This Delicata Squash Orzo is what fall dreams are made of! Creamy, flavorful, and made in one pot, it is made in a risotto style, but comes together so much faster. The perfect vegetarian main dish or amazing side dish to any autumn dinner.

Delicata squash orzo in a bowl on a table with sprigs of fresh thyme on the table next to it.

I’ve been having a love affair with roasted delicata squash for years. But now, I’m smitten with this one pot Delicata Squash Orzo dish!

This veggie-loaded pasta dish is a crowd pleaser! Great as a vegetarian main course or served alongside a protein such as cooked chicken, shrimp, crispy tofu, or anything you’d like. Prep takes about 10 minutes, 20 minutes to cook, and this creamy, dreamy Delicata Squash Orzo is on the dinner table!

The ingredients for delicata squash orzo laid out on a table before cooking.

How do I reheat this orzo recipe?

If you make this dish ahead of time, you can simply reheat it as is or, for the best results, place the orzo back in a pot with 1 cup of water or broth. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring, until the orzo is creamy and warmed through.

What kind of orzo works best in this recipe?

This recipe was tested using regular white orzo and whole wheat. Both worked great and cooked at the same rate without the need for modifications. Gluten free orzo might work, but the cook time might change slightly. After 10 to 12 minutes, taste the orzo for doneness. If it needs more time, add a ½ cup of water and continue to stir and cook until the pasta is done.

Suggested Adaptations

  • For a dairy-free version of this orzo dish, use all olive oil and omit the parmesan cheese. Or use your favorite plant based cheese, just being sure to use one that melts well. Taste and add additional salt to season as needed.
  • Don’t have delicata squash? You can use a different variety such as butternut or kabocha squash, but you will want to peel those before cooking.
  • Use either whole wheat or white orzo for this recipe!

More veggie-loaded one-pot meals!

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Delicata squash orzo in a pot after cooking. There is a wooden spoon in the pot.
4.67 from 6 votes

Creamy One Pot Delicata Squash Orzo

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
This Delicata Squash Orzo is creamy, flavorful, vegetarian, and made in one pot. It's made in a risotto style, but comes together so much faster.


  • 1 medium delicata squash , about 1 to 1 ½ pounds
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, or extra olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces orzo, 1 ¾ cup
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish


  • Thoroughly wash the squash. (Since we aren’t peeling the skin it’s important that the outside is very clean.) Trim the ends, cut the squash in half lengthwise, and then use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Cut the halves lengthwise again into ¼-inch thick strips then thinly slice across the strips to cut the squash into small pieces. You should have about 3 cups of chopped squash.
  • Add the olive oil and butter to a large, wide-bottomed pot and place over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and chopped squash. Continue to cook and stir until the onions are lightly golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the salt, whole thyme sprigs, and pepper.
  • Stir in the orzo and then the vegetable broth, making sure to stir the bottom so no pasta sticks. Bring the pot up to a boil then turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. Stir occasionally until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the pasta is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, remove the thyme stems, and then stir in the parmesan cheese. Taste and season with addition salt and pepper as needed. Garnish the orzo with extra parmesan cheese, if desired.
Calories: 320kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 1171mg, Potassium: 478mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1467IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 124mg, Iron: 1mg