A one pot creamy mushroom orzo recipe that comes together in about 45 minutes. Like my Roasted Vegetable Orzo, this creamy vegetarian orzo is packed with veggies featuring mushrooms, white beans, parmesan, goat cheese and your choice of kale or spinach! A delicious dinner that’s easy to make.
Vegetarian Orzo Recipes
They’re among the most made recipes on the blog! Beyond this mushroom orzo recipe, here’s what people are making:
- Roasted Vegetable Orzo – versatile enough to use what you have on hand in the fridge. It’s simple and so satisfying! Enjoy warm or chilled.
- Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Spinach and Feta – delicious as a side with all things BBQ for summer like my BBQ Tofu Kebabs.
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad – use those delicious summer tomatoes in this flavorful and simple salad.
Creamy Orzo Comfort Food with Extra Veggies
This orzo recipe was inspired by Sheela Parkash at The Kitchn. I first saw Sheela’s make on Instagram last Spring and have been messin’ with the base ever since in my effort to load it up with veggies and beans to make it a vegetarian main.
This one pot creamy orzo pasta recipe is so simple to make and perfect anytime you want a comforting meal. It’s easy to pull together, with loads of flavor from mushrooms, veggie broth, a touch of wine, and a mix of goat cheese and parmesan.
Share mushroom orzo with a big salad and crusty bread for a hearty and satisfying pasta night.
Quick Guide: How to Make Creamy Mushroom Orzo
Make it in an enamel coated 4 quart Dutch oven for minimal sticking or a non stick 4 quart cook pot. You can opt for kale or spinach in this recipe. Written as a vegetarian main, the beans can be left out however for a hearty side, although we’ve enjoyed it plenty as a main without the beans. I love its versatility! In summary, here’s how to make this mushroom orzo recipe (see recipe card for details):
- First, blanch the kale, squeeze out the water then chop. If opting for spinach, you can skip this step.
Blanching serves several purposes here:
- Cleans and washes away pesky hidden dirt and debris.
- Destroys the enzymes that turn the veggies brown and mushy when cooking longer.
- Helps retain its bright green color and nutrients.
- Second, saute the mushrooms then toast the orzo briefly before stirring in the shallots and garlic.
- Third, add the veggie broth and cook the orzo.
- Next, remove the orzo and mushrooms from the heat and stir in the milk and cheeses.
- Last, return the pot to the heat and stir in the kale and beans. Warm through.
If including spinach rather than kale, it will be stirred in just before adding the beans (no need to blanch). While warming thorough, the spinach will wilt.
What is Orzo?
Orzo is a small cut pasta about the size of long grain rice. It’s delicious in soup, salads, and casseroles to name a few. There are several ways to prepare it depending on the application. It can be boiled like any pasta, cooked like risotto (orzo risotto), or pilaf.
In this orzo pasta recipe, the orzo is toasted first, then vegetable broth finishes the orzo to al dente. Toasting the orzo brings out its nutty flavor and adds a beautiful golden hue to the pasta.
RELATED: Love orzo? Give my Lemon-Garlic Orzo with Roasted Vegetables recipe a go!
Kale or Spinach in this Creamy Orzo Recipe?
My family loves both, but honestly we enjoy the hearty texture of kale over spinach more-so. Plus, I can get kale pretty much year round at the farmers markets. Including spinach instead of kale eliminates the steps of prepping, blanching and chopping essentially shaving about 10 minutes off the recipe. My recommendation?
- For Speed: go with baby spinach
- For Texture: go with the kale! << my favorite (pictured in this post).
Beans or Not?
To balance and round out this vegetarian dinner, I include white cannellini beans. They have a smooth texture and nutty flavor that pairs deliciously with this mushroom orzo pasta recipe. However, this orzo is fabulous on its own without their inclusion. They can be omitted if desired.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Milk of Choice: For this recipe I use Homemade Cashew Milk. It’s similar to whole milk and works well in this recipe. Feel free to use plant milk of choice or whole milk.
- Dry Vermouth or White Wine: Either can be used in this recipe, however, I prefer vermouth simply because it has a longer storage life and it offers a bit more depth of flavor in savory recipes, especially pasta.
- Parmesan Cheese: Look for vegetarian friendly Parmesan cheese (one that does not use rennet in production). BelGioioso, Organic Valley and Stella offers vegetarian friendly Parm. For more information, check with your preferred cheese maker.
- Freezer Friendly? Yes Please! This recipe freezes with ease. Simply cool completely, then store in a lidded storage container in the freezer for up to two weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight and rewarm on low, on stove top adding a splash of milk to thin as needed.
More Vegetarian Pasta Recipes to Love
- Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Spinach and Feta
- Spaghetti Puttanesca
- Orecchiette With Garlicky Kale And Breadcrumbs
- Stovetop Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
- Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
- Lemon-Dijon Macaroni Salad with Asparagus and Peas
Creamy White Bean and Parmesan Mushroom Orzo
- 8 oz (225g) Kale curly or red Russian, stems removed, about one bunch (see notes if spinach is preferred)
- 1 1/2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 16 oz (455g) Cremini Mushrooms stems removed and diced medium
- 1 1/4 C (235g) Orzo Pasta
- 2 C (470g) Vegetable Broth
- 1/3 C (35g) Shallot diced small, about one small shallot
- 2 T Minced Garlic about 4 medium cloves chopped fine
- 1/2 C (100g) Dry Vermouth or dry white wine
- 3/4 C (175g) Milk divided. I use homemade cashew milk, but whole milk or other plant milk may be used
- 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1/2 C (65g) Grated Parmesan Cheese + more for serving
- 3 oz (85g) Goat Cheese
- 15 oz (425g) Cooked Cannellini Beans from a can, drained and rinsed.
- Fresh Basil or Parsley optional for serving
- Put a 4 quart Dutch oven or nonstick pot of water on to bring to a boil. Once boiling, plunge the kale into the water using tongs. Cook the kale for 2 minutes (no need to bring the water to a boil again). Drain, and allow the kale cool. Once the kale is cool, press/squeeze out as much water as possible and chop into bite size pieces. Set aside.
- Using the same Dutch oven, wipe it dry and add 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil. Once shimmering add the diced mushrooms. Turn heat to medium high. Stir once, then allow to set stirring occasionally so the mushrooms have an opportunity to sear, for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Turn the heat down to medium low. Stir in the orzo and toast, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until the orzo is slightly golden.
- To the orzo mushroom mixture, add the garlic and shallots. Stir for about 30 seconds, then deglaze the pan with wine. It will steam and sizzle and cook off quick. Pour in the veggie broth, stir, bring to a simmer. Lid the pot and cook on low for 9-11 minutes or until the broth is absorbed and the pasta is tender. The pasta will stick a bit at this point, so using a wooden spoon, scrape when you stir.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in 1/2 C of the milk, goat and parmesan cheese. Allow to melt. Return pot to heat on low and stir in kale (spinach in two batches if using) pressing it with the spoon so that it separates. Fold in the beans. Place the lid back on the pot and cook on low for between 5-8 minutes, just until the beans are warmed through. Taste for salt adjustment and add in a 4-6 twists of fresh ground pepper.Stir in a splash or two of the remaining milk if needed to thin.
- Share warm with fresh ground pepper and extra parmesan for sprinkling. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley.
- Store in a lidded container in the fridge for up to three days. This recipe freezes with ease. Simply cool completely and store in a lidded storage container in the freezer for up to two weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Rewarm on stovetop with a splash or milk or water to bring it together.