This Cheesy Butternut Squash Parmesan Orzo is simple to make, so filling, and packed with comforting fall flavors! It’s the perfect easy weeknight dinner for fall and winter cooking!

How do you feel about orzo? I’ve been really loving it lately and have incorporated it into so many of my meals this past year. My daughter, still being young, can’t handle eating larger pieces of pasta such as farfalle or penne. SO, instead of cooking those and having to individually cut up each piece of pasta, I’ve simply been cooking smaller pastas such as orzo.

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I actually wrote a WHOLE blog post about orzo recently. It includes nutritional info, how to cook it, and more! You can check that out HERE if you’re interested!

large purple skillet filled with a parmesan orzo and mixed with butternut squash and broccoli

I had half of a large butternut squash in my fridge a few weeks ago and decided that it needed to go into a cheesy pasta dish. And thus, this simple parmesan orzo recipe was born.

It’s super simple to make and everything that I crave in the fall: squash + pasta + CHEESE!!

bowl filled with cheesy orzo pasta and topped with butternut squash cubes and broccoli with a fork in the side of the bowl

Here are the main ingredients that we’re working with:

  • Orzo Pasta
  • Butternut squash
  • Broccoli (but I also think that brussels sprouts would be amazing in this!)
  • Parmesan cheese (you can sub this for nutritional yeast if vegan OR get a block of Violife’s Vegan Parmesan- sooo good!)
  • Onion + garlic
  • Veggie broth (I’ve been loving the better than bouillon vegetable base lately)
  • Herbs (I used thyme but rosemary or oregano would be delicious in this as well)
up close shot of cheesy orzo in a skillet with butternut squash and broccoli mixed in

We’re going to start by prepping the squash and roasting it for about 25 minutes.

While the butternut squash is cooking, we’ll make the rest of the dish by sautéing the onion and garlic before adding in the broth. Once it’s boiling, the broccoli and orzo get mixed in and cooked until most of the liquid is absorbed and the broccoli is tender.

The cheese and butternut squash then get folded in. AND that’s it! So super simple but ridiculously delicious.

bowl filled with cheesy orzo pasta and topped with butternut squash cubes and broccoli
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bowl filled with cheesy orzo pasta and topped with butternut squash cubes and broccoli with a fork in the side of the bowl

Cheesy Butternut Squash Orzo

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  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This Cheesy Orzo pasta is packed with comforting fall flavors and is simple to make!


  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp of dried)
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 pound of orzo pasta
  • 1 head of broccoli (about 2 cups)
  • Optional: 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese*


  1. Preheat the oven 400 degrees F. Get out a large baking sheet.
  2. Prepare the squash by peeling it and  cutting it into bit sized pieces (about ½ inch cubes). Place the squash cubes on the baking sheet and drizzle with ½ tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the squash in the oven for 25 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. While the squash cooks, prepare the orzo: in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute. 
  4. Add in broth and bring to a boil. Mix in orzo and broccoli and, stirring often, cook until al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed and the broccoli is tender, about 7-8 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese (if using) and squash. Add in ½ cup more liquid (water or broth) as needed for creaminess.
  6. Serve immediately and ENJOY!


I highly recommend the cheese in this recipe! Violife makes a DELICIOUS vegan parmesan cheese!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american