Sage Butter Roasted Butternut Squash with Creamy Cheddar Orzo

I love when colder weather starts to set it and everything in the kitchen shifts to warmer spices and cozy dishes. This dish is definitely a new favorite cozy-comfort-go-to! Seriously…it’s vegetarian and even my husband liked it. That’s a *big* win!

First, you’ll melt some butter with fresh sage leaves and smashed garlic cloves. It smells insane and gives the butternut squash a delicious flavor. Then, right as your squash is starting to brown, you’ll start the orzo. The orzo takes 10-15 minutes and is just, wow. Really, really, good.

My husband, who does not like vegetables – I can’t even explain to you how he tries to avoid them – said he loved this dish. He even remarked that the squash was perfect to go with the orzo. I was floored, I tell ya!

The orzo is simple. You chop up an onion, shallot and some garlic. They get sauteed in butter and olive oil. Then you sautee the orzo for 2 minutes, which brings out a nutty flavor (another really nice compliment to the squash). Then, you add white wine (which makes it feel very fancy and a bit like risotto), broth and heavy cream. You pop a lid on and let that simmer for 5 minutes or until the orzo is just cooked. Then, stir in spinach and cheddar cheese and that’s it!

You don’t need anything fancy for this one – I love the Staub everything pan, it has the perfect height walls and a lid for the orzo. But anything that has good walls to sautee in will work!

Sage Butter Roasted Butternut Squash with Creamy Cheddar Orzo

Fall says "I'm here" with this cozy and comforting vegetarian dish, easy enough for an elegant weeknight dinner.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Dinner
Servings 6 people


  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 6 tbsp salted butter
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 stems of fresh thyme
  • 2 c orzo
  • 1 c white wine
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1-2 c fresh spinach
  • 1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 450. Line baking sheet(s) with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Use two pans to spread out squash and ensure they roast instead of steam.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, peel butternut squash until you see bright orange (you don't want the white to show, it makes the edges tougher). Chop squash into bite size pieces and place in a mixing bowl.
  • Over medium heat, melt 6 tbsp of butter. Once melted, add the sage and garlic. Keep everything moving to not burn the garlic.
  • Remove from the heat. Discard garlic; set aside sage for garnish.
  • Pour butter over butternut squash and toss with salt & pepper, to taste, until well combined.
  • Place in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until desired crispness.
  • When your squash is just starting to brown, heat up 3tbsp of butter in sautee pan that has a lid.
  • Once butter is melted, add olive oil.
  • Add chopped onion and shallot with fresh thyme, sauteeing until soft.
  • Add garlic and sautee until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Add orzo, sauteeing for 2 minutes, to bring out the nutty flavor.
  • Add white wine, broth, heavy cream; stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Place lid on, let simmer for 5 minutes, or until orzo is cooked through.
  • Add spinach and cheddar and stir until spinach is wilted and cheddar is melted. Taste for salt and pepper, add as necessary.
  • To serve, place orzo in a dish and top with butternut squash. Garnish with reserved sage leaves.
  • To reheat orzo, use 1/2 c of broth, adding more as necessary.

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