Creamy One-Pot Vegan Mushroom Orzo Recipe with Spinach

Creamy One-Pot Vegan Mushroom Orzo Recipe with Spinach

Orzo is an interesting food to cook with, it’s a form of pasta but it’s roughly the shape and size of a large grain of rice. Or perhaps they look like pieces of barley as the word ‘orzo’ literally translates to barley. In Italy, they’re commonly used in soups to add texture and some hearty content to a broth. They’re typically made from semolina or all-purpose flour but you can also find whole wheat orzo. In our recipe, we’re using orzo made from semolina. We however are not making Italian soup, we are going to create a creamy one-pot vegan mushroom orzo recipe with spinach.

Does this recipe title not sound delicious? Think tasty al dente Italian orzo pasta, simmered in a rich veggie broth, made into a rich and creamy sauce with meaty baby bellas, fresh spinach, fresh herbs, aromatic minced garlic cloves and some tangy lemon zest. This is a truly comforting meal using simple ingredients and you can make it in a single saucepan in less than 30 minutes, which in our books is not a long time, and that’s our favourite kind of meal. The best thing might be that there is hardly any food prep required, just 4-5 minutes of chopping a few vegetables. We’re using minimal ingredients to make what is one of our favourite vegan recipes.

So what is the difference between our recipe and a non-vegan version? So beyond the obvious (being a lack of meat) and the use of dairy-free cream and butter. We’re using a coconut milk double cream and a plant-based butter (not margarine). You might find typically that chicken broth is used in place of vegetable broth. We have also substituted the use of any white wine as it can be a little time-consuming to find a vegan dry white to use (see our guide to vegan wine and beer for other recipes though). We have typically used lemon juice in other similar recipes and that’s what we’ve opted for here. Finally, you won’t find any parmesan cheese in this recipe, which is why we’ve included a 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, although you could use vegan cheese.

If you want to try out another one of our mushroom rich recipes, you should check out our creamy mushrooms on toast, a great brunch recipe. Or for a similar one pot recipe, then have a look at our vegan egg fried rice dish, a quick and tasty dinner meal.

Creamy One-Pot Vegan Mushroom Orzo Ingredients

250 g baby bella mushrooms (chestnut mushrooms)

Olive oil

Ground salt and black pepper

1 Tbsp vegan butter

1/2 onion finely diced

1 tsp minced garlic

1 cup Orzo

1 3/4 cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp fresh parsley

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/2 cup of plant-based double cream (or heavy cream)

2 cups of baby spinach

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or vegan parmesan cheese)

How to Make a Creamy One-Pot Vegan Mushroom Orzo

Starting with the food prep (which is honestly going to take less time than you might think after first looking at the ingredients list) we are going to pull the stalks from the mushrooms and discard them in your food waste bin. Then we want to wash the mushrooms, or rather just wipe them. We don’t want to rinse them in or under running water and make them sodden. If they’re too wet they won’t fry to the nice golden brown colour we want them to. The best thing you can do is to use a damp cloth or kitchen towel and simply wipe off the dirt.

Once the mushrooms are clean you should then slice them and set them aside until we are ready to fry them in some olive oil. Now would also be a good time to heat some water and make your vegetable broth as well.

Next, you should take an onion, preferably a yellow onion, then peel it, chop it in half and then dice one half. You’ll fry the onion with some garlic after the sliced mushrooms have been browned.

Take a handful of parsley and pull the leaves from the stems before finely chopping enough leaves to fill up one whole tablespoon.

Now take a large non-stick saucepan set it over medium-high heat and add a good drizzle of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Next, add half of your sliced mushrooms to the saucepan and stir them around in the oil, coating each one evenly, before spreading them out in a single layer as best you can in the bottom of the pan. Now let them sizzle away until they shrink up and turn a golden brown, then sprinkle them with some freshly ground salt and pepper before turning them over onto their uncooked sides and frying until golden brown once more. We found that turning the mushrooms over with a wooden spoon or similar utensil was a bit too challenging and that a pair of tongs worked best.

Once your first batch of mushrooms has cooked, remove them from the saucepan and set them aside on a plate. Now you should repeat the process for the second pile of sliced mushrooms. You should add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan first.

When the pan is empty once more after you’ve set aside all of the fried mushrooms, melt half a tablespoon of vegan butter and add all of the diced onion, stirring it and coating the onion pieces in the melted butter. Fry the onion until it has softened and is starting to become translucent in colour. Then you should tip the minced garlic into the pan and fry, stirring for about another full minute.

