clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Creamy Lemon Orzo Pasta in a pan

Creamy Butter Lemon Spinach Orzo Pasta

This orzo pasta is creamy, healthy, and comforting. It's packed with fresh spinach, parmigiano cheese, and just enough lemon zest to tease your taste buds. The simple and fresh ingredients create a delightful marriage of flavors that make this meal easy to love. It is a meal I can eat on a weekly bases. I know you will love it too! 

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 pound dried orzo pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1.  Bring a medium pot of water to a roaring boil and season with salt. Add orzo and cook until al dente directions.
  2. Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet pan over medium-high heat until butter is barely melted. Add the onion and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and garlic then season with salt and pepper. Stir often and cook about 5-8 minutes until spinach is tender. Turn heat to low temperature.
  3. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and add to pan with spinach and onion. Add pasta water and remaining butter. Stir for about one minutes on low heat letting the butter, pasta, and spinach combine. Add the parmigiano cheese* and lemon zest. Stir to combine. Top with more cheese for garnish and serve hot! Mangia (Eat!)


* If you do not use real freshly grated parmigiano cheese your sauce may be lumpy as the cheese will not melt to create a smooth sauce.

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: pasta, orzo, spinach, easy meal, parmigiano, lemon, side dish, Italian recipe, main meal