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Creamy Roasted Garlic & Spinach Orzo

This side dish brings instant comfort. I first made it without spinach so my husband and daughter would like it. The next time, I added spinach for the extra health benefits. They still devoured it, so in my book that's a win-win. —Dawn Moore, Warren, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Cook: 20 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1-3/4 cups uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 package (9 ounces) fresh spinach, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free garlic pepper seasoning blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


  • Preheat oven to 425°. Remove papery outer skin from garlic bulb but do not peel or separate the cloves. Cut off top of garlic bulb, exposing individual cloves. Drizzle cut cloves with 1 teaspoon oil. Wrap in foil. Bake 30-35 minutes or until cloves are soft. Unwrap. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from skins.
  • In a Dutch oven, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add pasta; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  • Stir in cream cheese until melted. Add spinach, Asiago cheese, milk, seasoning blend, salt and roasted garlic; cook and stir until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with parsley.
Nutrition Facts
2/3 cup: 271 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 14mg cholesterol, 422mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 9g fiber), 12g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1-1/2 fat, 1 vegetable.

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Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
    Mar 24, 2021

    Recipe was great. I saw some reviews saying it was “heavy” so I roasted some sliced tomatoes tossed in olive oil & salt/pepper along w the garlic (naked cloves only in aluminum) 25 minutes. The acidity of the tomatoes brightened the dish.

  • Penny
    Nov 3, 2018

    I found this dish quite heavy so I added 1/4 more milk. I added lemon juice to try lighten the flavour and some parmesan cheese. It needed salt as I couldnt get that wow factor which I normally manage with other orzo dishes.

  • vbag
    May 7, 2014

    This is a very tasty and creamy recipe. It is high in carbohydrates , however, because of the pasta. The flavor is rich. I love the zestiness of the spinach matched with the Asiago cheese. I added fresh parmesan at the end.

  • Cook_aholic
    Apr 14, 2014

    I have to say this was delicious but too rich for my family. I have made it to take to carry-ins and I also switched from chopped spinach to chopped broccoli. It was great too.