This one pot ground beef orzo recipe comes together fast and is a creamy, comforting, and delicious meal for busy weeknights!
This orzo and ground beef recipe is sort of like a quick risotto (to give you an idea of the texture), but of course orzo is pasta (not rice).
I have more one pot orzo recipes that are similar, including my Italian Sausage Orzo, Lemon Chicken Orzo, and this Creamy Garlic Spinach Orzo. It seems like you guys can't get enough orzo, so I am happy to deliver! 😉
How to make orzo with ground beef (overview):
Add the beef to a soup pot/Dutch oven and let it brown, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Add in the onions, break up the beef, and continue cooking it for another 5 minutes. If there's a lot of excess fat, drain it (I leave it in for flavor when using lean ground beef). Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and orzo, followed by the tomato sauce, beef broth, cream, and Worcestershire sauce. Once it starts to bubble, let it cook for 10 minutes, stirring fairly often (turn down the heat as needed). Stir in the parmesan and spinach and cover the pot for a few minutes. Season with salt & pepper as needed and enjoy! (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Recipe notes & tips:
- There's a chance that replacing the cream with something lower fat will lead to curdling (due to the acidity of the tomatoes and the heat the dish is cooked at), so be aware of that if you make a substitution.
- The red pepper flakes give this dish a little kick, but I wouldn't consider it to be too spicy. You can definitely omit them if you prefer!
- As with any one pot pasta recipe, I recommend keeping an eye on it since stoves/cookware/etc. vary. If it seems like the liquid is getting too low and the pasta isn't cooked yet, you may want to turn the heat down and/or add a splash more liquid. If the cooking time has elapsed and there's a lot of liquid, I recommend taking it off the stove, covering the pot, and letting it sit for a few minutes (the orzo absorbs liquid quite quickly).
- For my U.K. and Australian readers, canned tomato sauce here is similar to passata.
- Don't like spinach? Leave it out.
- I have not tested this recipe with rice. If you want to attempt it, you may need to adjust cooking time and liquid measurements.
- Grating your own parmesan cheese is a game changer. It tastes and melts much better than the pre-grated kind. I use my handy Microplane to grate it.
What to serve with this recipe?
It's fairly rich, so I recommend enjoying smaller portions with a side salad (try making one with my Creamy Balsamic Dressing). It's delicious with a side of garlic bread as well.
More delicious ground beef recipes to try:
- Easy Creamy Beef and Shells
- Ground Beef Gnocchi
- Teriyaki Ground Beef
- Beef Taco Skillet
- Easy Sloppy Joe Recipe
- Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff
Questions about this ground beef orzo recipe? Talk to me in the comments below!
Ground Beef Orzo with Tomato Cream Sauce
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add the ground beef to a soup pot/Dutch oven and break it up a little bit with your spoon. Let it cook, without stirring, over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes.
- Add the onion to the pot and stir/break the beef up into small pieces. Let it cook for another 5 minutes or so. If there's a lot of excess fat (like if you didn't use lean beef), spoon some of it out. Otherwise, leave it in the pot.
- Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and orzo. Cook for about a minute.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, beef broth, cream, and Worcestershire sauce. Once it starts to bubble, continue cooking for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring fairly often (so the orzo doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot). You will likely need to turn the heat down a bit (to medium or even medium-low). It should gently bubble vs. boil (you don't want the liquid to reduce too much before the pasta has cooked).
- Take the pot off the heat, stir in the parmesan and spinach, and cover the pot for about 3-5 minutes or until it has thickened up to your liking. Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve immediately. See more troubleshooting tips in the blog post and notes below.
- Serves 4-6 depending on portion size/what else it's served with.
- Tomato sauce in North America is similar to passata in the U.K./Australia/etc.
- As with any one pot pasta dish, the liquid quantities work as tested in my kitchen, but pots/stoves/temperatures can vary, so if you feel like it needs more liquid, add another splash of cream or broth. If it seems too liquidy, let it sit for a bit longer, and it'll soak any excess liquid up within a few minutes.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.