Now it’s time to start bringing everything together, so pour into the pan the vegetable broth, orzo, mushrooms diced parsley, dried thyme, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Bring everything to the boil then turn the stove down to medium heat so that the stock is just simmering, and then slowly, little by little, and while stirring add the room temperature double cream to the pan. Using room temperature cream and adding it slowly will make sure that the cream does not curdle. It also helps keep the broth hot and simmering rather than dropping the temperature at once with a whole tub of fridge-cold cream. 

Let the orzo simmer in the sauce until the sauce has thickened, and the orzo has cooked. This should take at least 10 minutes, but you can always refer to the packaging for instructions. The semolina orzo that we used takes 10-12 minutes to cook, we found that you want to check at about 8 minutes that there is still some watery sauce for you to stir in the spinach and let it wilt without drying out your sauce too much.

With a couple of minutes before the orzo is done add the baby spinach, another 1/2 tablespoon of butter and the nutritional yeast to the orzo and sauce and stir them in well until the spinach has wilted and the nutritional yeast has blended into the sauce. The nutritional yeast adds a rich colour and cheesy flavour to your sauce and along with the butter will make sure it’s thick and creamy.

Creamy One Pot Vegan Mushroom Orzo Recipe with Spinach

Creamy One-Pot Vegan Mushroom Orzo Recipe with Spinach

Indulge in our Creamy One-Pot Vegan Mushroom Orzo Recipe with Spinach – a quick, satisfying dish ready in under 30 minutes! Perfect for busy weeknights.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 Servings

Equipment

  • 1 Large Saucepan
  • 1 set of measuring cups
  • 1 Set of kitchen scales

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup of plant-based double cream or heavy cream
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Start by removing the stalks from the mushrooms and cleaning them using a damp cloth. Avoid rinsing them in water. Then once clean cut them into slices.
  • Peel and chop an onion in half. Finely dice one half and keep the other for another recipe.
  • Remove the stems from a handful of parsley leaves and chop enough to fill a tablespoon.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat add a drizzle of olive oil, followed by half of the sliced mushrooms. Let them sizzle in the oil until they have browned on that side.
  • Season the mushrooms with ground salt and pepper, then turn them over and brown the second side. Then remove them from the pan onto a plate and set them aside.
  • Repeat this for the other half of the mushrooms you’ve sliced, adding another drizzle of oil to the pan if needed, and set them aside with the first batch once fried.
  • Melt a 1/2 tablespoon of vegan butter in the pan and then fry the onions until they have softened and become translucent.
  • Add the minced garlic to the pan and fry with the onion, stirring occasionally for another minute.
  • Add the mushrooms back into the pan, along with the orzo, diced parsley, dried thyme and season with ground salt and pepper. Pour in the vegetable stock and lemon juice as well.
  • Bring everything to the boil then turn the stove down to medium heat so that the stock is just simmering, and then slowly, little by little, and while stirring add the room temperature double cream to the pan.
  • Let the orzo simmer in the sauce until the sauce has thickened, and the orzo has cooked. This should take at least 10 minutes, but you can always refer to the packaging for instructions.
  • With a couple of minutes before the orzo is done add the baby spinach, another 1/2 tablespoon of butter and the nutritional yeast to the orzo and sauce and stir them in well until the spinach has wilted and the nutritional yeast has blended into the sauce.
Keyword garlic, mushrooms, onion, orzo, spinach

Can I add extra veggies to this recipe?

Absolutely! This creamy mushroom orzo recipe is pretty versatile, and you can chop and change some ingredients to your liking. Add bell peppers, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, or any other veggies you enjoy.

What types of orzo pasta work best for this recipe?

Any variety of orzo pasta will work well in this recipe. Traditional wheat orzo is commonly used, but you can also opt for whole wheat or gluten-free varieties if you prefer.

Which types of mushrooms are recommended for this dish?

White mushrooms are commonly used in this recipe, you can experiment with different types for added flavour and texture. Cremini mushrooms, shiitake, oyster mushrooms, or wild mushrooms can all work wonderfully.

How can I add extra flavour to the creamy sauce?

To enhance the flavour of the creamy sauce, consider incorporating herbs and spices such as thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, or red pepper flakes. Additionally, a splash of white wine or vegetable broth can add depth to the dish.

Can I use frozen spinach instead of fresh?

Yes, you can use frozen spinach in this recipe. Thaw and drain the frozen spinach before adding it to the dish. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly to accommodate the frozen spinach.


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1 thought on “Creamy One-Pot Vegan Mushroom Orzo Recipe with Spinach”

  • 5 stars
    I’ve been thinking I’d like to try making mushroom risotto with orzo instead of rice. Then I saw your recipe and tried that instead. It’s delicious – I do love an easy one pot meal.

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