Made entirely in one pot, this Italian sausage orzo is packed full of tender orzo, flavorful sausage bits, and lots of gooey cheese. – on the table in 40 minutes and perfect for a weeknight!
It’s literally never a bad idea to have a hot and cheesy one pot dinner like this one up your sleeve.
You might even consider giving it a spot of honor on the dinner rotation because hello, have you seen that cheese?
Trust me, NO ONE will ever complain about this orzo masterpiece being a regular occurrence and you will likely struggle to hoard away any leftovers for yourself.
Big flavorful bits of Italian sausage, lots of orzo, and even some green goodness sneaked inside under all that cheese takes this one pot dinner entirely over the top.
This Italian Sausage Orzo features…
- Tender orzo in a flavorful tomato sauce.
- Flavorful browned Italian sausage and gooey cheese.
- Made in 40 minutes in only one pot!
Making the Italian Sausage Orzo
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Yellow onion
- Vegetable oil
- Italian sausage
- Crushed tomatoes
- Petite-diced tomatoes
- Chicken broth
- Baby spinach
- Bay leaf
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
Choosing Your Sausage
We recommend finding a good quality Italian sausage to use in this recipe. You can use ground sausage or remove the casing from sausage links.
If you don’t have sausage on hand and still want to try this recipe it works great with ground chicken, turkey, beef, or diced chicken.
Tips for Perfect One Pot Orzo
- Brown orzo – this gets a good toast on the orzo that builds flavor before cooking.
- Simmer orzo in tomatoes and broth – we found that crushed and petite-diced tomatoes and a little bit of chicken broth was the perfect ratio for simmering the orzo.
- Add spinach at end of cooking – once the orzo is tender and reduced, fold in the spinach until just wilted.
- Melt cheeses on top – you can either cover the orzo pan to melt the cheese or pop it under the broiler for a few minutes to get some nice browning on the cheese.
- Top orzo with basil – fresh basil is key here! It adds so much flavor.
Try these ideas for a different twist on this orzo!
- Try a different meat – as mentioned a bit above, this recipe will work great with a variety of meats!
- Swap out the cheese – try shredded cheddar, provolone, colby jack, or asiago.
- Add more veggies – sauteed mushrooms, zucchini, kale, or peas would all be great veggie additions.
Storing and Freezing Orzo
This orzo will store nicely in the fridge up to 6 days, as well as the freezer up to 2 months.
Thaw frozen orzo in fridge overnight or 8 hours, then reheat either on the stovetop, microwave, or oven until orzo reaches 165F.
This is just the cozy, cheesy dinner goodness we all LIVE for this time of year! The orzo and Italian sausage makes it so hearty while the thick layer of melted mozzarella + Parmesan add just the right touch of indulgence.
You’re about to rule this one pot dinner game, that’s just a fact.
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
More one pot recipes to add to your menu!
One Pot Italian Sausage Orzo
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 12 oz uncooked orzo
- 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (15 oz) petite diced tomatoes
- 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-1/2 cups baby spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
- Heat vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or medium pot over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausage and break up with a spoon, cooking until no longer pink. Transfer to a bowl and set aside for a moment.
- In same pot over medium-high heat, saute onion in pot drippings until just tender. Add garlic and orzo and cook 1-2 minutes until orzo is lightly toasted.
- Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf, and browned sausage to pot and stir until evenly combined. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is reduced and orzo is tender.
- Discard bay leaf. Stir spinach into orzo until wilted and season orzo with salt and pepper to taste. Top with cheeses, cover pot, and allow to sit 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Optionally, broil cheese under high 1-2 minutes to brown cheese.
- Remove orzo from heat and top with basil. Serve warm and enjoy!