Spinach, Tomato, and Garlic Orzo

My mom-in-law picked up some perch fillets and broccoli for New Year’s Eve dinner and asked us to come up with a carbohydrate side dish. We got very excited about the perch…I remember eating and loving it as a kid, but haven’t had it since…but for the side, we were a little torn between some sort of pasta and rice. Enter: Orzo…the rice shaped pasta!

Since we knew we would be making a creamy white wine sauce for the perch, we wanted to build a fun, flavourful side dish that would complement it well…That’s where the garlic, spinach, tomatoes, and lemon zest came in! While we served this with fish, we think it would be great with chicken as well.

Time: 30 Minutes


  • Orzo
  • Spinach
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Optional: Lemon Zest or Juice


  • Start to boil some water with a little olive oil and salt mixed in.
  • As the water heats, cut your tomatoes into halves or quarters, and dice your garlic.
  • When your water is boiling, add your orzo, and cook for a few minutes until it is tender and cooked do your desired level.
  • As your orzo cooks, heat some butter in a pan, and then add your garlic and tomatoes. Sautee for a few minutes, and then add your spinach to wilt.
  • When your orzo is cooked, drain the water, and put the orzo back in the pot. Then, add your cooked veggies, and stir to combine. Lastly, add your lemon zest or a few squirts of lemon juice (if using), and heat (as necessary) the orzo.
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!

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