano or mixed Italian seasoning blend never hurt anyone:-)

I always make this dish as a side, but I think it will transform into a one-pot meal.  Grill or saute some shrimp on the side, toss in & serve…yum!


1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
1 – 14.5oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 cup orzo
2 1/2 cups water + 1 chicken bouillon cube (or sub 1 can chicken broth & water to equal 2 1/2 cups)
2 cups fresh spinach, packed, to taste
3 – 4 oz cream cheese (1/3 less fat)
3 tbsp Parmesan Romano grated cheese
crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, salt & black pepper, to taste
chopped Italian Parsley, optional


  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion & saute 3 – 4 min.  Toss in red pepper & cook for another 3 min.  Add garlic & cook 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Add wine & tomatoes (including juices); simmer 15 min or until most liquid is reduced.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium pot, bring water & chicken bouillon cube to a boil.  Add orzo, stirring constantly, about 8 min.  (Water should be mostly absorbed by pasta, but still a little saucy.)
  • Add orzo to skillet; cook & stir until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 min.
  • Stir in cream cheese & spinach; mix until cream cheese is melted & spinach is wilted.  Season to taste & sprinkle with Parmesan Romano cheese.  Garnish with fresh Parsley
8 Comments leave one →
  1. Julie permalink
    April 19, 2011 7:07 pm

    My first time cooking with orzo and it was delicious and easy. Will definitely make again. I added shrimp and it was a perfect dinner.

  2. stephanie permalink
    May 23, 2011 12:53 pm

    i’m going to try and make with with some of the frozen tomatoes/sauce in my freezer that i have from our garden last summer. i got a pound of orzo… is that going to be WAY too much… if i want to have some leftovers?

    • May 24, 2011 9:27 pm

      If you have some extra veggies & cheese I say go for it!

  3. March 3, 2014 6:24 pm

    We have now made this at least 5 times! Tonight we are adding chicken sausages. Yum! This is a great, easy recipe!

  4. jensta permalink
    March 15, 2014 5:27 pm

    what’s the third cheese?


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