I’ve been trying out some new, easy vegetarian/ meatless dinner recipes and let me just say, this Spinach Feta Lemon Orzo is one of the best so far!
We are not vegetarians, but I am finding out that meatless meals are very budget friendly (aka- cheap!) and a little more on the healthy side.
Plus, my husband didn’t even realize this meal was missing meat until I opened my big mouth and told him 😉
This dish is great topped with toasted pine nuts or almonds (a nice little crunch and added protein).
If yours didn’t already come toasted just add a small amount of olive oil to a skillet over medium low heat.
And just toast the nuts for a few minutes, then remove and set aside.
How to make Spinach Lemon Feta Orzo
First boil 1/2 pound of orzo pasta in salted water according to the package directions.
Save 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside.
Then drain and rinse the orzo with cold water.
While the orzo was boiling, I set a large skillet over medium heat.
And added olive oil, a diced onion, kosher salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
After 4 to 5 minutes, add in some fresh minced garlic and cook another minute.
Next in goes 10 ounces of roughly chopped, fresh spinach leaves.
Also more kosher salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
Cook the spinach for 3 to 4 minutes, and you’ll be amazed how much it cooks down to almost nothing.
Finally, add in the 1/2 cup of pasta water, lemon zest and lemon juice, the cooked orzo, and some crumbled feta cheese.
Also another drizzle of olive oil.
Stir and combine and let this cook another few minutes.
Taste for seasoning and add more kosher salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, more lemon juice, and/ or olive oil if needed.
Top Spinach Lemon Feta Orzo with more feta and the toasted pine nuts or almonds 🙂
This dish may seem overly simple, but it’s truly sooooo flavorful!
If you like Spinach Feta Lemon Orzo, you might also like these recipes…
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Spinach Feta Lemon Orzo
Spinach Feta Lemon Orzo is a healthy vegetarian recipe perfect for Meatless Monday, or add chicken or shrimp if you prefer!
- 1/2 pound dry orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup water from the pot after the pasta boils
- olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 onion diced
- 5 to 6 cloves garlic minced
- 10 ounces spinach leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (or toasted almonds)
Boil the orzo pasta according to package directions in salted water (remember to save 1/2 cup of the pasta water). Drain, rinse well with cold water, and set aside.
Set a large skillet over medium heat and add some olive oil, the diced onion, kosher salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook another minute and add the spinach plus more kosher salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the cooked orzo, the reserved pasta water, another drizzle of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and half of the feta cheese. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring a few times. Taste for seasoning and add more olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, olive oil, and/or lemon juice if needed.
Serve with the remaining feta cheese and toasted pine nuts or almonds over top.
Note: If the nuts didn't come already toasted, put them in a skillet over medium low with a little olive oil for a few minutes, stirring a few times, until toasted how you like.