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Butternut Orzo Risotto

This creamy dish resembles traditional rice risotto, only it’s quicker and easier to make. Fresh herbs enhance the tender orzo pasta and sweet butternut squash. Try it as a warming side dish for pork.—Country Woman Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 25 min.
  • Makes
    5 servings


  • 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, optional


  • Place squash in a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat broth and keep warm. In a large nonstick skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Add orzo and garlic; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Carefully stir in 1 cup warm broth. Cook and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Allow the liquid to absorb between additions. Cook until risotto is creamy and orzo is almost tender. (Cooking time is about 20 minutes.) Add the herbs, cooked squash and remaining pepper; heat through. Garnish with cheese if desired; serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
2/3 cup: 230 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 4mg cholesterol, 420mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 8g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Michelle
    May 9, 2020

    So good. This is a keeper. My husband raved about it. Tastes like it’s from a fancy restaurant

  • Xena7751
    Jan 18, 2016

    This is good. You need to watch it and keep stirring. Very good, creamy flavor.

  • kellys1061
    Sep 15, 2014

    I made this for dinner last night and we absolutely LOVE IT!

  • Feen
    Mar 26, 2013

    Enjoyed this very much. I used about a half-tablespoon of minced garlic from a jar. Be sure to use small pieces of squash. I had some larger pieces about 1" square and their flavor overwhelmed the more delicate flavor of the pasta.

  • grits2k
    Nov 22, 2012

    Garlic is referenced in directions, but not in the ingredients. How much garlic?

  • nick.soapes
    Oct 21, 2012

    Delicious. Absolutely delicious. This is the kind of food I dream of finding in a restaurant, and today I found it in my kitchen.

  • Nikshanks
    Apr 10, 2011

    This was amazing! I used dried seasonings and could have used half the amount. Even was delicious. Will definately make again!

  • jjmoose29
    Nov 22, 2010

    This was easy and delicious!!!

  • grandmajab209
    Nov 3, 2010

    MAXINE,traditional risotto is made with rice, this is risotto made with orzo pasta which is fantastic. try it, you will love it! jean b.

  • Karihardy
    Nov 3, 2010

    You don't use risotto. Just the orzo past. It is excelent!