creamy orzo skillet

with sausage, peppers and onions
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 oz. cooked garlic herb chicken sausage (about 3 links), cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ lemon, zest and juice
  • Chopped Italian parsley, for garnish


  • Over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil to a large 12-inch skillet. Add 8 oz. cooked chicken sausage and cook until evenly browned on both sides, about 3 minutes. Add 2 sliced bell peppers, 1 sliced red onion and season with a big pinch salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 cup orzo. Sauté until fragrant and orzo begins to brown, about 1 minute.
  • Add 2 ½ cups broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the orzo is al dente and the liquid is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes or according to your orzo’s package instructions. If the pasta is cooked before the liquid is completely absorbed, uncover the skillet and let it simmer for an extra minute to evaporate.
  • Stir in ½ cup grated Parmesan and the zest and juice from ½ lemon.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with additional Parmesan and chopped parsley.


  • Serve with a salad mix and crusty bread to complete this meal.


  • Protein: The sausage can be swapped for shrimp.
  • Vegetarian: Remove the sausage from the recipe and double the vegetables. You could also replace the sausage with firm, drained tofu.
  • Gluten-Free: Swap orzo with a gluten-free orzo or quinoa. Adjust cook time to package directions.


  • Cut the onion and bell peppers and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 554mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1443IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 1mg