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Italian Orzo Spinach Soup

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This Italian Orzo Spinach Soup recipe is easy to make, full of zesty Italian-inspired flavors, and always so cozy and delicious. Ready to go in less than 30 minutes!

Italian Orzo Spinach Soup

Chilly days call for delicious big pots of soup simmering on the stove. And on days when I find myself particularly pressed for time to cook, this simple Italian orzo spinach soup recipe has long been one of my favorites. ♡

To be honest, this recipe initially earned a spot in our family’s regular rotation simply because it calls for basic ingredients that we almost always have on hand, making it an easy fall-back on those days we find ourselves staring blankly into the fridge at 5pm trying to decide what to make for dinner. However, we’ve continued to make this soup again and again because something about that classic blend of pasta and veggies simmered in a zesty tomato broth is just so comforting and delicious. It’s always such a winner!

The great news about this soup recipe is that it’s easy to customize with whatever soup-friendly veggies and greens happen to be hanging out in your fridge. And while I’m partial to making this soup with orzo pasta, you’re welcome to use any other pasta shape (or even rice) that you prefer. I’m just going to insist that you use a generous amount of garlic, Italian herbs and crushed red pepper flakes to season the broth. And a handful of freshly-grated Parmesan sprinkled atop each serving is an absolute must here in our house, yum.

Let’s make some soup!

Italian Orzo Spinach Soup Ingredients

Italian Orzo Spinach Soup Ingredients

Before we get to the full recipe listed below, here are a few quick notes about the ingredients that you will need to make this Italian orzo soup recipe:

  • Veggies: We will be using the classic mirepoix combo of diced onion, carrots and celery as the veggie base for our soup.
  • Seasonings: I love adding in lots of minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning to season the soup, plus fine sea salt and a few generous twists of black pepper.
  • Chicken or veggie stock: Feel free to use whichever you prefer as the brothy base for the soup.
  • Diced tomatoes: I highly recommend picking up a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes if they are available at your grocery store. But if not, any can of basic diced tomatoes will be just fine.
  • Orzo: You will need approximately 1 cup (8 ounces) of uncooked orzo pasta for this soup. Or you are welcome to sub in any other pasta shape of your liking (or see ideas for pasta alternatives in the notes below).
  • Greens: I love tossing in a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach or kale, but feel free to use whatever greens you prefer.
  • Toppings: Finally, I highly recommend topping the soup with a generous sprinkling of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese. And if you happen to have some fresh basil (or other fresh Italian herbs) on hand, add some in too!

Step by step instructions for how to make orzo soup

Tips For Making This Soup

Detailed step-by-step instructions for how to make this Italian orzo spinach soup are included in the recipe below, but here are a few extra tips to consider when making this soup:

  • Add extra broth if needed. This longer the cooked orzo stays in the soup (especially while the soup is hot), the more broth it will continue to soak up, so I recommend serving the soup immediately once the orzo reaches the al dente stage. That said, if the soup sits on the stove for awhile or you notice while reheating leftovers that the orzo has soaked up most of the broth, feel free to add in some extra stock with a pinch of extra Italian seasoning and then season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Choose your favorite pasta shape. I love the texture of orzo in this soup, but you’re welcome to use 8 ounces of whatever shape and variety of pasta that you have in the pantry
  • Season to taste. I love a generous amount of Italian seasoning, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes in this soup. But this recipe is incredibly flexible when it comes to seasonings, so feel free to add different fresh or dried Italian herbs to taste. And of course, you’re always welcome to add more or less crushed red pepper flakes to make your soup more spicy or mild.
  • Don’t skimp on the Parmesan. I highly recommend adding a generous sprinkle of freshly-grated or shaved Parmesan on top of each serving bowl. If you happen to have an extra Parmesan rind on hand too, toss it into the pot of soup to let it simmer and add an extra-delicious touch of umami flavor to the broth as well.

Italian Orzo Soup in pot with ladle

Possible Variations

Here are a few more ways that you are welcome to customize this orzo soup recipe if you’d like:

  • Add a protein: We also love adding in some crumbled Italian sausage (or plant-based Italian sausage) to this soup here in our house. It would also be delicious with shredded chicken or ground beef.
  • Add extra veggies: Feel free to toss in any other mild soup-friendly veggies that you have on hand, such as bell peppers, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus or peas. For extra protein, you’re also welcome to add in a can of rinsed/drained beans.
  • Use rice: If you would like to make this pasta gluten-free, feel free to sub in your preferred kind of rice in place of the orzo.
  • Use different greens: Kale or collard greens would also be delicious in place of the baby spinach.
  • Make it gluten-free: To make this a gluten-free orzo soup, substitute 8 ounces of gluten-free orzo (or any shape of pasta) in place of the orzo. Or you are welcome to substitute rice, rice noodles, or another gluten-free grain in place of the orzo.
  • Make it vegan: This soup recipe is already naturally vegan if made with vegetable stock.

