This rich, umami sun dried tomato orzo is cooked in one pot with spinach, precooked chicken sausage, garlic, broth and a topping of parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and basil. This is a lick-your-bowl-clean meal, through and through.

A pot of sun dried tomato orzo on a white table topped with fresh basil. A wooden spoon is scooping out some and there are ingredients scattered on the table around the pot of orzo.

This is one of those dinners that just never disappoints.

It is one of those unicorn meals that feels like something you’d order for dinner at a fancy schmancy restaurant, but is simple enough to make in one pot (and in about 25 minutes) that you get to enjoy its coziness in the comfort of your favorite flannel pants.

Not only is this Sun Dried Tomato Orzo so richly packed with umami flavor (I’m drooling thinking about the last batch I made…oh man), but it also has 4 cups of baby spinach stirred into the perfectly cooked orzo (that has simmered to tender perfection in your favorite broth) along with some grated Parmesan cheese + cooked chicken sausage. Now, I like to add a little splash of lemon juice at the end to add a little brightness to all those deep flavors, but that is totally something you can skip.

Ingredients of sun dried tomato orzo on a table before being prepped.
Ingredients: orzo, parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon, salt + pepper, cooked Italian chicken sausage, sun dried tomatoes, onion, garlic, broth, baby spinach.

Let me show you how to make this dish…

If you are a visual person, here is a picture guide for how the recipe should look at each step. Be sure to grab the exact measurements for the ingredients by scrolling down to the recipe card below.

Sausage coins in a pot after being browned.
Drizzle ½ tablespoon in a large pot over medium-high heat and cook the chicken sausage until browned. About 5 minutes. Remove from pan into a bowl and set aside.
Diced onions sautéed in a large white pot with minced garlic sitting on top. A bowl of browned sausage coins sits in a bowl next to the pot.
Add the remaining oil to the pot and reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and continue to sauté until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
Uncooked orzo and sun dried tomatoes on top of sautéed onions and garlic before being stirred in. There is a bowl of sliced sausage next to the pot.
Add the sun dried tomatoes and orzo and stir for 30 seconds to coat the pasta.
Broth being poured into the pot with uncooked orzo, sun dried tomatoes, sautéed onions and garlic.
Stir in the broth then bring the pot up to a gentle simmer.
Cooked sun dried tomato orzo in a pot with lemon, a bowl of spinach, parmesan cheese, and sausage next to the pot.
Stir every few minutes until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 6 to 8 minutes. If all the liquid is gone before the pasta is fully cooked, stir in a little more broth or water and continue cooking.
Browned sausage coins, baby spinach, and grated Parmesan cheese sitting on top of cooked sun dried orzo in a pot before being stirred in.
Turn off the heat then add the salt, pepper, parmesan, spinach, browned sausages, and lemon juice (if using). Stir until the spinach in wilted.
A pot of sun dried tomato orzo on a white table. A wooden spoon is scooping out some and there are ingredients scattered on the table around the pot of orzo.
Taste the orzo and add more seasoning as needed.

Recipe testing notes from Taesha

  • Skip the lemon juice. This sun dried tomato orzo is still delicious without the lemon juice. However, if you have it, it does add some nice flavor to balance out the richness of the cheese.
  • You can use a whole wheat or gluten-free orzo in this recipe, but the cook time may vary. Check the doneness of the pasta often and add more liquid as needed to continue cooking.
  • To make this dairy-free, omit the cheese and taste and add more salt/seasoning as needed. You could also add some nutritional yeast to mimic the cheesy flavor.
  • I like to buy the sun dried tomatoes that are already chopped in the jar. However, if you can’t find this kind, you can use the whole sun dried tomatoes in oil and just chop them yourself. Be sure to include some of the oil in the dish because it has a lot of flavor.
  • If you want the orzo extra creamy, stir in a soft, creamy cheese like goat cheese, cream cheese, or herbed boursin. Or you could add a splash or heavy cream or half and half if you have that on hand.
  • Skip the sausage and serve this amazing orzo with some grilled or roasted chicken or some sautéed shrimp.
  • Up the veggies. You could sauté some shredded or chopped zucchini or carrot with the onion at the beginning of the recipe. Instead of spinach, you could add a few cups of chopped kale. However, kale taste a little longer to cook, so add it in with the broth.
  • Like a little spice? Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the oil while you sauté the onions and garlic.
A pot of sun dried tomato orzo on a white table topped with fresh basil. A wooden spoon is scooping out some and there are ingredients scattered on the table around the pot of orzo.

Other amazing veggie-packed pasta dishes you are going to want to check out…

Did you try this recipe? So good, right? I bet you’re hungry for more, aren’t ya? 

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A plate of sun dried tomato orzo on a white table topped with fresh basil. A fork is on the plate with a bite on it,  and there is a napkin and ingredients scattered on the table around the plate of orzo.
Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Orzo with Sausage
5 from 5 votes

Spinach + Sun Dried Tomato Orzo with Sausage

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
This rich, umami sun dried tomato orzo is cooked in one pot with spinach, precooked chicken sausage, garlic, broth and a topping of parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and basil. This is a lick-your-bowl-clean meal, through and through.

Ingredients
 

  • 12 ounces Italian fully cooked chicken sausage, cut into coins
  • Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3-5 cloves garlic , minced
  • ½ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil , 4 ounces
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice , optional but adds such a nice balance to the flavor*
  • fresh basil, for garnish, optional

Instructions
 

  •  Drizzle ½ tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and cook the chicken sausage until browned. About 5 minutes. Remove from pan into a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil to the pot and reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and continue to sauté until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the sun dried tomatoes and orzo and stir for 30 seconds to coat the pasta.
  • Stir in the broth then bring the pot up to a gentle simmer. Stir every few minutes until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 6 to 8 minutes. If all the liquid is gone before the pasta is fully cooked, stir in a little more broth or water and continue cooking
  • Turn off the heat then add the salt, pepper, parmesan, spinach, browned sausages, and lemon juice (if using). Stir until the spinach in wilted.
  • Taste the orzo and add more seasoning as needed.
  • Divide evenly between 6 bowls and top with additional Parmesan and fresh basil, if desired.

Notes

Recipe Notes

  • This dish is still delicious without the lemon juice. However, if you have it, it does add some nice flavor to balance out the richness of the cheese.
  • You can use a whole wheat or gluten-free orzo in this recipe, but the cook time may vary. Check the doneness of the pasta often and add more liquid as needed to continue cooking.
  • To make this dairy-free, omit the cheese and taste and add more salt/seasoning as needed. You could also add some nutritional yeast to mimic the cheesy flavor.
  • I like to buy the sun dried tomatoes that are already chopped in the jar. However, if you can’t find this kind, you can use the whole sun dried tomatoes in oil and just chop them yourself. Be sure to include some of the oil in the dish because it has a lot of flavor.
  • If you want the orzo extra creamy, stir in a soft, creamy cheese like goat cheese, cream cheese, or herbed boursin. Or you could add a splash or heavy cream or half and half if you have that on hand.
  • If you want to add even more veggies, you could sauté some shredded or chopped zucchini or carrot with the onion at the beginning of the recipe. Instead of spinach, you could add a few cups of chopped kale. However, kale taste a little longer to cook, so add it in with the broth.
  • Like a little spice? Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the oil while you sauté the onions and garlic.
Calories: 407kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 964mg, Potassium: 409mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 2267IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 115mg, Iron: 2mg