Saturday, September 26, 2009

Baked Orzo with Chorizo and Spinach

The other night I really felt like cooking, but didn't know when Jon would be getting home. I went in search of an idea for a dinner that could wait, like a casserole, and started by asking the girls on a cooking board I frequent.

I loved this suggestion blogged about on Cooking This and That. I looked at the original recipe, a Giada recipe for Baked Orzo with Fontina and Peas, on the Food Network web site, and after reading it decided to use it as inspiration but change a few ingredients and add others to match our tastes. The original recipe sounded great, but I wanted to turn it into a savory main course. My version is below.

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • Chorizo; I used 2 links, each was about 6 inches long.
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine, I used a dry Chardonnay
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 c shredded cheeses - I used a mix of mozzarella, Parmesan, and asiago
  • More Parmesan cheese, for the topping, about 1/4 c
  • 6 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
  • Bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo and cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Pour the orzo and the broth into a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet.
  • Crumble the chorizo into the pan and cook until browned, about 8 minutes
  • Add the onions and garlic, saute 3 minutes
  • Add the mushrooms, saute 2 minutes
  • Add the wine, stirring to scrape up all the brown bits. Let simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the sausage mixture to the orzo in the large bowl. Stir.
  • Add the cheeses, stir
  • Pour in the cream and stir to combine everything
  • Pour the mixture into your buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake uncovered until golden, about 25 minutes. I turned on the broiler for the last minute or two.

These flavors all worked perfectly together. This dish was creamy and comforting, with just a touch of heat from the chorizo. And it served almost 10... we ate it 3 times, my mom had lunch, and my parents had dinner the next night!

I would love to make a large batch of this for a party. I would prepare everything up until before I added the cream. The cream could be stirred in before baking.

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  1. My mouth is watering just reading this one! Sounds delicious!!

  2. This was fabulous, the right combo of flavors and textures. It is great to be the taster for so many of these dishes --- keep 'em coming :)