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Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo


You LOVE EASY 30 minutes dinners, right? This Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo is so simple that you can whip it up in a few minutes after you arrive home from work AND you can make it nearly entirely in one dish as long as you have the orzo cooked ahead of time!

Creamy and cheesy and OH SO comforting, this cheesy orzo is wonderful in so many ways. Besides, it is AFFORDABLE too!!

Especially coming into the fall months. You need meals that are hot, delicious, creamy simple and ready in minutes. Creamy Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo is for you!

A photo of a casserole dish of Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo

Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo


Orzo is a type of pasta that is shaped roughly like a grain of rice. The biggest consideration when cooking orzo is that it cooks much more quickly than a larger noodle like a ziti, spaghetti or rollatini.


You might be asking yourself, just how do you make orzo anyway? It is SIMPLE! It sounds hard but is actually simple.

Orzo is just a tiny pasta and I know, it looks like a rice, but it is a pasta. All you do is boil it like you would ANY OTHER PASTA!

Have you ever made macaroni noodles? How about spaghetti noodles? It is that simple! Just follow the package instructions – simple!


Is orzo like rice, do you have to be SO CAREFUL with how much water to put in? The answer is no. You want to follow the package instructions.

Please give it enough water so that it can freely fly around in there, dance, swim, do the back stroke  or whatever it is that pasta needs to do in the water but just use enough, and you will be fine. The water is poured off anyway!


Like most other pasta’s you will find it ready in about 10 minutes or less. The package will tell you exactly.

If you aren’t sure and you threw your package away, just like a spaghetti noodle, dip some out, blow on it until it is cool and then taste it.

The Orzo is done when it is no longer crunchy but still has a little spring to it when you bite into it.


A bowl of Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo

Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo


It might also taste good with…

Although I made this dish with orzo, I think it would be equally as tasty with rice or even with some other form of pasta (orzo is just a tiny pasta). You could use your left-over rice from some previous dinner even. SHhhh….. I won’t tell anyone!

A casserole dish and a spoon of Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo

Cheesy Orzo

As an aside, you could also add some other veggies and I can hardly think of any veggie that wouldn’t be good with this dish. I might try some carrots, cauliflower, peas or even green beans in the future. I used cheddar but a Mexican blend would be good too. Just adjust to your tastes!

If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:







  • Cook the broccoli in the pasta water while the pasta is cooking.
  • Feel free to add a few more veggies to this dish for added flavor!
  • The type of cheese makes all the difference! Use a good sharp cheese for the best flavor!
  • Top with Parmesan for added flavor!
  • Save a cup of the cooking water and add to the finished dish by 1 Tbs at a time for a more Creamy creamy orzo.
A closeup of a casserole dish of Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo

Cheesy Orzo

The Recipe for  Creamy Orzo

Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo

This is a recipe for Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo kind of like a grown up version of hot dogs and macaroni - only with smoked sausage and orzo. Get it?
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Medium
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheesy Orzo, Creamy Orzo, Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 315kcal


  • 1 ½ Cups uncooked Orzo about 3 cups if already cooked
  • 2 tbs vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • 1 cup bite sized broccoli florets
  • 1 package of Smoked Sausage about 16 oz, typically
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese


  • In a large sauce pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and cook the orzo per the package instructions. Don’t forget to salt the water. If you want to do something unconventional and be like me, drop the broccoli florets into the boiling pasta water for about 3 minutes while the pasta is cooking. This precooks the broccoli to just the right softness for the dish – and then you don’t have to wait for them to cook in the frying pan later. Dip them out with a slotted spoon when they turn bright green and set them aside.
  • While the pasta and broccoli are cooking, dice up the onion, bell pepper and mince the garlic. Cut the sausage into disks – about ½ inch thick. Heat a large skillet with the oil on medium heat on the stove top. When the oil is hot, add the onion and bell pepper and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and the sausage. While this cooks, the orzo should be about ready. Drain the orzo per package instructions and set aside until the sausage is browned.
  • When the sausage is browned, add the orzo and the pre-cooked broccoli to the skilled and cut the heat to medium low. Add the cheese and the milk. Salt and pepper to taste. You can then serve from the frying pan or turn out into a baking dish to serve.


Super easy and FUN!


Nutrition Facts
Smoked Sausage and Cheesy Orzo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 315
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!


Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. ~ Jeremiah 17:14

***This post was originally posted on July 31, 2015 and has been updated with new information!***

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

Recipe Rating

Patty Williams

Tuesday 28th of February 2023

This was a great weeknight work day easy DELICIOUS dinner I added mushrooms yum thank you!!

Wendi Spraker

Thursday 2nd of March 2023

Sounds delish!

Matt Bowes

Friday 11th of February 2022

Great recipe! I substituted milk with cream of celery and put 8ounces of the pasta water in to lessen the thickness. It’s definitely much more creamier than I excepted.

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 13th of February 2022



Monday 16th of March 2020

Have you tried asparagus in this dish? Should I cook it in the pasta water like the broccoli?


Wednesday 27th of January 2021

@Lori, I used asparagus that I cooked in the air fryer with olive oil and salt. The roasted taste really jazzes up the flavor of the entire dish!

Wendi Spraker

Monday 16th of March 2020

Hi Lori, I have not tried asparagus with this dish but am sure that it would be good. It's a very flexible dish.


Tuesday 14th of January 2020

I love this recipe! I’ve put it in my heavy rotation and my boyfriend is so excited every time I make it. Like others have suggested, I add some crushed red peppers to give it a little more flavor and just a little kick. I can’t wait to have the leftovers for my lunch tomorrow! Thank you!

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 14th of January 2020

Thanks Bree.


Saturday 31st of August 2019

I just made this and why haven’t I before?! I had it saved to my favorites on Pinterest. I forgot about it all this time. I was like I don’t want something too extreme tonight and too much hassle. But I never have much luck with Orzo and this time turned out perfect. This was so delicious and I used a baking dish to put it in. And then in the oven on 350 for about 15 min until cheese was more melty. It didn’t like my pan on stove lol it didn’t effect it in anyway. I’m definitely adding this to my rotation now!! Only thing I did was add crushed red pepper to give it a kick. I’m so glad to stumble on this for something different and yum!!!!! Thank you!!

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 31st of August 2019

That's wonderful! Thanks for letting me know!


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