Classic pasta dishes are beloved, and few pastas taste more classic than this Garlic & Spinach Orzo. The roasted garlic throughout ensures each bite is fragrant and delicious. The sauce is creamy, tangy, and cheesy, and loaded with even more garlic flavor to charm and perfume the tender orzo. Herbaceous and happiness-generating, this Garlic & Spinach Orzo will bring a smile to your face!

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Ingredients

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

Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Step 2 –Remove the papery outer skin from the garlic bulb, but do not peel or separate the cloves.

Step 3 –Cut off the top of the garlic bulb, exposing the individual cloves.

Step 4 –Drizzle the cut cloves with 1 teaspoon of the oil.

Step 5 –Wrap the garlic in foil.

Step 6 –Bake until the cloves are soft, about 30-35 minutes.

Step 7 –Unwrap and allow the garlic to rest until cool enough to handle.

Step 8 –Squeeze the garlic from the skins.

Step 9 –In a Dutch oven, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat.

Step 10 –Add the orzo to the oil and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.

Step 11 –Add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil.

Step 12 –Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the orzo is tender and the liquid absorbs, about 10-12 minutes.

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Step 13 –Stir the cream cheese into the pasta mixture until it melts.

Step 14 –Add the spinach, the Asiago cheese, the milk, the garlic-pepper seasoning blend, the salt, and the roasted garlic to the pasta mixture and cook, while stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes.

Step 15 –Sprinkle the pasta mixture with the parsley and serve.