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.

Normally, I like to purchase turkey bacon as a result of it’s leaner and we aren’t that into pork, however I’ve been choosing 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 may neglect about my unbelievable bacon wrapped dates? Drooling simply fascinated by them.

A few summers in the past I shared a tremendous 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 may dream of.

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This scrumptious, wholesome 30 minute dinner is one which you could throw collectively any day of the week. Everybody loves it due to 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 complete 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 seems like a type of rice, it’s truly a rice-shaped pasta. I like utilizing orzo for fast and simple lunches and dinners as a result of you may truly prepare dinner it such as you do conventional pasta, or you may prepare dinner it the identical manner you’d rice. Recipes like this parmesan orzo pasta are scrumptious eaten scorching or chilly, and orzo is even wonderful in veggie-packed salads.

Two methods to prepare dinner orzo

There are literally two tremendous simple methods to prepare dinner orzo!

  1. The pasta methodology: I sometimes prepare dinner orzo utilizing this conventional methodology. You’ll boil a large pot of water, add a pinch of salt, stir in orzo, and prepare 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 may as well prepare dinner it the identical manner you prepare dinner rice. In a pot carry orzo and double the quantity of water to a boil, decrease the warmth, cowl your pot, and let the orzo simmer till the entire liquid is absorbed.

garlic parmesan orzo pasta in a pot and in two bowls

All the pieces you’ll must make this parmesan orzo pasta

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

  • Orzo: the bottom is, after all, scrumptious orzo!
  • Bacon: we’re including a beautiful savory, salty aspect with bacon.
  • Produce: you’ll additionally want garlic, spinach, shredded carrots, purple bell pepper and corn. Attractive!
  • Butter: I prefer to prepare dinner down the veggies in butter, however be at liberty to make use of olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Seasonings: don’t neglect garlic powder, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (in case you like slightly warmth).
  • Parmesan: gotta have that melty cheese in each chew! Plus, garlic and parmesan collectively is simply *chef’s kiss*.

Our fav ingredient swaps

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

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

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

Ideas for the most effective garlic parmesan orzo

  • Use freshly grated parmesan as a substitute of the parmesan that comes out of the inexperienced jar, which frequently has caking brokers in it. We wish the actual deal parmesan for taste and easy elements! You possibly can normally purchase recent, already grated parmesan on the retailer.
  • Be sure 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 prepare dinner it over medium warmth, then swap it to medium low to forestall burning. Be at liberty to prepare dinner it for roughly time relying on how crispy you prefer it, and blot the surplus grease from the bacon when it’s performed.

How you can retailer leftovers

Add any leftover orzo to an airtight 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’re keen on this simple, scrumptious garlic parmesan orzo recipe! Should you make it remember to depart a remark and a ranking so I understand how you appreciated it. Take pleasure in, 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 purple bell pepper, corn, carrots, and spinach. This creamy garlic parmesan orzo recipe comes collectively in 30-minutes, is the right meal prep dinner, and is scrumptious scorching 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 recent candy corn
  • 1
    purple bell pepper, minimize into chunks
  • 1
    (5 ounce) bundle natural spinach
  • 1/2
    freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2
    garlic powder
  • 1/2
    purple chili pepper flakes, plus extra if desired
  • Freshly floor salt and pepper
  • To garnish: Recent flat-leaf parsley + additional parmesan cheese, corn and bacon on high


  1. Add bacon to a big skillet or pan and place over medium warmth, prepare dinner bacon on either side till crispy and golden brown. If the pan begins to smoke at any level, merely decrease the warmth. I all the time prepare 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 chew 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 prepare 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 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, purple 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 purple 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 offers it a very nice taste! Should you suppose it wants slightly additional parmesan cheese, be at liberty to stir in 1/4 cup extra. Take pleasure in. Serves 4.

Recipe Notes

To swap the bacon: you may simply use 4 hen sausages as a substitute; simply slice into rounds, saute in pan, then stir into pasta such as you would the bacon.

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

Be at liberty to make use of a unique pasta, resembling orecchiette or angel hair pasta. I favor orzo as a result of it retains the pasta good and creamy. Be at liberty 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 | Images by: Eat Love Eats

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