Lemon and Spinach Orzotto
Lemon and Spinach Orzotto We can't believe it's not rice. Erin McDowell

We gotta say, low-maintenance risotto is a weeknight go-to. (Done in less than an hour! Minimal stirring!) But what if we told you that you could have the goodness of risotto in even less time? It’s possible, thanks to this recipe for spinach and lemon “orzotto.” In place of rice, we cook orzo (small rice-shaped pasta) in a similar style to risotto for creamy results in just 30 minutes. Add a poached egg on top and you’re golden.

Makes 4 servings
Start to Finish: 30 minutes


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 shallots, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1½ cups orzo

½ cup white wine

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

4 cups baby spinach

1 lemon, zested and juiced

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.

2. Add the orzo and stir to combine with the shallots and garlic. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the wine has been mostly absorbed into the pasta, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add the broth gradually, about 1 cup at a time. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until the orzo has absorbed the broth before stirring in the next cup. Continue until the orzo is completely tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Stir in the spinach and let it wilt in the warm orzo. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Note: To reheat leftovers, add a little broth or water and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, pausing to stir once or twice.

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