Baked Orzo Pasta
This delicious Baked Orzo Pasta comes together in just one dish! The pasta cooks in the sauce for added flavor, making this tasty recipe quick and easy.
I’ve been loving orzo pasta lately because its small shape cooks quickly and it’s such a versatile ingredient. This rice-shaped pasta can be used in soups and salads as well as baked pasta dishes like this one. This recipe is wonderful because you don’t have to pre-cook the pasta on the stovetop. Simply add the pasta to the casserole dish and bake it in the sauce until tender.
Baked Orzo Pasta Ingredients
- Orzo– You’ll need orzo pasta, a small pasta that is shaped like large grains of rice. It’s typically sold by the pasta but occasionally you’ll find it sold with the rice at the grocery store.
- Pasta sauce– I recommend a high quality pasta sauce like Rao’s Tomato Basil or the Vero Gusto sauce by Barilla.
- Spinach– A few handfuls of baby spinach is a great way to add veggies to this dish.
- Ricotta– A little ricotta cheese makes this dish taste rich and creamy. I recommend whole-milk ricotta.
- Mozzarella– I like using a ball of fresh mozzarella cheese and tearing it into pieces. But you can use shredded mozzarella, if that’s what you have.
How to Make Baked Orzo
Add the orzo, pasta sauce, and water to a baking dish and stir until well combined. Add the spinach and stir until mixed. Use a spoon to add the ricotta in large dollops. Stir slightly, but don’t combine completely. Keeping some of the spoonfuls of ricotta intact creates delicious pockets of cheese after the pasta is baked.
Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake until bubbly. Top with fresh basil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes.
Tips and Tricks
- You do not need to cook the pasta before adding it to the casserole dish. The pasta will bake in the sauce.
- Spray the casserole dish with non-stick spray to ensure the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom. I used a 2.5 qt casserole dish that is roughly 9 x 12 inches. Feel free to use a dish that is slightly larger or slightly smaller.
- I recommend using baby spinach, but if you’re using larger leaves of spinach, roughly chop it before adding to the casserole dish.
- To make this recipe vegan, I recommend using Kite Hill’s vegan ricotta and your favorite vegan mozzarella-style shreds.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, look for gluten-free orzo. It can be hard to find at the grocery store but you can usually get it on Amazon.
- If you liked this recipe, try my no boil baked ziti recipe!
More Orzo RecipesPrint
This delicious Baked Orzo Pasta comes together in just one dish! The pasta cooks right in the sauce for added flavor, making this tasty recipe quick and easy!
- 1 lb orzo pasta (uncooked)
- 2 cups water
- 24 oz pasta sauce
- 5 oz spinach
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Add the uncooked orzo, pasta sauce, and water to a baking dish and stir until well combined.
- Add the spinach and stir until mixed.
- Use a spoon to add the ricotta in large dollops. Stir slightly, but don’t combine completely.
- Tear the fresh mozzarella into 1″ pieces and spread evenly across the top of the orzo.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove foil and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes.
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.