No one needs to know how easy this creamy, pumpkin-y vegan orzo recipe is. You can serve this one-pot entree on a busy weeknight or at the holiday table.
Why you'll love this baked orzo
Don't you love an easy recipe that's easy to make but doesn't taste like it was easy to make? This vegan orzo bake with pumpkin and sage is one of those dishes. It's rich and flavorful but requires very little active cooking.
It's easy enough fall dinner to make on a Tuesday after work when standing in the kitchen isn't your top priority. But it's also special enough that you can totally serve it up at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
With all the time you saved, you'll have supper on the table a lot faster. So while your orzo casserole bakes, kick back and unwind from the workday.
If you're making this for a holiday dish, you just bought yourself more time to work on other dishes or to hang with your family and friends -- whichever appeals to you most!
Since you're not cooking a ton of pasta, you can cook the orzo and canned white beans together right in your Dutch oven. The same Dutch oven you use to bake.
That means just one pot to clean up after dinner!
After you boil the pasta and beans, pour them into a colander to drain, then sauté onion, garlic, and carrots until the onions turn translucent. Then, add the kale and cook for just a few more minutes.
Now, it's time to make the sauce! To the same pan, add canned pumpkin, non-dairy milk, dried sage, salt, and pepper. Stir this together until the pumpkin dissolves, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
Then, you're ready to bake! Baking thickens up the sauce and makes this dish even cozier.
Just before serving, sprinkle on some pumpkin seeds for crunch.
In place of the white beans, you can use drained kidney beans or chickpeas.
Don't want to use canned pumpkin? Substitute 1 ¾ cups of pumpkin puree or other cooked and pureed winter squash.
It's fine to omit the pumpkin seeds. You can also replace them with French fried onions or other nuts or seeds of your choice. Pecans are a great substitution!
Leftover baked orzo will keep for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, just pop a bowlful into the microwave.
One-Pot Vegan Orzo Recipe
- 1 ⅓ cup dry orzo
- 1 15 ounce can white beans drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup diced sweet onion
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups kale chopped super fine in a blender or food processor
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
- ⅓ cup soy milk You can also use almond or oat milk.
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- salt and pepper to taste
- roasted, salted pumpkin seeds optional
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Bring 6 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add the orzo and beans, and cook, stirring often, for 8-9 minutes, until the orzo is tender. Drain and rinse.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven on medium high. Sauté the onion, carrots, and garlic until the onions begin to soften, 5-7 minutes. Add the kale and cook a few more minutes to soften.
- Turn off the heat, and stir in the orzo and beans, pumpkin, vegan milk, and sage. Stir really well, so everything is nice and incorporated. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered, then top with the pumpkin seeds (if you’re using them), and serve.
Frequently asked questions
Orzo may look like rice, but it's actually pasta. The two are not interchangeable.
Orzo cooks up a lot faster than rice. White rice takes about 15-20 minutes on the stovetop, while orzo cooks up in under 10.
Orzo and rice also have very different textures. While rice has a pretty firm texture after cooking, orzo has the same tenderness you'd expect from other small pastas, like macaroni. That texture makes it lovely in casseroles, like this baked orzo recipe!
It doesn't! Orzo, like most pastas, is egg- and dairy-free. It's totally vegan as-is.