Spinach and Feta Orzo

5 from 6 votes

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Spinach and feta orzo. What happens when you pair the flavors of spanakopita with an orzo pasta salad? You get my brilliant and irresistible Spinach and Feta Orzo! The idea came to me the other day when my mom set out to make spinach and rice soup. The concept was even better in reality than I had imagined.

This recipe uses all the main components of spanakopita (spinach and phyllo pie): creamy feta, earthy spinach, and anise-y dill. These all-star Mediterranean ingredients are combined with orzo, one of my favorite tiny pasta shapes (aka pastina).

Orzo is shaped like rice, but it is in fact a wheat-based pasta, and therefore not gluten-free. It’s commonly used in soups, broths, and pasta salads, and is popular in Italian and Greek cuisines. Orzo’s tiny size means it cooks quickly and also has a lovely silky mouthfeel. You can find orzo in most grocery stores in the pasta aisle. The name itself is misleading as orzo means “barley” in Italian when there’s absolutely no barley in it.

Spinach and Feta Orzo

Spinach and feta orzo. What happens when you pair the flavors of spanakopita with an orzo pasta salad? You get my brilliant and irresistible Spinach and Feta Orzo!
5 from 6 votes
Servings: 2
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes

Ingredients 

  • salt
  • 1 cup orzo (8 ounces/190 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped frozen spinach, (100 grams)
  • 100 grams feta (about 3/4 cup) , measure with your heart
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill

Instructions 

  • Cook the orzo in salted water until al dente. Note: the water should be as salty as the sea as it's your only chance to flavor the orzo. Salt the water after it comes to a boil, stir, and add in the orzo.
  • In the meantime, warm the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and continue to cook until softened, about another 2 minutes.
  • Add the frozen chopped spinach to the pan and cook until fully thawed. The pan should be dry when you slide a wooden spoon through the mixture.
  • Drain the cooked orzo from the water and add it into the pan. Stir.
  • Crumble in the feta and dill. Stir until the feta has warmed through, serve, and enjoy!

Notes

Feel free to use any pastina shape or even rice of choice. If you are gluten-free you can use a gluten-free pasta or rice.
If you don’t like feta, finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano would be lovely.
Be sure to purchase a block of feta in brine. Please do not use crumbled feta, as the taste and quality is never as good. 
This recipe makes for a delicious warm side and can accompany any protein of choice, such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or anything you enjoy!
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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11 Comments

  1. Omg this is so delicious. I couldn’t decide if I wanted commit fully to this recipe, or your Lemon Feta Orzo. So I combined them. I cooked the spinach mixture as directed and when almost dry, I added in some peeled, raw shrimp. When they were cooked through, I added the zest and juice from one lemon and some pitted black olives. I finished by following the last steps of the Spinach and Feta Orzo.

    Such an amazing combination of flavours and it’s now going to be on regular rotation in my kitchen.

  2. Definitely a recipe to try! If you haven’t yet, I don’t know why you waiting it is so so good!

  3. I love Spanakopita so much so when I saw this recipe on Instagram I immediately put it on my weeknight dinner menu. So simple to make and delicious! Thank you.

  4. 5 stars
    I saw this on Instagram and I knew I had to try it. I love it so much that I felt like I had to rate the recipe I just made this and it was so easy! It has all of the cozy flavors of spanakopita that I am always craving. I definitely measured the feta with my heart and ended up using 1 1/2 cups. I am so excited to use this recipe throughout the summer time!