Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Alfredo Casserole – Delicious vegetarian dinner with Spinach, Artichokes and Orzo pasta mixed in a lightened-up, homemade Alfredo Sauce.
Happiest of Sundays, everyone! How’s it going?
It’s the first weekend of 2015 and I spent all of it inside the house. It’s winter-nasty around these parts.
Cold, icy, rainy… I need to move somewhere tropical. I even got a spray tan the other day to remind myself of summer time happenings.
I’m orange, but that’s okay. The fake tan looks better than that ghostly white [natural] color I had on before.
However, if I moved to a truly tropical place, I would really miss wearing boots and scarves. Coats, not so much. They get in the way of EVERY.thing. For instance, driving. Tugging, pulling…so uncomfortable.
Also? Can you eat casseroles in the tropics? Like, warm and gooey casseroles? ‘Cause that could be another deal breaker.
Which brings me to my next point; things are about to get scrumptious and savory.
Spinach and artichokes aaaand orzo mixed with alfredo sauce! And baked!! Dangerous. Delicious.
In the name of transparency, I gotta come clean. This casserole is a result of me trying not to eat an entire jar of artichokes from Cara Mia. My friends at Star Fine Foods sent it to me and, just after one try, I knew this could be dangerous. Therefore, to save myself, and to save a few artichokes for the rest of the household, I made us this insanely delicious casserole.
Remember that one time when we made the Skinny Chicken Fettuccine with Alfredo Sauce? Well, I kind of did the same thing here, except that I kinda didn’t…
I used that same lightened-up Alfredo Sauce, but mixed it with the best pair of all; spinach and artichokes. What a partnership those two are. Right? No matter where you put ’em, together, they are always delicious.
Now, here’s the deal about that sauce. When I say “whisk it” I mean “WHISK it!”. I mean, use a whisk and not a wooden spoon. I had tons of emails about that sauce “looking kinda chunky”. It was chunky because you didn’t use a whisk, m’kay? Good.
You know what else is pretty cool about this dish? You can use long grain rice instead of orzo. Yaha! I don’t because my other-half cringes at rice. At rice!! He’s so weird… I love that guy, but still. Rice?! I digress…
So, this casserole! It is simple, yet full of deliciousness and comfort. I hope you will love it, too!
P.S. My apologies for the 3-4 pots and pans you’re about to use. BUT it’s worth it!! ♥
- FOR THE PASTA
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- water , for boiling pasta
- FOR THE ALFREDO SAUCE
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup plain , nonfat yogurt
- salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
- FOR THE SPINACH AND ARTICHOKES MIXTURE
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion , sliced
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 bag (6 to 8 ounces) spinach leaves
- 1 jar or can (14-ounces) quartered artichokes
- 1/2 cup shredded italian-blend cheeses , for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly grease casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Cook orzo according to the directions on the box; drain and set aside.
Make The Sauce
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Stir in flour; stir until combined.
Slowly whisk in vegetable broth.
Cook and whisk until mixture boils and thickens; remove from heat.
Stir in parmesan cheese; stir until melted.
Whisk in yogurt; whisk until combined.
Season with salt and pepper.
Sauce will continue to thicken as it stands. If sauce is too thick, add a little water. Set aside.
Make the Spinach and Artichokes
Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
Add onions and salt; cook for 2 minutes, or until just tender.
Add spinach and cook for 2 more minutes, or until wilted.
Stir in artichokes and continue to cook for 1 more minute.
Add orzo to the skillet.
Stir in prepared sauce.
Remove from heat and transfer to previously prepared casserole dish.
Sprinkle the top with shredded cheese.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.
Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.
Shared with Tidy Mom’s I’m Lovin’ It Fridays!