Butternut squash stuffed with orzo and cheese

Once again proof that vegetarian does not mean healthy

This is a great weeknight meal for two or a nice side dish for a larger party.

Stuffed Squash

  • 1 large butternut squash (or two small)
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp Romano cheese
  • dash hot sauce
  • about two tablespoons bread crumbs
  • pinch cardamom
  • pinch nutmeg
  • salt/pepper to taste

Place squash halves on a 9 by 13-inch pan. Pour enough water in to fill pan a 1/4 of an inch. Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 30 minutes or till soft. Scoop out pulp and discard. Carve a tunnel for squash reserving flesh. While squash is cooking, cook orzo in boiling salted water until almost soft. Drain. Pour milk and chicken stock into a small pan. Bring to a boil, taking care to not scald the milk. Add a pinch of nutmeg and cardamom. Add orzo and cook until thick. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar and one tablespoon Romano. Stir in the reserved squash season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Fill squash halves. Dust with remaining Romano and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return to oven and bake until cheese is browned.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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65 Responses to Butternut squash stuffed with orzo and cheese

  1. Yuri says:

    Love the photo caption! Healthy or not, this looks comforting and delicious :)

  2. Leah says:

    This looks amazing! I’m making this very soon. Can’t wait.

  3. Zo Zhou says:

    Haha, that caption is too true. That said this actually doesn’t look that unhealthy – I probably would have used more cheese :D Which you now have me craving!

  4. Oo my, this one’s lookin’ goooood….. I don’t eat squash, but that appears hard to resist!

  5. Butternut squash is absolutely delicious, and prepared according to your recipe, even better. I’m guessing that orzo is our equivalent of barley, but I don’t know Romano cheese.

  6. rsmacaalay says:

    Looks so creamy, looks so satisfying.

  7. Healthy or not- it looks tempting!!! Great combination cheese+butternut squash :)

  8. It looks and sounds amazing! Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall does a similar recipe with a huge pumpkin which is then effectively the tureen. We still don´t have squash here yet…not fair!

  9. niasunset says:

    Your words how true about healthy food… And another delicious recipe dropping to my notebook now! Thank you dear Rufus, with my love, nia

  10. Sissi says:

    It may not be healthy, but it looks gorgeous and your photo is very appetising. With cardamom, nutmeg and orzo it sounds like Italian-Indian fusion dish! I have never cooked orzo. It would be a nice change from rice in stuffed vegetables.

  11. Carolyn Chan says:

    Perfect for cooling nights!

  12. sallybr says:

    Just got some eight ball zucchini at the farmer’s market – so my mind is set in the same wavelength as yours: stuffed veggie, baked to deliciousness

    I have never stuffed butternut squash, very nice idea, and seems healthy enough for me. I’ll go running before indulging ;-)

  13. ambrosiana says:

    The idea of stuffing vegetables with orzo is amazing…I love it!!! Milk and cheese give that creamy rich taste. Cardamom and nutmeg give a touch of aromas!!! Perfect!!!

  14. Kelly says:

    You’re too funny… there’s an organic, vegetarian café around the corner from us and one day I was browsing their mouth-watering dessert section… a lady leaned over and whispered in my ear “you know, just because it’s organic doesn’t mean that it’s healthy” …. : ) your roasted squash looks delish. Love the dash of heat and the nutmeg/cardamom mix.

  15. Kristy says:

    Well, we loved your stuffed eggplant, so I have no doubt this stuffed veggie is equally as good. I’ll be making this one soon too. I just hope Mr. N can keep down the butternut squash this time. Fortunately he’s past the tantrum throwing stage now… ;)

  16. Judy says:

    YUM! This gives me the idea that I can use the leftover BLT Risotto and do the same thing … ooh, thanks!

  17. You are killing me! This photo, the recipe, they are literally making me want run right to the store (at 6:51AM) and buy what I need to make this for BREAKFAST! Yes, I could eat this for breakfast, lunch AND dinner and be a very happy woman.

