Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo


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
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

'Tis the season for pumpkin everything, including this cheesy pumpkin orzo dish. Rich, creamy, and full of pumpkin flavor!

Servings: 4
Calories: 430 kcal
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve warm with additional parmesan cheese on top.
Recipe Notes

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*
Total Fat 26g 40%
Total Carbohydrates 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 5g
Protein 19g 38%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.



Posted on October 09, 2013

dinner for two by julie wampler



Perfect for: singles & couples, newlyweds, empty-nesters, college students, YOU!


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  1. 10/09/2013 at 6:18 am

    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

  2. 10/09/2013 at 7:26 am

    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!

  3. 10/09/2013 at 7:38 am

    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!

  4. 10/09/2013 at 7:48 am

    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.

    • 10/09/2013 at 8:11 am

      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
        11/25/2014 at 11:04 am

        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
        11/26/2014 at 3:36 pm

        I’m still so addicted to FNL!! Haha

  5. 10/09/2013 at 8:07 am

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

  6. 10/09/2013 at 8:25 am

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

  7. 10/09/2013 at 8:40 am

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

  8. 10/09/2013 at 9:02 am

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

  9. 10/09/2013 at 9:16 am

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

  10. 10/09/2013 at 9:36 am

    Love this orzo dish!

  11. 10/09/2013 at 10:38 am

    This looks incredible! So creamy and comforting!

  12. Courtney
    10/09/2013 at 10:43 am

    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! :-)

    • 10/09/2013 at 10:58 am

      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

  13. 10/09/2013 at 10:54 am

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

  14. 10/09/2013 at 10:56 am

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

  15. 10/09/2013 at 11:27 am

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

  16. 10/09/2013 at 11:36 am

    Needing a big bowl of this right now!!

  17. 10/09/2013 at 11:49 am

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

  18. 10/09/2013 at 12:04 pm

    Awesome looking fall pasta dish!

  19. 10/09/2013 at 12:12 pm

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

  20. 10/09/2013 at 1:53 pm

    Looks amazing, Julie!

  21. 10/09/2013 at 2:00 pm

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

  22. 10/09/2013 at 2:05 pm

    This looks like a bowl of comfort!

  23. 10/09/2013 at 2:20 pm

    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!!

  24. 10/09/2013 at 2:26 pm

    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.

  25. 10/09/2013 at 2:55 pm

    Incredible dish!! YUM!

  26. 10/09/2013 at 4:23 pm

    What a great way to enjoy some pumpkin!

  27. 10/09/2013 at 4:25 pm

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

  28. 10/09/2013 at 5:30 pm

    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?

  29. 10/09/2013 at 6:57 pm

    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.

  30. 10/09/2013 at 7:37 pm

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

  31. 10/09/2013 at 7:50 pm

    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!

  32. 10/09/2013 at 10:10 pm

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

  33. 10/09/2013 at 10:23 pm

    Lovely fall dish, Julie! :)

  34. 10/09/2013 at 10:47 pm

    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!

  35. 10/09/2013 at 11:35 pm

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

  36. 10/10/2013 at 12:25 pm

    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!

  37. Meredith
    10/10/2013 at 5:29 pm

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

  38. 10/11/2013 at 4:18 pm

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

    • 10/13/2013 at 10:08 am

      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

  39. 10/14/2013 at 5:16 am

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

  40. Meg
    10/14/2013 at 11:50 pm

    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!!

    • 10/15/2013 at 10:20 am

      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!

  41. 10/15/2013 at 10:34 pm

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

  42. Lindsay
    12/28/2015 at 9:35 pm

    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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