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! 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 by the modern nonna spinach and feta orzo

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 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 9 mins
Servings 2


  • 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


  • 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!


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!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
If you love one of my recipes, please leave a review. It would mean so much to me if you did. Thank you for being here and bringing me into your kitchen.

6 Responses

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

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