A delicious and easy skillet meal, this One Pot Italian Sausage Orzo with Spinach is packed with flavor! Full of tasty orzo pasta, hearty turkey Italian sausage, and tender spinach it’s a meal that can be cooked up easily any night of the week.
I love pasta.
Of all shapes and sizes. But, for whatever reason I always see to forget about orzo! I don’t know why, but I just do. Actually, I think I know why. The only pasta I’ve been buying lately is egg noodles.
You see, Dad has been cutting carbs from his diet. He has diabetes and he believes that a low carb diet is best for him. And that’s awesome! He’s doing well, keeps his sugar under wraps, and looks great! But that means he’s purged his pantry of all pasta and gave it to… you guess it. Me!
We’ve been cooking through his pantry stash of pasta and beans. Then they stocked up on that “low carb” pasta that wound up not being low carb. When they found out it wasn’t low carb they gave it to….you guess it. ME!
I am the proud owner of like 10 boxes of pasta, both short and long. It’s sitting on the counter because there’s not room in the pantry for it. Which is find. It just means I’ll be cooking through it to get it off the counter. Unfortunately, there’s no orzo in that low carb brand.
And there you have it!
This is why I haven’t cooked orzo in a while. I have a stockpile of pasta to cook through from Dad. I’ve made spaghetti with meat sauce, pasta salad (stay tuned for that one), and some delicious macaroni and cheese recipes. Of course, I don’t typically share the mac and cheese recipes. They’re usually just… regular.
However, I did have to justify buying this one box for this event. And I can imagine he wasn’t too disappointed that I did. He devour this dish. So, to say he can’t complain is an understatement. Heck, he even had this as left overs for lunch a few days later. That’s UNHEARD OF for him! He’s not a leftovers person.
I think he was just happy it wasn’t a rice dish again. Of course, you could easily substitute rice in this dish. Orzo is a little larger than rice and cooks up in just about the same amount of time. It’s versatile like that.
It also makes a really good pilaf! Not that I’ve done that. I have put it into many salads, though. Like in this Lemon Dill Shrimp Orzo Salad. Of course, the salad doesn’t have to be a cold salad. I have a nice Pan Seared Scallops with Warm Mustard Orzo Salad on the blog, too. There’s only one other recipe on my blog for orzo.
I know. That is pretty sad for someone who truly loves pasta like I do. You can guarantee that I will be putting more orzo recipes on the blog. Maybe I’ll make a chicken and orzo soup some time. Orzo goes particularly well in soups, too. Did you know that? Easily blends in with a fagiol or other soup with pasta.
Or, you could just get some and make this one pot Italian sausage orzo with spinach. Yeah! That’s a great idea! Because just look at it! It’s packed with sweet, Italian sausage. I used turkey sausage in mine, but you can use any Italian sausage or any flavor sausage for that matter. It’s your dinner.
You make it how you want.
The orzo is cooked perfectly tender. Since it cooks in broth and the pan juices from the cooking the sausage it is infused with amazing flavor. It makes this one pot orzo pasta dinner rich and full of so much flavor!!
And then, as if that wasn’t enough, I stirred in tender, baby spinach and let it steam while the orzo finishes cooking. Yup. I did. And it’s just a little crisp tender flavor that makes this dish even more delicious and perfect for a family dinner or a fancy dinner.
Funny story about this dinner and all the meat I cooked this week. You see, we have this chest freezer in the garage. We have had it every since the hubs and I moved into our first apartment together. I buy meat on sale or marked down with those coupons, vacuum seal them, label them, then put them in the freezer to cook later. These sausages fall prey to that.
So, I came up from the garage with an armload of frozen meat. The hubs started going through them and reading the dates on the labels. These sausages were frozen about 2 years ago. Basically, vacuum sealing means you can pretty much keep it in the freezer for a long time. I’m sure there’s items in there for over three years. But we’ll just keep that between us.
Aren’t you glad I decided to bust into this package and cook up this orzo pasta dinner? Oh why, yes, those are mushrooms on top! I love the earthy richness they bring to any dish. They’re almost like onions and garlic; they go in every dish. Which is hard for me to say because I wasn’t a fan of them growing up. But they’re utterly delicious in this dish.
Now, I like a little spice to my Italian sausage. But I don’t like the hot Italian sausage. So, I put in a little compromise by garnishing my bowl with little crushed red pepper. Yes, I put them on my pizza slices, too. They add a little zing to an already delicious dinner.
What’s your favorite orzo recipe?
- 1 1/4 turkey Italian sausage
- 2 cups mushrooms
- 1 cup onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 1 1/2 cups dried orzo pasta
- 3 cups fat free chicken broth
- 3 cups fresh, baby spinach
- Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until they begin to sweat. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms begin to brown. Remove the mushroom mixture to a bowl and set aside.
- Return the pan to the stove and add the sausage and cook until it begins to brown.
- Stir in the orzo and toast until golden. Stir in the rosemary and chicken broth. Then return the mushrooms to the pan. Pour the chicken broth over the orzo, cover, and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until the orzo is almost al dente.
- Stir in the baby spinach, cover, and allow the orzo to continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the spinach has wilted and the orzo is al dente.
- Garnish with Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes before serving.
Orzo Pasta Recipes
- Beef with Onion Gravy Orzo by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad with Chicken by Sunday Supper Movement
- One Pot Italian Sausage Orzo with Spinach by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Orzo Risotto with Asparagus and Shrimp by Delaware Girl Eats
- Orzo Salad with Watermelon and Feta by Positively Stacey
- Elegant Orzo Shrimp & Vegetable Salad Stuffed Avocados by Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Orzo with Provencal Pesto by Cooking Chat
- Rice Pilaf Amandine by Palatable Pastime
- Roasted Vegetable Salad with Orzo, Mozzarella and Basil by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Southwestern Orzo by The Freshman Cook
- Stovetop Orzo Macaroni and Cheese by Pies and Plots
- Summer Vegetable Orzo Pasta Salad by My Fearless Kitchen