Spinach & Parmesan Orzo

Before I get into the regular post, I wanted to thank Jhuls at The Not So Creative Cook for featuring me in her Introducing New Bloggers post today. Jhuls has a great blog where she not only posts some delicious recipes and kitchen tips, but is also a big player in the bringing the WordPress food blogging community together with her participation in Fiesta Friday and now her ‘Introducing…’ series. Thanks Jhuls!

Spinach & Parmesan Orzo | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Yesterday, I was Skyping my parents and my mum told me that I’d been ranting too much in my posts lately. Looking back, I can see where she’s coming from, but my rants are about petty things, they don’t mean any harm. I’m not an angry person. I just hope I’m not turning into a whinging Pom.

Spinach & Parmesan Orzo | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Anyway, today I will avoid any kind of ranting and instead talk about this Spinach & Parmesan Orzo. It is tasty. It is cheesy. It is vegetarian. And it is super quick to make. It’s great for an easy dinner on a weeknight or for a lazy weekend meal. It’s an especially perfect thing to make if you plan on watching an entire season of Orange is the New Black in two and a half days, as I may or may not have done this past weekend. The whole thing comes together so quickly that you can get maximum TV viewing out of your evening!

Spinach & Parmesan Orzo | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

I watched the entire Season 2 of Orange is the New Black this weekend, starting on Friday evening and finishing on Sunday night. It was awesome and even better than the first season! I didn’t vacuum our flat because I was too busy watching it. I was reluctant to even leave the flat at all because I was too busy watching it. Though I was persuaded out to the park for a few hours to enjoy the sunshine. It comes out so rarely that I couldn’t miss that window of opportunity, even for Orange is the New Black.

Spinach & Parmesan Orzo | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Spinach & Parmesan Orzo | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

My withdrawal hasn’t yet set in, but I predict in about 2 weeks time I’ll regret watching the whole season so quickly. Oh well, c’est la vie. Today I’m still in the mindset that it was totally worth it!

Spinach & Parmesan Orzo | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Spinach & Parmesan Orzo

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes


200g orzo pasta

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp plain flour

½ cup milk

 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

¾ cup baby spinach

1 tsp chilli flakes, optional

Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cook orzo in a medium saucepan of boiling, salted water over high heat for approx. 7-8 minutes, until cooked through or according to package instructions. Drain with a sieve and set aside.
  2. While orzo is cooking, in a separate large saucepan, heat olive oil and add minced garlic. Cook over medium heat until garlic has softened, about 1 minute.
  3. Turn heat to low, then add flour, followed by milk andwhisk to combine. Whisk constantly until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes, then add parmesan cheese, spinach, chilli flakes and salt and pepper. Stir until spinach has wilted, then add cooked orzo. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Table for Two



  1. This looks really good!!

    1. Thanks Joanna!

  2. Awesome recipe Alice! I just started the 2nd season of OITNB yesterday and 2 episodes in, i think the new season is off to a good start 😉

    1. Oooh, I hope you enjoy it Jess! I love that it doesn’t focus as much on Piper this season.

  3. Mmmm you’ve totally inspired me to cook this – and I’m a baker! Looks amazing!

    1. Thanks Juliet! I hope you enjoy it if you do try it.

  4. Congrats on your feature! This risotto looks fab. To be honest I’ve been too scared to make one myself but your recipe may be the incentive I needed to take the leap 🙂

    1. Thanks Beth! Cooking with orzo is like making a cheat’s risotto, because it’s actually pasta, so cooks really quickly and easily. The arborio rice used in risotto can make it a bit time-consuming and fiddly sometimes. I hope you enjoy it if you do give it go!

      1. I certainly will – thanks Alice!

  5. Joanna · · Reply


    My name is Joanna and I have read your blog and I really liked your recipes! I work for a website called myTaste.com and I would love for you to join us! 🙂

    http://www.mytaste.com is a search engine that collects food blogs. We already have over 3000 blogs and if you join us you will take benefit from the trafic that we are sending to your blog.

    Add our widget and hopefully with your recipes your blog will be on the top of the food blogs list!
    If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at info@mytaste.com

    To join myTaste, just go to http://www.mytaste.com/add-your-food-blog

    Best regards, Joanna

  6. Oh this looks like the ultimate comfort food, like a grown-up version of mac and cheese! YUM.

  7. It looks so creamy and cheesy! Yum!

  8. […] Sunset; try Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind‘s Spinach and Parmesan Orzo […]

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