This butternut squash sausage orzo is comforting and delicious, easy to make and made all in one pan, making it the ultimate fall family dinner.
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Picture tender chunks of butternut squash, crumbled sausage, a blend of autumnal herbs and just a hint of creaminess that ties it all together. This butternut squash sausage orzo delivers on both flavor and festiveness.
One of my favorite things about this dish is it’s hearty without being heavy, perfect for nights you want quick comfort without the indulgence. Plus, with just 30 minutes and one pan, you won’t be spending hours in the kitchen.
If you wonder why I always use orzo for my one pan pasta recipes, it’s because I find it to be the best pasta shape and size for even cooking in one pan recipes.
Butternut squash: the butternut squash cooks with the orzo all in one pan for a quick meal with easy clean up.
Mild Italian sausage: spicy Italian sausage can work too if you want that kick. I used mild Italian chicken sausage for a lower fat option.
Orzo: orzo looks like rice, but is actually a type of pasta. It is my favorite type of pasta to use in one pot dishes because it cooks evenly.
Chicken broth: the orzo will cook in chicken broth and adds flavor and protein. Use chicken bone broth for even more protein.
Aromatics & seasoning: garlic, shallots, sage, thyme, salt and black pepper add tons of flavor and depth to this dish.
Milk: I used whole milk to add a touch of creaminess. For a heartier dish, you can use heavy cream.
Parmesan cheese: for just a touch of salty, cheesy flavor.
1. Heat one tablespoon avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, allow it to brown for 1-2 minutes, then stir, break up into crumbles with wooden spoon and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
2. Add butternut squash and sauté for 3 minutes.
3. Add the shallot, orzo, garlic, sage, thyme, salt and pepper and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes.
4. Pour in chicken broth and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the orzo from sticking (be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan).
5. Add milk and parmesan cheese and cook until orzo is al dente about 3-4 more minutes.
- Have all your ingredients prepped and measured out before you begin cooking.
- The ground sausage does not need to be cooked completely through in step 2. It will continue to cook with the orzo.
- The orzo will stick to the bottom of the pan if left alone. Ensure you are stirring it every 30 seconds or so.
- I recommend serving this dish immediately, as the orzo will continue to absorb liquid after it is cooked. If it dries up too much before serving, add an additional 1/4 cup of milk and stir.
How to Reheat
Butternut squash sausage orzo can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer in an air tight container for up to 3 months.
If freezing, allow frozen butternut squash sausage orzo to thaw in the fridge overnight. When ready to reheat, follow one of the following methods:
Oven: Place thawed butternut squash sausage orzo into an oven safe dish and rehydrate with chicken broth or milk. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a 400°F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
Stove top: Place butternut squash sausage orzo and a little chicken stock or milk in a sauce pan. Heat over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Microwave: Place a portion of broccoli cheddar chicken orzo on a microwave safe plate. Cover with wax paper and microwave at 50% power for 2 minutes, or until warmed through (each microwave is different, so cooking times may vary).
Butternut squash: another winter squash, such as acorn squash, honeynut squash or pumpkin, can work in place of butternut squash.
Mild Italian sausage: use mild Italian chicken sausage (removed from the casings) in place of regular Italian sausage for a lower fat alternative (chicken sausage contains half the fat of regular sausage).
Shallot: I love the delicate sweet flavor shallot adds, but you can use half a small yellow onion in place of shallot.
Sage & thyme: I use fresh sage and thyme in this recipe, but you can use dried herbs instead. Replace the fresh herbs with 1 teaspoon each of dried sage and dried thyme.
Milk: for a heartier, creamier dish use heavy cream instead of milk. Alternatively, to keep this recipe dairy free, use an unsweetened dairy free creamer.
Parmesan cheese: try out a sharp pecorino cheese instead for a slightly different flavor.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet
- Pumpkin Pappardelle
- Whipped Goat Cheese and Squash Dip
- Unstuffed Pepper Skillet
If you make this Butternut Squash Sausage Orzo, be sure to leave a comment below and rate this recipe! If you snap a pic, be sure to tag me on Instagram @thechowdown! I love seeing your creations!
Butternut Squash Sausage Orzo
- 1/2 lb mild Italian sausage or chicken sausage
- 1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- Heat one tablespoon avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, allow it to brown for 1-2 minutes, then stir, break up into crumbles with wooden spoon and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add butternut squash and cook for 3 minutes. Add the shallot, orzo, garlic, sage, thyme, salt and pepper and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in chicken broth and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the orzo from sticking (be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan).
- Add milk and parmesan cheese and cook until orzo is al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 3-4 more minutes.