Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo

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    Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo |

    Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo |

    If I can be real honest for a minute here, all I really want to talk about is how obsessed I am with Friday Night Lights. Like, emotionally attached to the show and to the point where I can’t peel myself away from the couch and tv. It’s bad. This is why I shouldn’t ever get “into” tv shows because I get so obsessive about them. I know you’re probably sick of me talking about a show that’s been over for two years, but I just can’t get over how good this show is. Rachel and I (yes, not only are we workout buddies, we are also FNL buddies, haha) are on season two and I’m already about to cry thinking that it ends after the fifth season.

    Do any of you watch Friday Night Lights? Or have watched it? I’d love to talk to y’all about it cause I just can’t contain myself, lol – please, no spoilers!

    Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo |

    It’s getting to that time of year where it’s impossible to get out of bed in the mornings. It’s the, “just one more minute” routine and you just curl back under the warm sheets and fall back asleep again, missing alarm after alarm. It’s also that time of year where you’re teeter-tottering between the heat and the air. Some days, it’ll be blazing hot and humid and you’ll need to switch to the air, and then other days, it’s frigid and you need to switch over to the heat. We haven’t turned on our heat yet but it’s getting to the point where I’m so cold at night that I think we might need to turn it on soon. Part of the reason why we hold out on turning on the heat is because I think a part of us doesn’t really want to believe warm weather is over and cooler weather is here.

    Cooler weather doesn’t have to suck though – it just means comforting and hearty dishes that warm you up! This cheesy pumpkin orzo does just that! It’s got a thick, cheesy, and creamy base, and best of all – it’s got pumpkin and sage! It’s comfort in a bowl and you’re going to want more than one bowl – I promise!

    Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo

    'Tis the season for pumpkin everything, including this cheesy pumpkin orzo dish. Rich, creamy, and full of pumpkin flavor!
    Prep Time: 10 mins
    Cook Time: 20 mins
    Total Time: 30 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 4
    Calories: 430kcal
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    • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
    • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups vegetable stock
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling
    • 16 oz orzo pasta
    • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
    • 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, more if you like more heat
    • Salt and pepper, to taste


    • In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat then whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly so it doesn't burn.
    • Pour in the vegetable stock, milk, water, and pumpkin puree. Whisk to incorporate everything and turn heat down to medium and let mixture thicken up, about 7-10 minutes.
    • Add the orzo to the pot and stir to incorporate. Cover pot and let orzo cook for 12 minutes, or however long the instructions on the box says.
    • Once the orzo is done, stir in the parmesan cheese, sage, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir altogether with a wooden spoon to combine and then cut the heat.
    • Serve warm with additional parmesan cheese on top.


    If your mixture seems too thick, you can add more vegetable stock or water to thin it out prior to adding the pasta.
    Nutrition Facts
    Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo
    Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
    Calories 430 Calories from Fat 234
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 26g40%
    Carbohydrates 32g11%
    Fiber 3g12%
    Sugar 5g6%
    Protein 19g38%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.


    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
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  • Caroline @ chocolate & carrots says:

    This looks so delicious Julie! I’m going to have to make it for my boys. Liam will love it! And we are totally enjoying the beginnings of the cooler weather. I have the windows opened and have my comfy cardigan on. :D

  • tanya says:

    Orzo is my favorite pasta! Never thought to pair it with pumpkin, how delicious! I used to watch Friday Night Lights faithfully, but somewhere, there story line lost me! Should have stuck with it!

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    I think in the winter we might have to start going to bed dressed to workout so it’s easier to just roll out of bed and go. Right? :) Also… something cheesy and comforting for lunch like this would be perfect!

  • Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama says:

    Oh my god. I finished it this weekend…. I feel so lost now that I don’t have FNL to watch every moment of the day. Seriously, I was so obsessed…. I had it on in the kitchen while I baked, in the living room while I folded laundry…. and one day I even set my laptop up next to the tub so I could take a bath…. while watching it. I am the saddest person on the planet!

    PS your Pumpkin Orzo looks to die for.

    • Julie says:

      Omg, if you’re the saddest person on the planet, then I must be one too. I seriously yell at the tv when an episode ends and I have it up at the gym (and cry) and try to watch some at work during my lunch breaks. I’m going to feel SO LOST when I finish FNL, too. Carrie, what are we going to do?! I hate that shows end :( it makes me want to slow down watching just so I can drag it out but it’s hard to slow down cause every episode is “omg omg omg” haha so you always want to watch the next one!! I’m so glad we can share our FNL obsession together ;)

      • Casey says:

        I’m late to this discussion but I LOVE FNL!!! My husband does too…we’re on our second time watching on Netflix. I keep trying to convince friends to watch this show so we can discuss but alas, I’m one of the only FNL watchers I know…glad to meet you! Can’t wait to make this recipe, either!

        • Julie says:

          I’m still so addicted to FNL!! Haha

  • Vicki @ WITK says:

    This does look perfect for the chillier nights ahead! It looks so rich and delicious!

  • Kat says:

    this looks heavenly. I’d guess my 2 year old would also love this.

  • Jenny Flake says:

    Cheesy Orzo?! Yes and Yes. Love it Julie!!

  • Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says:

    I love how the orzo looks so creamy! Great job, Julie!

  • Erin | The Law Student's Wife says:

    Savory pumpkin dishes make me smile. This looks like a big bowl o’ comfort!

