One-Pot Creamy Orzo with Chicken Sausage

  • A note from Julie: this recipe is the same as when it first published in July 2013. The photographs have been updated for your viewing pleasure.

    This one-pot creamy orzo with chicken sausage is a delightful dish that can be thrown together even on the busiest of weeknights! Use whatever you have in the fridge and you're sure to have a delicious meal at the end!

    I came up with this one-pot creamy orzo chicken sausage recipe one night randomly, as most dinner sometimes seem to be.

    It’s usually me opening up the fridge and pulling out ingredients and seeing whether or not they would work together.

    I remember when I first made this recipe, back in 2013, chicken sausage was still not really a thing yet.

    It was just starting to hit the market but by no means was it popular yet.

    I remember I was sent chicken sausage by a company (that now sells at Whole Foods!) to try because they were new to the market. I thought it couldn’t hurt to try.

    That was how my love of chicken sausage came to be.

    And also how this recipe for one-pot creamy orzo with chicken sausage came to be!

    This one-pot creamy orzo with chicken sausage is a delightful dish that can be thrown together even on the busiest of weeknights! Use whatever you have in the fridge and you're sure to have a delicious meal at the end!

    Can I make this with another pasta or grain?

    Farro would be awesome with this or even making this with risotto/arborio rice.

    Can I add different veggies to this?

    Yes, absolutely.

    I made this in the summer so I used a lot of seasonal/summer vegetables.

    You can use whatever vegetables you like.

    This one-pot creamy orzo with chicken sausage is a delightful dish that can be thrown together even on the busiest of weeknights! Use whatever you have in the fridge and you're sure to have a delicious meal at the end!

    What kind of chicken sausage should I use?

    Use pre-cooked chicken sausage. Not fresh.

    It can be any flavor!

    Can I use a different kind of sausage?

    If you want to use another kind (such as beef or pork) of pre-cooked sausage, sure.

    I can’t have dairy

    Sure, no problem. You can omit the heavy cream.

    The orzo gets fairly creamy standalone but the heavy cream just gives it an extra splash of decadence.

    This one-pot creamy orzo with chicken sausage is a delightful dish that can be thrown together even on the busiest of weeknights! Use whatever you have in the fridge and you're sure to have a delicious meal at the end!

    Is this spicy?

    No, but you can make it spicy if you want by adding crushed red pepper flakes to it.

    My orzo is crunchy

    That means it hasn’t cooked through yet. Keep cooking it!

    My liquid is all gone but my orzo hasn’t finished cooking

    Add a little more chicken stock/broth, cover, and let it keep cooking.

    This one-pot creamy orzo with chicken sausage is a delightful dish that can be thrown together even on the busiest of weeknights! Use whatever you have in the fridge and you're sure to have a delicious meal at the end!

    5 from 1 vote
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    One-Pot Creamy Orzo with Chicken Sausage

    This creamy orzo with chicken sausage dish is an easy 30-minute weeknight meal that is fully customizable to your palate!
    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: 394kcal
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    Ingredients

    • 1/2 large zucchini, sliced into round discs then quartered
    • 4 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 large onion, chopped
    • 3 fully-cooked chicken sausage links, sliced into round discs then quartered, any brand
    • 1 1/2 cup orzo
    • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth
    • 7 oz canned diced tomatoes
    • Splash of heavy cream
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

    Instructions

    • In a large pot, over medium high heat, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil and add in the garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onions and zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sausage. Cook until mushrooms have reduced in size, about 2 minutes.
    • Add the orzo to the pot and toast it for about minute, stirring constantly. Gently add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until orzo has cooked through. Stir in the diced tomatoes and add the splash of cream (about 1 tbsp). The mixture should still be creamy because of the starch from the orzo. If it is still a bit runny, you can cover and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    • Serve hot.
    • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

    Notes

    Nutrition Facts
    One-Pot Creamy Orzo with Chicken Sausage
    Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
    Calories 394 Calories from Fat 63
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 7g 11%
    Total Carbohydrates 58g 19%
    Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
    Sugars 6g
    Protein 25g 50%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. 

    Photographs by Jesse Reilly

  • 58 Comments
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    Comments

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    lol only you would have that issue at the grocery store. I guess that’s the downfall of dresses and skirts huh? PS pass me a big bowl of this? I’m starving!

  • Marian (Sweetopia) says:

    Lol, so funny, sorry! Been there, done that, but summer is so worth it, isn’t it!

  • Erin | The Law Student's Wife says:

    Summer is SUCH a gift! Can it just never end please? Love how quickly this comes together–more time outside for us!

  • Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective says:

    Lovely dish!

  • Tieghan says:

    I am with you, I am in love with summer! It is the best!! I am also in love with this pasta. I love orzo and the spicy chicken sausages? YUM! What a great quick and easy summer meal!