  18. Ok, repeat after me:
    There is nothing wrong with cheese, or cream, or butter. It is in no way inherently unhealthy. Our bodies need fats to function properly, and naturally occurring fats are best. If ‘low-fat’ was the key to ‘good health’, we’d all have gotten there by eating Snackwell cookies in the early 90’s… I swear, once this garden season comes to an end, I’m going to write a post called “In Defense of Butter…”

    (Climbs down from soapbox)

    I love the flavors in this…if Fall weather ever gets here, I have a bunch of squash to try it with!

  19. nrhatch says:

    I love butternut squash . . . and this pairing looks perfect! :D

  20. Darn! I just used the second half of my butternut squash to make soup. This looks like a great alternative dish.

  21. ChgoJohn says:

    Where do you guys come up with these ideas? This is a fantastic Fall dish and I’m sending it out to my vegetarian friends. What a great recipe!

  22. That looks mouth watering, Greg. Butternut squash is by far my favourite! And cheese! Really yummy recipe. Nice one for the crisp cool days and nights of Autumn!

  23. Neecey says:

    This sounds FABULOUS!!!!! :) (you always have the greatest recipes!!!)

  24. Jessica says:

    Bring on the squash! I love that there is nutmeg and cardamom. (and not all vegetarians are healthy!)

  25. What a grand idea!
    Have a happy week. :-) Mandy

  26. randommanda says:

    This looks awesome!! I’ve actually been looking for more creative ways to use orzo, so thanks for this great recipe!

  27. might not be diet food, but in autumn (fall over there) who needs diet. We need good, hearty, warming fare. Looks great.

  28. What’s not to love about this recipe! Wonderful!

  29. k.m. says:

    I love cardamom with squash, and adding in cheese makes it sound even better! I think I’ll swap in some wild rice though since we don’t have any orzo around at the moment :)

  30. Courtney says:

    I’m usually not a huge fan of squash, but that looks SO good!

  31. TasteFood says:

    This looks great – I am so happy that it’s time for butternut squash again.

  32. ceciliag says:

    Perfectly times of course!! And i have some very sweet smaller butternuts that will be just right for this, though i am not sure where to find Orzo.. c

  33. Can’t wait ot try these! GREAT sounding recipe.

  34. Stef says:

    It looks very yellow. :)

  35. Damn that looks ridiculously good Greg.

  36. sonsothunder says:

    I granted you the “Versatile Blogger Award”

    Have Fun
    paul

  37. egg me on says:

    Nutmeg, cardamon … hot sauce. Love it.

  38. These look lovely, so full of flavour! and is finally the confirmation I need that what I call a butternut pumpkin is what you call a butternut squash.

  39. spicegirlfla says:

    Oh ya, so many are fooled into thinking vegetarian is healthy!! Healthy by omitting beef I suppose!! This sounds like comfort food to me! Rounded out with a green salad and it would be a perfect dinner for me! I had never thought to incorporate orzo with the squash, great idea as always!!

  40. Deb says:

    This SCREAMS “autumn” and sounds great! I recently got some Himalayan pink salt and organic peppercorns from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com and I’ll have to try them out in this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Charles says:

    Fab looking recipe – I’d have a problem eating the whole half though – I always find them so damn filling!

  42. This dish looks so appetizing as the weather gets cooler. Do you have any suggestions for an orzo substitute?

  43. I’m such a squash eater but stuffing one… sounds like heaven. Oh this just looks like a dish that welcomes you to eat it.. can you tell I’m hungry? lol

  44. I love butternut squash but I love any squash. This looks yummy.

  45. Beautiful- what a perfect fall dish!

  46. J.Nelson says:

    two of my favorite things combined in one dish, yum!!

  47. Looks fantastic! So colorful and I am making a mental note of the new squash recipe!

  48. Gorgeous. As soon as I saw this post in my feed I wanted some.

  49. karencooking says:

    I am quite behind in my blog reading . . . this looks delicious. Also, I tried the peach schnapps with summer squash the other week – very tasty!

  50. ....RaeDi says:

    We love orzo and too squash, what a wonderful mix! ….RaeDi

  51. Gina Marie says:

    I have this bookmarked and I am hoping to make it soon. Looks amazing!

  52. I am so glad you reposted this one to facebook. This sounds so delightful. You have so many delicious recipes that it is good to revisit the old ones.

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