  • Maria says:

    Love this orzo dish!

  • Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake says:

    This looks incredible! So creamy and comforting!

  • Courtney says:

    This looks amazing!! Season 2 of FNL was definitely my least favorite (too much ridiculous drama)- but hang in there if you feel like you don’t want to watch anymore. It just gets better and better. I saved the series finale on my DVR for at least a year and was so sad when we had to give our cable box back when we moved. Also, our dog’s name is Riggins (though my husband tells people its for John Riggins from the Redskins- but I know the truth). TEXAS FOREVER! :-)

    • Julie says:

      There definitely is a lot of drama in the 2nd season (I’m almost done with it). I heard that 2nd & 3rd seasons aren’t that great but 4th & 5th are awesome. So far, my favorite is the 1st season and Riggins – oh man, I think he makes the show incredibly easy to watch even when the storyline isn’t that great ;) Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose! xo

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says:

    Cheesy and pumpkin – looks like this is going on our dinner table this week! Thanks for sharing!

  • Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch says:

    This looks like some kind of great comfort food, Julie!!! Yum!!!

  • Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche says:

    Ooooh this looks so thick and creamy, love it! I don’t use orzo often enough!

  • Aimee @ Simple Bites says:

    Needing a big bowl of this right now!!

  • Leah | So, How's It Taste? says:

    This looks so creamy & cheesy & incredible! I could eat vats of this I’m sure!

  • marla says:

    Awesome looking fall pasta dish!

  • Meagan @ A Zesty Bite says:

    Oh man this creamy pumpkin orzo is going to need to be made soon.

  • Marian (Sweetopia) says:

    Looks amazing, Julie!

  • naomi says:

    I’m with you on the “one more minute routine”. :) Love this hearty and comforting dish.

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    This looks like a bowl of comfort!

  • Rebecca says:

    Soooo yummie, I want it right now! This great recipe went straight to my new To Cook category on pinterest ;) I will for sure make it this weekend, cant wait :D
    Thanks for sharing!!

  • Kristin S says:

    This sounds amazing!

    I am sad to say I can’t find fresh sage anywhere near me and I love that herb. Still going to make this, though.

  • Marie @ Little Kitchie says:

    Incredible dish!! YUM!

  • Kevin @ Closet Cooking says:

    What a great way to enjoy some pumpkin!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    I seriously need to watch friday night lights!…but I get obsessed too, so maybe I’ll wait, lol. Love this orzo!

  • hima says:

    1. love love love FNL! i seriously cried at least once every single episode.
    2. oh my word. where has this pumpkin orzo been all my life?

  • HeatherChristo says:

    OMG Julie, I just about fell off of my stool when I saw this. I could dive in and live in that cheesy pasta right now.

  • Tracy | Pale Yellow says:

    It’s a pumpkin mac & cheese fancified with orzo! I love it!! This looks so creamy and warm, I can’t wait to try!

  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen says:

    Gorgeous pasta dish and photography, Julie! Pumpkin and cheese with pasta and sage never had it so good…with ORZO! This is the way to serve these ingredients together. FNL, I loved because I’m a HUGE Kyle Chandler fan…ever since the Homefront series. Adored him in Early Edition as well. He even graces my Handsome Guys board at Pinterest. Enjoy and thanks for sharing!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says:

    I want to dive head first into this, Julie. It looks so good!!

  • Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective says:

    Lovely fall dish, Julie! :)

  • Tracey says:

    I started FNL last year when I had the flu but only finished the first season. I really need to get back into it!

    I love that you used orzo in this dish. It’s one of my favorites but I almost never think to use it!

  • Yi @ Yi Reservation says:

    Love this kind of seasonal dishes. Your pictures are absolutely terrific! Thanks for sharing the cheesy pumpkin orzo recipe

  • [email protected] 'n' Cookies says:

    This orzo looks so hearty and comforting. I love that the pumpkin puree allows this to mimic the bright orange color in Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese — even though your recipe doesn’t have any artificial colors!

  • Meredith says:

    LOVE FNL…I watched the whole series within a month or two on netflix last year! TEXAS FOREVER!

  • Liz @ FloatingKitchen says:

    I’m obsessed with FNL. Just started watching in last week and I’m breezing through episodes. I can’t tear myself away!

    • Julie says:

      I’m already halfway through the 4th season and I’m starting to get sad that it’s going to be all over soon. What am I going to do with my life after this?! hehe

  • francesca says:

    Looks great. obsessed with pumpkin at the moment too :)

  • Meg says:

    Hi, I made this and it was great, but my husband and I both found it to be very spicy. I’m wondering if the measurement for cayenne (1/2 t.) is correct? Or maybe we are just wimps! I’ll definitely make again, but probably with only 1/4 t of cayenne.

    Also, I watched all of FNL over the summer and LOVE it!!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Meg! So glad you and your husband enjoyed this. Yes, 1/2 tsp. of cayenne is correct, but if you’re sensitive to heat, that might be too much so you’re correct in starting out with 1/4 tsp. of it :) enjoy!

  • Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Oh how delightful is this recipe! So perfect :) I bet it tastes incredible!

  • Lindsay says:

    I’ve made this twice now and LOVE it! My boyfriend doesn’t think anything can be called “dinner” without meat, so I added shredded chicken, which I seasoned with cayenne and paprika in addition to salt/pepper, and some Whole Foods apple bourbon smoked bacon. Yummy!

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