  • Mrs. Lucky says:

    Finally beautiful weather in Smalltown, IN! Off to farmer’s market tomorrow morning for zucchini and whatever looks like something that might look good on the grill. This is a definite side dish on our table this weekend. I truly love orzo! I need to search this site for a good zucchini bread recipe!

  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health says:

    i am loving the long days and so much time as well. hope it stays like this forever…funny you mentioned that skirt incident, I saw a lady the other day same situation except that it was by the ice cream truck and little kids were there. I felt so bad for her. I always tie the ends of my flowy dresses. On a different note, i have never had orzo before and the pictures are inviting me to try it.

  • Heather Christo says:

    I have been feeling spoiled with summer this year too! In Seattle there is still light in the sky at 10PM! I love it. This pasta looks wonderful and comforting no matter what the weather!

  • Gaby says:

    so into this for dinner!!

  • Kathy Gresko says:

    Gaby,
    This is on the menu for tomorrow night. Send the orzo vibes! How about a little salad of arugula with some lemon and olive oil?
    Oh my, I need to eat lunch. Pavlovian response is kicking in.
    Summer rocks!

    • Julie says:

      That salad sounds great!!

  • Monique says:

    girl, i know how you feel!
    I only started wearing dresses two years ago. Im a plus size woman so gettin me in a dress required much coaxing. I finally gave in with the condition that I would wear spanx underneath. Now i love dresses and have some really cute ones for hte summer. One dress in particular that I have been wearing flares out quite a bit. I never understood why i felt cold every time I passed the turnstile of the train or the office… until boyfriend told me the bar of hte turnstile flipped my dress up as it was turning revealing my nude spanx covered behind.
    To make matters worse, when he made this discovery I was walking down a flight of stairs to catch a train that was coming into the station. The gust of wind sent my dress above my waist letting all of chinatown see my spanx.
    I might be retiring the dress. lol.

  • Kathryn says:

    What a tasty sounding dish – I’ve never seen chicken sausage for sale here but I’m definitely going to look out for it!

  • Jessica says:

    That almost happened to me last week in front of my 9 year old…I would have been mortified! Quick question…what do you think about grilling the sausage first and adding it at the end?

  • Hannah says:

    I am adoring the long days, too. I’ll be so sad when they’re over – I love being out walking at 7:30pm in the sunshine.

    This Orzo looks so delicious and super comfort-foody but for summer. That made sense, right? Either way, it looks like a flavour sensation :)

  • Krista says:

    The recipe looks fantastic, just one question, it looks as if the diced tomatos were drained. Is this correct? Thanks for all the great recipes here!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Krista! I actually didn’t drain the diced tomatoes. I used half a regular 14 oz. or 15oz. can (varies by brand) of diced tomatoes and just poured in half of it.

  • Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says:

    Oooo I am digging the creamyness

  • marla says:

    Such a great looking meal ~ I always love sausage!

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says:

    The word “creamy” always pulls me in… and it looks so.. well, creamy! Really yummy!

    Also I’m living in sundresses, it’s all I wear!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    I love orzo, this looks mouth-watering!

  • cassie says:

    Paul has been traveling so much and I’ve been pretty much living off of chicken sausage…it’s just so easy to cook with for a small portion. I love how creamy this is and I love all the veggies!

  • Monica says:

    Mmmm…this looks really wonderful! I love how creamy it is. A great filling but light summer dish.

  • Hannah says:

    Looks delicious and definitely on the menu for next week. Can I substitute whole milk for the splash of heavy cream? I never have heavy cream but with a 2 year old I always have whole milk…

    • Julie says:

      Yes, you can absolutely substitute the splash of cream with whole milk! Enjoy!

  • Chris Caldwell says:

    We made this with our own chicken sausage and without cream. Verdict: will definitely make again.

  • Jackie {The Beeroness} says:

    Having time to actually photograph your dinner is such a huge thing! I hate when the time changes in the fall (damn the time change!) and it starts getting dark at 4:30, the worst part about winter.
    This looks fabulous! I love orzo. beautiful job lady.

  • Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen says:

    Beautiful dish, love summer time dinner and maxi dresses too!!

  • Bridget says:

    I made this for dinner last night and even my picky toddler liked it. I added some parmesan cheese at the end too. Thanks for a wonderful, easy, healthy recipe!

    • Julie says:

      So happy to hear this, Bridget!! Thank you for coming back and letting me know!

  • Rachel says:

    Julie-
    I just recently found your blog. I made this recipe last night and had to let you know how FANTASTIC it was! Thank you! My picky 5 year old and 2 year old both ate their entire bowl and asked for more! Thanks again! And love your blog!

