Spinach Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Crispy Bacon


I’ve had an actual factor with bacon the previous few of years, which considerably amuses me as a result of most of my life I didn’t actually adore it. But there’s one thing about its crispy, salty taste that lends an unbelievable savoriness to absolutely anything you pair it with.

Often, I like to purchase turkey bacon as a result of it’s leaner and we aren’t that into pork, however I’ve been selecting up the actual deal bacon and it’s been a fantastic addition to a few of our weeknight meals. A few years in the past I perfected this more healthy pasta carbonara, and who might neglect about my unbelievable bacon wrapped dates? Drooling simply excited about them.

A few summers in the past I shared an incredible bacon parmesan brussels sprouts spaghetti, which was loosely impressed by this unbelievable, creamy garlic parmesan orzo pasta with spinach, crispy bacon and all of the veggies you can dream of.

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This scrumptious, wholesome 30 minute dinner is one you could throw collectively any day of the week. Everybody loves it because of that flavorful, crispy bacon. Personally, I’m an enormous fan as a result of it’s a fantastic excuse to make use of up all of the veggies in your fridge (together with a whole bundle of spinach!)

I like to recommend serving this recipe with a aspect of my finest ever garlic bread, as a result of the hell why not?

ingredients for garlic parmesan orzo pasta on a grey board

What’s orzo?

Though orzo appears like a type of rice, it’s truly a rice-shaped pasta. I really like utilizing orzo for fast and simple lunches and dinners as a result of you’ll be able to truly cook dinner it such as you do conventional pasta, or you’ll be able to cook dinner it the identical method you’d rice. Recipes like this parmesan orzo pasta are scrumptious eaten sizzling or chilly, and orzo is even wonderful in veggie-packed salads.

Two methods to cook dinner orzo

There are literally two tremendous straightforward methods to cook dinner orzo!

  1. The pasta methodology: I sometimes cook dinner orzo utilizing this conventional methodology. You’ll boil a giant pot of water, add a pinch of salt, stir in orzo, and cook dinner till al dente about 6-8 minutes. As soon as orzo is completed cooking, drain pasta and put aside within the colander.
  2. The rice methodology: You can even cook dinner it the identical method you cook dinner rice. In a pot deliver orzo and double the quantity of water to a boil, decrease the warmth, cowl your pot, and let the orzo simmer till all the liquid is absorbed.

garlic parmesan orzo pasta in a pot and in two bowls

Every little thing you’ll must make this parmesan orzo pasta

This straightforward garlic parmesan orzo is full of colourful veggies, tender orzo pasta and a few savory bacon. What extra might you ask for?! Right here’s what you’ll must make it:

  • Orzo: the bottom is, in fact, scrumptious orzo!
  • Bacon: we’re including an exquisite savory, salty factor with bacon.
  • Produce: you’ll additionally want garlic, spinach, shredded carrots, crimson bell pepper and corn. Beautiful!
  • Butter: I prefer to cook dinner down the veggies in butter, however be happy to make use of olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Seasonings: don’t neglect garlic powder, salt, pepper and crimson pepper flakes (should you like just a little warmth).
  • Parmesan: gotta have that melty cheese in each chunk! Plus, garlic and parmesan collectively is simply *chef’s kiss*.

Our fav ingredient swaps

Seeking to customise a bit? Right here’s what we will advocate for substituting on this orzo recipe:

  • Swap the bacon. Be happy to make use of sliced, sauteed rooster sausage as an alternative, and even some cooked, shredded rooster!
  • Make it vegetarian. A can of rinsed, drained white beans and even roasted, crunchy chickpeas could be the proper swap for the bacon to maintain the recipe vegetarian.
  • Select your pasta. I really like the creaminess of orzo, however you’ll be able to actually use any pasta form you’d like! Orecchiette or angel hair could be fabulous. You can even use your favourite gluten free or complete grain pasta.
  • Up the veggies. Be happy to swap or add in any veggies you’d like as properly. Broccoli could be scrumptious.

healthy garlic parmesan orzo pasta in a bowl with veggies and a spoon

Ideas for the very best garlic parmesan orzo

  • Use freshly grated parmesan as an alternative of the parmesan that comes out of the inexperienced jar, which regularly has caking brokers in it. We would like the actual deal parmesan for taste and easy substances! You may often purchase contemporary, already grated parmesan on the retailer.
  • Be sure that to order some pasta water after you boil the pasta and earlier than you drain it. The pasta water is starchy and can assist to create a pleasant creamy sauce when blended with the pasta and parmesan cheese.
  • Use good-quality bacon and cook dinner it over medium warmth, then swap it to medium low to stop burning. Be happy to cook dinner it for roughly time relying on how crispy you prefer it, and blot the surplus grease from the bacon when it’s finished.

