This super creamy spinach and feta orzo takes just 20 minutes and is made in one pot for a quick clean-up. It’s as easy as throwing veggies, stock and orzo in a pan and letting it cook into a lusciously delicious risotto-style dish you’re going to love.
I always feel like orzo is such an underrated pasta. It cooks in no time and is so versatile – I love it in pasta salads (this pesto orzo salad is always a go-to) and it’s wonderful in easy, one-pot dishes like this one. I like to think of this as a quicker and easier version of risotto. That’s because it only takes a fraction of the time and you don’t have to add stock slowly, stir until absorbed and babysit the pot the whole time.
Much like risotto, the starch from the orzo itself creates the super luscious consistency that’s enhanced by creamy feta stirred through at the end. It’s incredibly low effort and delivers the best result!
Once you know the base technique for a one-pot orzo dish like this, you can really get creative. It’s a fab way to use up any odds and ends you have in the fridge and is perfect for using up slightly sad-looking veggies.
The formula is essentially –
- Soften your veggies (onion, garlic, leek, peppers, tomatoes, broccolini stems etc)
- Add orzo and stir through
- Add liquid (stock or water)
- Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally
- Add finishing touches (stir through cheese, leafy greens, extra seasoning)
Just 8 ingredients go into this orzo dish, and there are a couple of easy swaps you can make.
- Orzo. Orzo is a small, rice-shaped dried pasta that you should be able to find easily with other dried pasta at a supermarket. You’ll need half a packet for 4 servings here. It’s also called risoni.
- Spinach. We’ll use quite a lot here and you might freak out once you add the leaves because it seems like a lot, but they’ll wilt down quickly in the heat of the pasta. Baby spinach leaves are ideal, but you can use regular spinach, just remove any really tough stems and chop the leaves.
- Feta. The feta serves two purposes here – it makes the orzo irresistibly creamy, and it also provides a lovely, salty flavour that pairs so well with the green veggies.
- Vegetable stock. You can replace this with water if you like, but you will need to add a little more salt, so just make sure you taste as you go. If you’re not vegetarian, you can also use chicken stock.
- Leek. I love the subtle, sweet, oniony flavour of leeks and it really helps to bulk out the veggie content here. But you can just use a regular onion, shallot, or spring onions (I’d use 4 spring onions).
- Broccolini. I cycle through my favourite vegetable, but I think broccolini has to be pretty high up there. It’s versatile, flavourful and I use it a lot. Here we’ll chop the stalk up finely and cook it along with the leeks at the beginning, then add the florets at the end with the spinach. This is a fab zero-waste way to use broccolini – far too often people discard the stalks but they have so much flavour!
How to make it
Start by adding your sliced leek, garlic, broccolini stems and salt to a large, high-sided pot or pan over medium heat and stir for a couple of minutes, until they’re starting to soften up. At this point, add the orzo and give it a stir through the softened veg.
Pour in all your stock (or water), stir it through the orzo and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, then simmer the orzo uncovered for about 10 minutes, giving it a stir occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pan. It will start looking creamy, thick and glorious.
After 10 minutes, your orzo should be al dente (cooked with a little bite to it – give it a taste to check). At this point, add the broccolini florets, feta and spinach leaves and stir them through, breaking up the feta with your spatula. If you find it’s a bit thick, you can add a little more stock or water to loosen things up.
Add lots of black pepper, stir it through and give it a taste. You may need to add a little more salt, depending on the salt levels of your stock and your feta, so do taste it at this point and add more if you think it needs something extra. I like to sprinkle chilli flakes on top along with fresh basil leaves to finish!
Got a question?
It’s pasta! This is a common misconception because of its shape, but it is pasta.
You can! Switch out spinach for kale or cavolo nero, use regular broccoli rather than broccolini or swap the leek for an onion, shallot or spring onions.
Sure – goat’s cheese would be great, as would any strong cheddar, parmesan, blue cheese or even a good cream cheese or Boursin.
Yes! Just use the same quantity of water. You’ll need to add extra salt (or add a couple of teaspoons of fish sauce if you’re not vegetarian) to up the savoury factor.
You can, it’s a great one to make ahead for meal prepping (it also doubles well). You’ll find the sauce thickens up in the fridge so you can add a tiny bit of water when you’re reheating it to loosen things up. Reheat either on the stovetop or in the microwave. It’ll last at least 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
Like this recipe? Here are some other easy ideas for you
If you make this recipe let me know how you get on in the comments below!Print
Creamy Spinach and Feta One Pot Orzo
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Diet: Vegetarian
This super creamy spinach and feta orzo takes just 20 minutes and is made in one pot for an easy clean-up. It’s as easy as throwing veggies, stock and orzo in a pan and letting it cook into a lusciously delicious risotto style dish you’re going to love.
It’s great for busy weeknights, an easy one for dinner parties and is a great one to meal prep to enjoy throughout the week.
Remember, if you’re looking for cup measurements, use the ‘Units’ section below and click on ‘US’.
- 1 large leek
- 3 garlic cloves
- 150g broccolini (or use regular broccoli)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 250g orzo
- 2.5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 100g feta
- 150g spinach leaves
- Handful of basil leaves (roughly 1/2 a cup)
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- Prepare the vegetables. Remove the root and any tough outer leaves from the leek, then slice it finely. Slice the 3 garlic cloves into thin pieces, then cut the florets from the broccolini stems. Finely slice the stems, and cut the florets into bite sized pieces.
- Cook the vegetables. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to your pan, then add the chopped leek, broccolini stems, garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes until they’re starting to soften.
- Add the orzo and stock. At this point, add the orzo. Stir it through the vegetables, then pour in the 2.5 cups of stock. Stir, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Orzo has a tendency to stick to the bottom of your pan, so check and stir so this doesn’t happen. If it does, you should be able to scrape the orzo off the bottom using a wooden spatula in the pan.
- Add the broccoli, spinach and feta. After 10 minutes, the orzo should be looking SUPER creamy and be al dente (test it by tasting – it should be cooked, with a little bite to it). At this point, add the reserved broccolini florets and crumble in the feta. Give them a stir through the orzo, breaking apart the feta with your wooden spoon or spatula. Finally, add the spinach leaves and basil and stir through the orzo so they wilt into the pasta. Once the spinach is soft, remove the pan from the heat.
- Garnish and serve. Scatter the remaining feta over the top of the orzo along with the chilli flakes. Finish with a little drizzle of olive oil, then divide between plates and serve!
This recipe is SUPER customisable, based on what you have to hand. Switch out the leek for an onion or shallot, use regular broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, cavolo nero, silverbeet or kale. You could also throw in frozen peas or edamame too!
If you don’t like feta, try using parmesan, cheddar or blue cheese. You could also use something like boursin, or even mozzarella or burrata.
The orzo is great to prep ahead – I like to either reheat it in the microwave or gently on the stove top. You might find you need to add a little water just to loosen things up after being stored in the fridge (go with 1 tablespoon at a time). Orzo will continue to absorb liquid as it sits so it’ll be less saucy after being stored. It will last for 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 15
- Category: pasta
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: mediterranean
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
Keywords: one pot pasta, easy orzo recipe, feta orzo, spinach orzo, broccoli orzo, orzo risotto
This is so delicious and moreish! I’m glad I doubled up the portion
Woohooooo!! Makes me very happy to hear x