Spinach Cannellini Bean Orzo

Orzo pasta, spinach, cannellini beans, lemon, garlic, and a hint of vegan cheese.  This recipe is the perfect meal for warmer weather.  It cooks up fast in a skillet, and is packed with savory flavors.  It works well as a side or as a main entree.

The first time I had orzo, I thought it was rice.  Little did I know, it was pasta masquerading as rice.  Since discovering it’s true nature, I am constantly thinking of ways to incorporate it into my meal rotation.  So good, so pasta!

Spinach Cannellini Bean Orzo

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup dried orzo pasta

2 cups broth (fake chicken or vegetable)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 scallion, chopped

3 cups fresh spinach, packed

1 15.5 ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Vegan mozzarella cheese, optional (I crumbled Miyoko’s Vegan Mozz)

1. In a large skillet, add olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and black pepper.  Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes or until onion are soft.  Add dried orzo and sauté for 3 more minutes, constantly stirring the orzo around in the skillet.  Add broth and reduce to low.  Simmer without a lid for 10 minutes, or until the orzo are cooked through.

2.  Stir in lemon juice, scallion, spinach and the cannellini beans.  Constantly stir over low heat until the spinach wilts and the cannellini cook through (about 2 minutes).  Add vegan cheese, if using, and serve.

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