Bowl of Italian Orzo Spinach Soup

More Easy Vegetarian Soup Recipes

Looking for more easy vegetarian soup recipes to try this season? Here are a few of our readers’ favorites:

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Italian Orzo Spinach Soup

Italian Orzo Spinach Soup

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x

Description

This Italian Orzo Spinach Soup recipe is quick and easy to make, full of zesty Italian-inspired flavors, and it’s always so cozy and delicious.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup (about 8 ounces) uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach or kale
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • optional toppings: freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and/or chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Sauté the veggies. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Simmer. Add stock, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the broth reaches a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the simmer.
  3. Cook the orzo. Stir in the orzo until combined. Cover the pot with a lid and continue simmering the soup, stirring occasionally so that the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot, until the orzo is just barely al dente. (Try to avoid overcooking the orzo!)
  4. Add the spinach and season. Stir the spinach into the soup. Taste and season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve. Serve immediately, garnished with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!


Notes

Recipe update: This recipe was updated in 2021 to include more garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and slightly less orzo. (The original version called for 3 cloves garlic, crushed red pepper flakes to taste, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, and 1 1/2 cups orzo.)

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Recipe rating

527 comments on “Italian Orzo Spinach Soup”

  1. How do I see the comments that go with this recipe?

    • Hi Andrea! At the bottom right hand corner of the page, next to the post date, and just before it says “share this post,” and “leave a reply,” it shows the number of comments, and you can click on that to see them.

  2. I made this last night and my husband and I both loved it. I can’t wait to dig in to the leftovers today! My carrots and celery needed to cook a bit longer, but this soup was amazing and healthy. Definitely a keeper!

  3. I just made this soup again tonight for the 4th time (and its July!!) It’s SO good! And filling! I use garlic powder since my wife cannot have fresh garlic. I also use veggie broth, more of the spices and less orzo but that is our personal preference. It’s delicious as written! It’s a keeper!

  4. How many calories per serving for this recipe?

    • Hi Jazmine! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  5. So delicious!! Instant favourite

  6. Loved it! Even my finicky teenagers enjoyed it! A wonderful surprise.

  7. OMG. This is so good. I will definitely be making this again. I don’t usually make soup but this is really a wonderful soup. I freshly shredded Piave and it’s really tasty.

  8. I haven’t made this soup yet, too hot, but as soon as the temperature drops I’m heading for the market!

  9. This is fantastic! I added a can of red kidney beans for some extra protein, and hand blended the soup just briefly for some extra creaminess. The orzo and the herbs go so well together. Thanks for the quick, delicious recipe!

  10. This recipe has been a family favorite for years! Love it every winter.

  11. Thank you for the amazing recipe! I have made this soup probably a dozen times and it’s one of my favorites. Simple and delicious!!

  12. Great recipe! I had a sad piece of parmesan in the fridge that was a bit too hard to grate, but I just threw the whole piece in the soup and I must say it worked wonders!
    I love the bite of celery and how nicely it plays with carrot.
    Thank you for sharing, I will be definitely cooking this soup during the winter that is slowly, slowly approaching Austria :)))

  13. Really delicious for fall weather and a great meat free recipe. Only funky part about this recipe is that it does not store in the refrigerator for multiple days well because the noodles absorb all the broth. Otherwise awesome recipe.

  14. I just made this soup in 30 min, made with such simple ingredients, but very flavourful. I pre-cooked my orzo in salted boiling water and then drained it before I added it to my soup pot, this way all your broth won’t be soaked up with the orzo pasta. This will be a keeper for this winter for sure. very tasty

  15. Made it tonight and it was delicious. Very easy to make.

  16. Love this soup, and have made it several times. Delicious and so easy.

    I use half the amount of orzo and increase the broth by a cup or so.

  17. This soup is delicious! The only thing that I will do differently is cook veggies until they’re almost done and add orzo a few minutes before serving, especially if you like nice chunky carrots and celery.

  18. This recipe was pretty good! In the future, I’d cook the celery and carrots more than 3 minutes prior to adding the tomatoes, and broth. Yesterday the carrots seemed a bit firm in the soup, but I’m sure they’ll soften up today.

    I only had four cups of vegetable broth, and therefore needed to use an additional two cups of water. As a result I added some more seasoning (chicken bouillon, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and creole seasoning) to give the soup a better flavor. I will definitely make this recipe again!

