Budget-friendly, but indulgent Creamy Butternut Squash Orzo. The perfect cozy meal to welcome the fall. Topped with sage-infused mushrooms and crispy chickpeas.
- 1, 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 lb butternut squash, cut in half with seeds scooped out (I used 1/2 of a medium sized butternut squash)
- 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
- 8 cloves of garlic (leave 6 in their peel and slice up the remaining 2)
- 1–2 tbsp oil
- 8 sprigs of thyme
- 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk or oat milk (room temperature)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp reduced sodium vegetable bouillon paste or half a bouillon cube
- 12 sage leaves
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup dry orzo
- Pepitas, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400F. Place chickpeas in a clean kitchen towel and pat dry to remove excess moisture. Add the chickpeas, shallots, 6 cloves of garlic with their skin on, and the butternut squash to a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle everything with oil, spread it over the cut side of the squash and toss everything else to coat. Season with a generous pinch of salt and top the squash with the thyme sprigs, then flip it over so it is cut side down on the pan.
- Roast for 30 minutes, making sure to remove the garlic cloves and to toss the chickpeas and shallots at the 20 minute mark.
- While everything roasts, prepare the mushrooms and orzo. Heat up a skillet and add the mushrooms with no oil and arrange into a single layer on the pan. Leave them undisturbed for a 4-5 minutes to release their water, then stir and continue to cook until most of the moisture is gone and they appear to start browning. Now season with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil . Sauté the mushrooms for an extra 2-3 minutes to brown them more then add the garlic slices and sage. Continue to sauté until the sage wilts and becomes a deeper green then set aside.
- To cook the orzo, fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil when the squash is almost done cooking. Generously salt the water and cook the orzo according to package until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot.
- Scoop out the flesh of the squash and add it to a blender with the shallots, peeled roasted garlic, milk, water, nutritional yeast and the bouillon paste. Blend until smooth then pour it into the pot with the orzo. Stir to fully coat and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Assemble your plate with the creamy orzo and top with the sage and mushrooms, the chickpeas and pepitas.
Roast the butternut squash cut side down. This will make sure that the squash caramelizes as it roasts giving it more flavor.
Roasting time of squash will depend on it’s size. If you have an extra thick squash, you may need to cook it for longer. Before blending, make sure that you can pierce the squash easily with a fork.
To save time roasting, consider using pre-cubed butternut squash. Buying it pre-cubed will cut down on the time needed to cook and you don’t have to do any extra chopping. Season as recommended and roast on the baking tray in a single layer.
For the best mushroom texture, dry sauté them first to remove excess moisture. Once all the moisture is gone, then add the salt and oil and sauté to brown and crisp them up around the edges.
To save time, prep the mushrooms and orzo while the squash roasts. You can also place the sauce ingredients into the blender in advance and add the garlic and butternut squash once they are done cooking.
Add more liquid if your butternut squash sauce is too thick. Just add an extra splash of water or veggie broth until it is at your desired smooth consistency.
Keywords: butternut squash orzo