Orzo with Butternut Squash and White Beans.

Roasted butternut squash tossed with orzo pasta and creamy, protein-rich white beans, topped with salty shaved parmesan, and balsamic glaze. Fall comfort food at its finest. Inspired by mom. And loved by both my boys.

Orzo with Butternut Squash, White Beans and Parmesan via JennySheaRawn.comAren’t roasted veggies the best?!

For as long as I can remember, my mom has been roasting veggies. Lots of veggies. Multiple baking sheets of veggies at a time. Brussel sprouts, carrots, parsnips, onions, butternut squash … you name it. With lots of garlic salt and rosemary. Crispy, caramelized veggies … the best. Now we roast veggies the same way.

Roasted veggies is still one of my favorite smells and it always reminds me of mom’s cooking, especially in the cooler fall months and around the holidays. Another food and favorite smell in the kitchen is pasta – orzo pasta. Though we had all types of pasta growing up, orzo is one of my favorites and mom made the best orzo – tossed with butter and parmesan cheese. The ultimate in comfort food.

This month’s Recipe ReDux theme is First Cooking Recollections: stir up some of your earliest culinary recollections. So, it’s only right to combine two of the dishes that remind me of mom into one warming, fall-inspired, plant-powered dish.

This Orzo with Butternut Squash and White Beans is also one of Adrian and Lucca’s favorite dishes. Lucca loves pasta …. surprise, surprise. He has started to throw his veggies (especially anything green) on the ground (sigh) while shoveling the pasta into his mouth. And he loves butternut squash – we went out to a local pub in NH this past weekend and he ate an entire bowl of it himself. So, this Orzo with Butternut Squash and White Beans is a dream for Lucca. He even ate the white beans, probably because he thought they were orzo, but hey…whatever works. I’ve been adding more beans to his diet (usually black beans) and normally they end up on the floor with the veggies.

Orzo with Butternut Squash, White Beans and Parmesan via JennySheaRawn.com

How do I make this pasta dish?

This hearty and earthy pasta dish is simple to make. Roast the squash until nice and caramelized, toss with cooked orzo and canned white beans, then top with shaved parmesan. This dish would be really good (and even better for you) with baby spinach tossed in as well – but Lucca would definitely not eat that (not yet, at least), so we didn’t go that route.

Make this dish as a side or a vegetarian main course and serve with a nice leafy green salad.

Here’s how to make this Orzo with Butternut Squash and White Beans:

Orzo with Butternut Squash and White Beans

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: Serves 10

Orzo with Butternut Squash and White Beans


  • • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • • 1 16 oz box orzo pasta
  • • 1 15.5 oz can small white beans, drained and rinsed
  • • Shaved parmesan cheese (for serving)
  • • Extra virgin olive oil
  • • Salt
  • • Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Toss squash with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, or until squash is tender and caramelized, flipping pieces halfway through cooking time.
  3. Remove from oven.
  4. Meanwhile, cook orzo according to directions on the box until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, combine squash, orzo and white beans. Toss.
  6. Top with shaved parmesan. Salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil, if desired.
  7. Serve.


A few readers have offered suggestions to improve this dish - Hope Walker suggested adding crispy bacon and/or sautéed garlicky mushrooms - love that! Another reader suggested adding brown butter fried sage on top - cannot wait to try that too!

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Orzo with Butternut Squash, White Beans and Parmesan via JennySheaRawn.com

Visit my fellow Recipe ReDuxer sites for more First Cooking Recollections stories and recipes:

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For more great pasta recipes, check out these 30 Healthy Pasta Recipes created by Registered Dietitians.