  19. This was SO good! I’m used to being disappointed by recipes on Pinterest but this is awesome. The only thing I would personally do different is bring the stock to a boil and then add the orzo bc it stuck to the bottom of the Dutch oven but otherwise, yummy!

  20. Delicious! and my husband loved it thanks for the awesome recipe!

  21. Love this recipe!! The only change I made is to squeeze some fresh lemon, and a little zest over each serving. This is my go-to soup recipe. I made and froze a large batch last month. I just make the pasta fresh, although to be honest, we often have leftover pasta in the fridge. Great recipe!!

  22. Perfect for my entire family especially those picky eaters. Also great for potlucks. Thank you for sharing your lovely recipe!

  23. Super yummy and easy!! Added chicken for protein. Will for sure make again!

  24. This was so delicious and loaded with vegetables.

  25. I’ve made this twice now, and both times were excellent. The first time I made exactly as written, and could eat it with a fork lol. I reduced the pasta to a heaping cup the second time because I was craving something soupier. As written was awesome too though ?

  26. made this soup with only 3/4 cup of orzo pasta and chopped chicken breast, it was great! this is a keeper for sure. will be making it for my ww in jan. ths for great recipe!

  27. To die for !!! j ai ajoute de la saussice italienne mild dedant vraiment bon !!!

  28. Looks fantastic. I will be making this soon! Should i drain the canned tomatoes?

  29. Hi, absolutely delicious! My husband called and asked me to cook something light for dinner tonight; not feeling well. I made this wonderful soup, and my husband and I both loved it. It’s two thumb up…thanks

  30. Nice!~

  31. I’ve made this several times. Great base for added goodies. Then serve with sour cream for s rich creamy version. Thanks so much!

  32. Absolutely loved this! So easy. The most challenging part was finding the pasta in my local supermarket. Already filed a copy in my recipe book. Thank you!

  33. I made this recipe and it was very yummy. I added 2 more cups of broth. I like soupy soup. Next time I will cut the orzo in half the amount. Little to much for me. I really like this recipe. It will be added to my recipe book:)

  34. Very good but next time I use the tom in this recipe , as I forgot them . I added yellow sweet tom instead and chix

    • amazing soup! substituted orzo with quinoa and added some button mushrooms. Ghee was used to saute vegetables.

  35. Hi! I made this recipe and it was delicious! I did add a 14 oz can of tomato sauce and one pound of browned Italian sausage.

  36. Love this soup! I’ve made it twice now and it’s definitely on my go-to list for winter. I do add hot Italian sausage which really enhances the flavors. Also, I cut back on the orzo. Definitely one of my new favorites!

  37. Hi, I would love to make this soup but can’t find a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes. Can I substitute with a can of regular crushed tomatoes?

  38. This soup is absolutely delicious! I used oregano and basil and bumped up the garlic to 8 good sized cloves. Only used 4 ounces of orzo and it still soaked up a lot of the broth. So stinkin easy and fabulous!!!

  39. Making this soup today. Such a beautiful, appealing soup and nothing compares with these flavours. Just love it! Could eat it every day, just give me some chocolate, too and I would be happy!

  40. Soup, the gift that keeps on giving… So delicious you will make it many times. I used a lesser amount of orzo and it did no detract from the wonderful tast and texture. Thanks for this recipe.

  41. This soup was flavorful and hearty. My husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy and we really enjoyed this soup and was very satisfied.

  42. Hi! Is there any nutritional info on this recipe?

  43. Excellent recipe: foolproof, cheap to make and super tasty!

  44. Can you please list the calorie count per serving? Also can you use the tomatoes with chilies if you want a little heat?

  45. Perfect snow day lunch! I did add a bit more rosemary but thats the only tweaking that was needed. I made it to feed our schools teachers and they raved about it.

  46. Perfect snow day lunch! I did add a bit more rosemary but thats the only tweaking that was needed. I made it to feed our schools teachers and they raved about it.
    5 stars!!!

  47. This soup was delicious. And hearty enough to make it into a meal with a salad and/or slice of whole grain bread. I wasn’t able to find any whole wheat orzo, but will keep an eye out for it. Will definitely make this again.

  48. Love this recipe!!

  49. Will this soup fit in a 3 quart dutch oven? I just bought one and figuring out how to use it.I have not made this yet. It looks so yummy!

  50. Hey! I would love to make this recipe once, but I am from the Netherlands, and I am not completely sure what you mean with a ” cup”. When I try to use the internet to convert it, it only brings me to baking sites where every ingredient is different in grams. Hope you can help me!