Cheese is one of the best things in the world. It’s true! And do you know what else is really good? Cheesy pasta.


We love orzo in this house.

It’s like pasta. But it’s not.

It’s fun to eat.

It’s whole wheat.

It’s little… so you get to eat more of it.


This orzo makes for a delicious side dish, or even a great base for any other pasta mix. Or it just gives you a big bowl of cheesy pasta to eat with spoon. That’s how I spent my Sunday afternoon.


I really spent my Sunday afternoon doing this. That wasn’t fun.

But I did manage to sneak in some cooking. We couldn’t starve after all. Well… I could starve. In fact, after making 4 batches of brownies I probably should starve.
But I wouldn’t subject Mr. How Sweet to the same. Or subject myself to hungry angry husband syndrome.

And there is greenery in here. Vegetables!

Who woulda thunk it?
Lots and lots of cheese too. Goat cheese. Parmesan cheese. Cheddar cheese. We’ve got a little somethin’ somethin’ for everyone. It’s simple, but really delicious!



Three Cheese Orzo and Spinach

serves 4-6 (as a side dish)

1 cup whole wheat orzo pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onions (this was about 1/4 onion for me)

2 cloves garlic

2 ounces goat cheese

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 6-ounce bag of spinach

pinch of nutmeg

Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.

While orzo is cooking, heat a skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. Add chopped onions with a pinch of salt and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and spinach (I leave the stems on my spinach, they don’t bother me), cooking until spinach wilts.

Drain pasta and add to spinach and onions. Stir in cheese, mixing until melted and combined. Add nutmeg and stir. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve as a side dish or as a base for another pasta mix.


It pains me to say this, but these are probably the only vegetables you’ll see this week. So take a good look.

And we all know that doesn’t really pain me at all.

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114 Responses to “Three Cheese Orzo and Spinach.”

  1. #
    Cara @ The Boys Made Me Do It! — February 7, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    yay! I needed an orzo recipe because I bought some for one recipe and had nothing else to make with it and now I do!


  2. #
    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — February 7, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

    i love orzo! it really is fun to eat! :) much more fun than normal size pasta!


  3. #
    thehealthyapron — February 7, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

    This looks so good!


  4. #
    Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) — February 7, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

    Please tell me where you bought that beautiful baking dish??? I made your Better than Crack Brownies. They are exactly that…better than crack. THANK YOU! Question….after following your instructions using the Ghriradelli brownie mix, the brownies were way undercooked. Did you use your own brownie recipe or a mix? Thanks!


    • Jessica — February 7th, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

      I got the dish at Sur La Table!
      And regarding the brownies, the time is going to depend on the size of pan and brand of brownie mix you use! It’s really just a guideline – you always want to make sure they are almost done. Sometimes I use my own, sometimes I use a box, it just depends!


  5. #
    Lauren-HungryDancer — February 7, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    I LOVE orzo and cheese!! You totally hit the nail on the head with this one!!


  6. #
    Feast on the Cheap — February 7, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    This is exactly the type of dish I’ll be making this week…toiling under three heavy deadlines… Thanks for sharing!


  7. #
    Christina — February 7, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    Haha, I love the lines, “It’s fun to eat, It’s whole wheat.” Kinda rhymes!

    This would be the perfect thing for me- I am a cheese freak!


  8. #
    Jessi @ Quirky Cookery — February 7, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

    That’s whole wheat orzo? I never would’ve guessed from the finished dish pictures. I’ve never had it before and when I think “whole wheat” there’s a distinct color in my mind. I’ve gotta try this.


    • Jessica — February 7th, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

      Yep! Check out the brand that it is in the first picture. 100% whole wheat and delicious!


      • Jessi @ Quirky Cookery — February 7th, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

        Yeah, I scrolled back up to see if there were uncooked pictures. You can see it’s a bit darker and has that brown tinge, but it’s definitely not apparent in the cooked ones. I’m going to have to hunt this stuff down somewhere.

  9. #
    Megan (Braise The Roof) — February 7, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

    Cheese+carbs+bite sized shapes = my happy place. :)


  10. #
    the country cook @ Delightful Country Cookin — February 7, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

    Can you believe I’ve never had it?! I’ve been meaning to for quite some time, but I can’t seem to shake my risotto phase.


