One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Spinach and Mushrooms

This One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Spinach and Mushrooms is blanketed in a totally luscious sauce and swirled with veggies. This tasty vegetarian side dish also double as a main course!

One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Spinach and Mushrooms

I spend most of my mornings pacing around the house trying to figure out which random @$$ place I put my coffee this time.

The rest of the day consists of re-heating my coffee, only to misplace it once again.

This cycle continues for a comical amount of time until I remember to chug some water (for survival’s sake) and switch directly to wine.


Does anyone else do this? Between my coffee escapades and the fact that I’m no stranger to thinking I’ve lost my phone while it’s nestled safely in my hand, I’m certain I’m a few crayons short of the box these days. Wasn’t pregnancy brain supposed to be temporary? I feel like I’m still riding the hot mess train I boarded back in 2012 and can’t seem to get off. At least there’s coffee on the train! Mysterious vanishing coffee, but coffee nonetheless!

One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Spinach and Mushrooms

Ok, ok, back to the food. Let’s talk about this risotto! I mean orzo!

Both dishes are deliciously similar, with this creamy dreamy orzo being less starchy than a crazy thick bowl of risotto. There is also way less time spent stirring and babysitting here. In under 30 minutes you’ll be ready to dive in with your fork and call it a day.

One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Spinach and Mushrooms

This creamy one-pot orzo is blanketed in a totally luscious garlic parmesan sauce (made with no cream! sweet!) and swirled with fresh veggies. It’s one of those crazy comforting dishes that can be served up as a vegetarian main dish (adult mac and cheese anyone?) or as a scrumptious side dish for chicken or steak. We served ours alongside a leafy green salad – SO GOOD!

One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Spinach and Mushrooms

1 vote


One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Spinach and Mushrooms




Yield 4 servings

This tasty pasta doubles as both a side dish or main course. Serve it alongside chicken or steak or let it shine as as a grown up "Mac and Cheese"  and pair it with a side salad for extra veggies!


  • 8 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, 1/4 cup minced*
  • 2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus extra to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach

* No shallot? No problem! Finely minced white or yellow onion will totally work here.


  1. Slice mushrooms, cutting any extra large slices in half. Measure out remaining ingredients and set aside, this dish comes together super fast so it helps to have everything all ready to go!
  2. Melt 1 TBSP butter in a large pan (grab one that's deep enough for your orzo + sauce) over medium-high heat then add your sliced mushrooms.
  3. Sauté until tender, season with a small pinch of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes, then set aside.
  4. Add remaining butter to the pan and sauté your shallot and garlic until tender, adding the garlic towards the end to prevent burning. if extra butter is needed, feel free to add a little.
  5. Add your milk, broth, salt,  and mix with a whisk to deglaze the pan.
  6. With your burner set to medium (I had mine set to 6) add the orzo and stir. Set timer for 10 minutes. Once the orzo starts to really boil and bubble, reduce heat to low (2 worked great on my stove) and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Once the pasta is al-dente or your ideal softness, remove from heat. Sauce will be thin and thicken as it cools. Add your parmesan, spinach, and mushrooms (saving some shrooms to garnish if you want to be all fancy)
  8. Season to taste as desired, garnish with reserved mushrooms and any additional cheese your heart desires and dig in while it's hot!


Regular button mushrooms will totally work here but if you crab crimini mushrooms (aka baby portobellos) they're for sure ideal and more flavorful too!

Other small pasta shapes might work in place of the orzo, but it will likely alter the cook times and liquid measurements. I can't guarantee this recipe will work for different pastas without experimenting first.

adapted from RecipeTinEats

One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Spinach and Mushrooms

One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Spinach and Mushrooms

If you get a chance to try this One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Spinach and Mushrooms, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation.

behind the blog:

  • currently reading . . . Artemis – Andy Weir (affiliate)
  • currently listening to . . . Paper Cages – Franz Ferdinand
  • currently drinking . . . copious amounts of Moroccan Mint Tea with lemon
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  • Genesis

    I made this and I have to say, YUMMMM! I have so much left over and I am excited to eat it again today!! Everyone has to try this.

  • All of this looks like total deliciousness on a plate. I love orzo pasta and a garlic Parmesan sauce and mushrooms just makes it that much better! Well done!

    • Thanks Matt! It was seriously so good! We’ve already made it twice in one week!

  • This looks so delicious and creamy. I can’t wait to try it. I can relate to your lost coffee and lost phone situation. Since having kids I lose everything too. And I keep thinking – it can’t have left the house, it must be here somewhere!

    • So excited for you to try it Winnie! And yeah it’s totally maddening trying to find all the random places things are left in a fit of mom brain. I’m pretty sure I put dry pasta in the freezer at least twice and once tried to put the dishes away into the fridge… lol!