Learn how to retailer leftovers

Add any leftover orzo to an hermetic container and retailer it within the fridge for as much as 4-5 days. Merely reheat in a microwave secure dish.

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I hope you like this straightforward, scrumptious garlic parmesan orzo recipe! If you happen to make it you should definitely depart a remark and a ranking so I understand how you appreciated it. Get pleasure from, xo!

Spinach Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Crispy Bacon

garlic parmesan orzo pasta in a bowl with veggies and a spoon

Straightforward, flavorful spinach garlic parmesan orzo pasta with crispy bacon and beautiful veggies like crimson bell pepper, corn, carrots, and spinach. This creamy garlic parmesan orzo recipe comes collectively in 30-minutes, is the proper meal prep dinner, and is scrumptious sizzling or chilly!


  • 8
  • 10
    raw orzo pasta (about 1 2/3 cup raw orzo)
  • 1/2
    reserved pasta water, after pasta is completed boiling
  • 1
  • 3
    garlic, finely minced
  • ½
    shredded carrots (or carrots minimize into matchsticks)
  • 2/3
    frozen or contemporary candy corn
  • 1
    crimson bell pepper, minimize into chunks
  • 1
    (5 ounce) bundle natural spinach
  • 1/2
    freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2
    garlic powder
  • 1/2
    crimson chili pepper flakes, plus extra if desired
  • Freshly floor salt and pepper
  • To garnish: Recent flat-leaf parsley + further parmesan cheese, corn and bacon on high


  1. Add bacon to a big skillet or pan and place over medium warmth, cook dinner bacon on either side till crispy and golden brown. If the pan begins to smoke at any level, merely decrease the warmth. I at all times cook dinner my bacon on medium low warmth. As soon as bacon is completed, blot with a paper towel to soak up extra grease, then chop into chunk sized items and put aside.

  2. Whereas the bacon is cooking, place a big pot of water over excessive warmth and add in a beneficiant quantity of salt. As soon as water boils, stir within the orzo and cook dinner till al dente about 7-9 minutes. As soon as orzo is completed cooking, drain pasta and put aside within the colander. Be sure that to order ½ cup of the pasta water.

  3. Subsequent add 1 tablespoon butter to the identical pot you cooked the pasta in and place over medium warmth. As soon as butter is melted, add in minced garlic, carrot, corn, crimson bell pepper and saute for two minutes. 

  4. Subsequent add in spinach; cooking till the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked orzo again into the pot and switch the warmth to low. Stir within the reserved pasta water, parmesan, garlic powder and crimson chili pepper flakes. 

  5. Lastly, stir in bacon crumbles. Add salt and pepper to style. I like so as to add A LOT of black pepper into this dish — it simply provides it a very nice taste! If you happen to suppose it wants just a little further parmesan cheese, be happy to stir in 1/4 cup extra. Get pleasure from. Serves 4.

Recipe Notes

To swap the bacon: you’ll be able to simply use 4 rooster sausages as an alternative; simply slice into rounds, saute in pan, then stir into pasta such as you would the bacon.

To make vegetarian: I feel a can of rinsed and drained white beans and even roasted, crunchy chickpeas could be a very nice choice.

Be happy to make use of a special pasta, equivalent to orecchiette or angel hair pasta. I desire orzo as a result of it retains the pasta good and creamy. Be happy so as to add in additional veggies.


Servings: 4 servings

Serving dimension: 1 serving

Energy: 436kcal

Fats: 13.3g

Saturated fats: 6.2g

Carbohydrates: 62.7g

Fiber: 4.5g

Sugar: 2.6g

Protein: 20.2g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Formidable Kitchen | Pictures by: Eat Love Eats

This submit was initially printed on March 26, 2019, republished on September 1st, 2021, and republished on April twelfth, 2023.


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