Creamy Tuscan Orzo

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If you enjoy creamy risotto but don’t have the time to make it, you’ll love this Italian-inspired orzo recipe. Everything cooks in one pot, and the starch from the miniature pasta helps thicken the sauce perfectly. With minimal prep and easy cleanup, this dish is perfect for dinner parties all year round, and the best part? It only takes about half an hour from start to finish.

Drawing inspiration from Tuscan chicken, meatballs, mac & cheese, and tortellini salad, we’ve crafted the flavors here using sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, milk, and Parmesan to achieve that creamy, comforting taste you crave. While it’s fantastic as a side dish, you can easily turn it into a heartier meal by adding sliced cooked chicken, Italian sausage, or shrimp. For a vegetarian option, consider adding cannellini beans or chickpeas, or throw in extra veggies like roasted asparagus, mushrooms, or eggplant to bulk it up.

Creamy Tuscan Orzo

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 6


  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 12 oz. orzo
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. or more kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. or more freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. baby spinach about 5 packed cups
  • 1 1/2 oz. Parmesan finely grated (about 3/4 cup), plus more for serving


  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add orzo and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until orzo is lightly toasted and garlic is fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until combined, about 1 minute. Add broth, milk, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until liquid is mostly absorbed and orzo is tender, 12 to 14 minutes.
  • Add spinach and Parmesan and cook, stirring frequently, until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper if needed. Top with more Parmesan and enjoy!

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