Creamy Butternut Squash Orzo with Sausage is the ultimate Fall dinner: creamy, comforting, and delicious. This simple recipe is easy to make, and it makes a beautiful presentation with minimal effort. It might become one of your favorite family dinners!
Butternut squash orzo
If you love butternut squash, you will love the flavors and the creamy texture of this delicious orzo pasta. In this recipe, butternut squash orzo is combined together with Italian sausage (you can use spicy, mild, or sweet Italian sausage), freshly made butternut squash puree, and fresh herbs (thyme and sage) to create a well-balanced flavor. This tasty fall dinner will bring warmth and coziness to your table, and it was inspired by butternut squash gnocchi with sausage - another delicious Autumn pasta dish.
Quick and easy recipe
This easy butternut squash orzo takes only 40 minutes to make (if you already have butternut squash puree)!
Please note: the 40 minutes total preparation and cooking time assumes that you have already had (or have prepared) the butternut squash puree in advance. I recommend that you roast the butternut squash and puree it in advance. It will save a lot of time in preparing this recipe.
What is orzo?
Orzo is a short-cut pasta resembling long-grain rice in shape. It is made from flour, like usual pasta. Often, orzo is made with semolina (durum wheat used for making pasta).
What type of orzo to use?
When I was shopping for orzo to make this recipe, I realized that my store had several varieties of it. To be precise, my store had a choice of different sizes of orzo. I chose the kind of orzo that was larger in size compared to other varieties. I bought orzo by Delallo brand, Number 65 cut. It was large enough to my liking.
How to make butternut squash puree
I recommend preparing the butternut squash puree in advance. This will reduce your actual cooking times for the butternut squash orzo. Plus, you will only need 1 cup of puree, and it's likely that you will have much more than that after roasting whole butternut squash.
1) Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Cut the squash in 2 halves, scrape out the seeds and the fiber out of each half.
2) Place the squash on the baking sheet cut side down and roast in the preheated oven at 375 F for about 30 minutes.
3) Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool. Once the butternut squash is cooled, peel it, and scrape out the flesh to a plate.
4) Place and process butternut squash flesh in the food processor (or blender), working in batches, if necessary.
5) Process it until very smooth and creamy.
6) Now, you have the butternut squash puree ready to use in this recipe. You will need only 1 cup of it. Refrigerate or freeze the rest.
Because the sauce for butternut squash orzo is made without any cheese, this recipe is easy to store and reheat. You can also make this ahead.
- Fridge. Store butternut squash orzo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Reheat in the microwave oven. Reheat the refrigerated butternut squash orzo in a microwave oven for about 1 minute. Taste and reheat for 30 seconds more, if needed.
- Reheat on the stovetop. You can also reheat this in a large, high-sided skillet on the stovetop on low-medium heat. When using this method, add a small amount of heavy cream, or half-and-half, or milk to thin out the sauce when reheating.
What to serve with butternut squash orzo
Because this recipe features a rich and creamy sauce, a slice of bread or a simple salad will work the best.
- Bread. Serve butternut squash orzo with a slice of warm Italian bread, garlic bread, or olive bread loaf. Or, make your own simple loaf of bread - try this popular and easy bread recipe made in a bread machine.
- Green salad. Make a simple salad, using your favorite greens, such as spinach, arugula, or kale. Dress the salad with a basic salad dressing made with olive oil, a small amount of balsamic vinegar, coarsely ground black pepper, and shredded Parmesan cheese.
- More salad choices. Serve butternut squash orzo with a simple spinach salad or cranberry spinach salad with cashews and goat cheese. Or, try arugula salad with balsamic dressing and pine nuts. Another great choice is an arugula salad with apples, cranberries, and pecans.
Other butternut squash recipes you might like
If you enjoyed this creamy butternut squash orzo, you might like these Fall-inspired dinners:
- Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach
- Creamy Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sausage
- Creamy Ground Turkey Pasta with Butternut Squash and Spinach
Creamy Butternut Squash Orzo with Sausage
- Remove the sausage from casings, and slice the sausage. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat in a large, high-sided skillet.
- Add sliced sausage and cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes on one side, without turning, to get the sausage slices browned. Flip over to the other side and cook for 2 more minutes.
Make creamy butternut squash sauce
- To the same skillet with sausage, add heavy cream, chicken stock, butternut squash puree, and minced garlic.
- Bring the sauce to a boil on medium heat, reduce to low-medium heat, stir everything well. Cook for about 5 or more minutes. Make sure the garlic is cooked to your liking, and the sauce thickens. Cook longer if you would like a thicker sauce. Remove from heat.
- While the sauce cooks for 5 or more minutes, cook the orzo as described below.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook orzo according to package instructions. In my case, I cooked orzo al dente for 7 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Remove from heat. Drain but do not rinse.
- Add cooked orzo to the skillet with creamy butternut squash and sausage. Stir in half of the fresh sage and half of the fresh thyme.
- Cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Season with salt and freshly ground coarse black pepper.
- Tip: use your best judgment about the salt. If the sausage is salty enough, you might not need to add any extra salt.
- When serving, top with the remaining half of the fresh sage and the remaining half of the fresh thyme.
- The total cooking time does not include the time required for roasting the butternut squash and making the butternut squash puree. I recommend that you do that in advance.
- Refrigerate or freeze the leftover butternut squash puree in an airtight container. Because you will be roasting whole butternut squash, you will have more than you need (1 cup) for this recipe.
- If you don't have fresh thyme use dried thyme. Use ½ teaspoon of dried thyme (not powdered) or ¼ teaspoon of powdered dried thyme.
- Italian sausage. I used 3 links of spicy Italian sausage. You can also use sweet or mild Italian sausage.
- Remove the casings. I removed the casings and sliced the sausage. I prefer the texture of the sausage without the casings so I recommend this step
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.