    • Julie says:

      I’m so happy to hear that Rachel! Welcome to the blog! I’m glad to have you as a reader :)

  • Rina says:

    Julie, I have been following your blog for a short bit thanks to my mom turning me on to it. This is the first of your recipes that I have had the chance to try and it was a total hit! I thought about skipping the zucchini as I am not usually a fan but I am glad I didn’t — it was delicious and another chance to get a little veggie in for us. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks for coming back to let me know how it turned out! So glad you tried it and enjoyed it! :)

  • Tracy | Pale Yellow says:

    I love chicken sausage and am always looking for new ways to dress it up. This orzo looks fantastic!

  • Kate W says:

    I made this last night and it turned out great! Can’t wait to have it for dinner again tonight!

    • Julie says:

      It’s one of my favorites!!

  • miki says:

    this orzo is sooo good! i changed up the veggies based on what i happened to have on hand and it still turned out wonderful. thank you for such a great recipe!!!

    • Julie says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the feedback!

  • Lynna says:

    I feel like as a woman, a dress/skirt flying up because of the wind is always bound to happen at least once. LOL.

    This orzo looks delicious and simple, too. I would love to try this out. :)

  • R. says:

    I made this recipe a few nights ago. I don’t blog or normally post on any, but this was so good that I had to let you know! Thanks for sharing! I will definitely be making this again.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks so much R! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and came back to tell me so!! :)

  • Jillia says:

    Just made this last night and this recipe totally rocks! But you didn’t mention one of the best parts: it’s a one-pot meal! That’s a biggie for me because when I cook, I’m known to turn the kitchen into a disaster area. Anyway, this tasted great and I’m betting it would freeze well. It’s so versatile too. I made a double batch for me and my boyfriend to take to work. I like having something I can just pop in the microwave at work rather than having something to fiddle around with and assemble. Will definitely be making this again!

    • Julie says:

      Ahh, I can’t believe I didn’t mention it was one-pot! I usually strive to mention those things because I adore one-pot meals! I’m glad you enjoyed this so much :) it’s one of my absolute favorites!!

  • Jennifer L. says:

    used basil and garlic diced tomatoes and finished it off with a splash of balsamic vinegar…this was delicious!!!

  • Stephanie S. says:

    Made this for dinner this week and my husband is already requesting it for a dinner in the near future. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Sara says:

    This sounds like a dish I will definitely make soon! I’m going to go rogue and try it in the slow cooker. As a mom who works full time, I’m always turning to my slow cooker to help get meals ready!!

  • Alia says:

    Just made this for dinner tonight! I didn’t use zucchini, and added broccoli, kale, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes and andouille chicken sausage. I also added some parmesan cheese at the end. Very delicious! My only problem is that it took about an hour to cook, and I had to take some chicken stock out of the freezer (which I warmed up before I added it in) because 2 cups was not nearly enough to cook the rice. Any thoughts? Thanks for all the great recipes!

  • Alia says:

    I JUST REALIZED I USED RISOTTO!!! lol!!! Thats why it took so long. I thought when I read the recipe that it had sounded like a really short time to cook risotto!!! I guess I heard orzo, thought risotto? Well I’m glad the mystery has been solved. And let me say, it is DELICIOUS with risotto!!! Next time I will brown the sausage in a pan first! But I will be making this again!

    • Julie says:

      Haha oh no! Orzo is a type of pasta :) next time it won’t take you that long but I’m glad you enjoyed it either way!

  • Diana McGhin says:

    I’m just curious. Have you ever made this in the crockpot? Would you change anything, other than the time?

    • Julie says:

      Hi Diana, no, I haven’t made this in the crockpot before. I don’t know if I can give advice on this because I don’t think this is a dish that you should make in a slow cooker, however, if you do try it and it is a success, please do come back and let me know how it turned out!

  • Stephanie says:

    Made this tonight and it was fantastic!! My only concern is you might want to add that the sausage you used was already fully cooked. I bought (fresh) chicken sausage links and wasn’t sure if the recipe would cook them as written, so I cooked it in the pot and then set it aside before cooking the garlic/zucchini/onions. Just wanted to post so others could be aware. Thanks for a great recipe, it was delicious and I’m already looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks for the tip! I’ll modify the recipe to note that.

  • Inna L says:

    Love love this dish! Really yummy!

    • Inna L says:

      Thought the orzo was a rice not a pasta but eventually figured it out! From one of these comments actually!

  • Anna Haynes says:

    Another recipe added to the routine! I love creamy orzo! I added an extra TBS of heavy cream and topped the dish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese! I also paired it with slices of fresh bread and butter! Delish! 😋

    • Julie Wampler says:

      So glad you enjoyed this!!

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