  11. #
    One Healthy Appl — February 7, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

    This looks delicious and green! I also love the printable recipe feature too.


  12. #
    Dishes of Mrs. Fish — February 7, 2011 @ 11:35 pm

    I love orzo! I love cheese! I love this! :)


  13. #
    Kelly — February 7, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

    I always forget about orzo, but it’s such a yummy little pasta shape.


  14. #
    Tracy — February 7, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

    You know, I’ve never tried orzo. This dish looks like the perfect first thing to try!


  15. #
    Jolene ( — February 8, 2011 @ 1:29 am

    I have all the ingredients to make this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  16. #
    Jenny — February 8, 2011 @ 2:41 am

    This looks great! I love spinach AND orzo..OI!:)


  17. #
    Barbara Bakes — February 8, 2011 @ 3:18 am

    I need to eat more orzo and more spinach. And with the cheese, it sounds like a perfect combination!


  18. #
    Caroline — February 8, 2011 @ 4:39 am

    I read this recipie in the morning, realized I had the ingredients on hand and made it for dinner. I didn’t use any goat cheese, but it was delicious none the less! I can’t wait to make it again soon!


    • Jessica — February 8th, 2011 @ 4:52 am

      So glad you liked it!


  19. #
    ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska — February 8, 2011 @ 5:46 am

    Oh my this looks good! I’ve only had orzo once, but it looks like I need to try it again soon!


  20. #
    Kay — February 8, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

    This looks wonderful I am going to make this today for my daughter!


    • Jessica — February 8th, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

      Let me know how you like it!


  21. #
    marla {family fresh cooking} — February 8, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

    I was trying to convince my kids the other night that orzo is not rice ;) Looks great!


  22. #
    Julianne — February 8, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

    omg, I have just come across your blog in the past couple of weeks, and your recipe archive is amazing! If you ever publish a cookbook, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
    The few recipes I’ve tried already are great.
    Thank you for your posts.


    • Jessica — February 8th, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

      Thank you so much Julianne!


  23. #
    ashley@quasichick — February 9, 2011 @ 3:58 am

    This looks so good, I love orzo :)


  24. #
    Mehr — February 9, 2011 @ 5:57 am

    Looks SO SO good!!! I would eat this every day if I made it :)

    Great job on the blog! Love your writing style, and your recipes and pictures are gorgeous!


  25. #
    Natalie — February 23, 2011 @ 1:12 am

    OMG I just made this tonight and it was delicious! Goat cheese and spinach, brilliant!! Even My husband who hates spinach loved this!


    • Jessica — February 23rd, 2011 @ 3:10 am



  26. #
    Makyo — May 30, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    A little late to the party but wanted to say that I made this last night and it was delicious! I made a couple of substitutions based on what I did/didn’t have in my kitchen (pinwheel pasta instead of orzo, asiago instead of goat cheese) but it was fabulous. My 17 month-old daughter and my picky husband both loved it! Thanks!


  27. #
    cheree — August 27, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

    I added chicken to this dish to make it into a meal and we loved it.


  28. #
    CC — October 2, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

    I just made this with baby portabella mushroom….oh my goodness SOOOO GOOOD thank you for this recipe!!! :)


  29. #
    Beth — February 4, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

    I made this tonight. It was awesome. I had to restrain myself from eating the whole entire thing. We had it with grilled chicken–awesome dinner! I LOVE your blog!! Tomorrow night I’m making the buffalo mac & cheese.


  30. #
    Jen — March 11, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

    Made this tonight – absolute cheesy goodness! Part of my resolution to stop pinning things and start making things :) Thanks!


  31. #
    Jennifer Welch — June 28, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    Would this be good served at room temperature? Or is it best served hot?


    • Jessica — June 29th, 2012 @ 7:06 am

      I think it’s best served hot.


  32. #
    Lisa — January 31, 2014 @ 12:45 am

    I hate cooking. and cookbooks.
    I love reading.
    I love when people can make me laugh about cooking, and yet, inspire me to cook.

    Your blog has done just that.

    Thank you.

    I didn’t think it was possible!

    I will try your recipes (except the glass shard brownies) because you made me laugh!




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