Filed Under: Easy | Italian | Main Dish | Pasta | Pork

Orzo with Sausage, Peppers, and Tomatoes

Recipe By Tessa Arias
August 10th, 2009

I would definitely try this dish for kids who enjoy pasta!

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

This past week I wanted to put my money and time spent in the kitchen on something that would provide leftovers for lunch and dinner for at least 3 days since everyone else I live with was out of town. I thought pasta would be great because its cheap, easy, and easily portion controlled. Also, I just love pasta.

This dish, which is featured in Giada’s Kitchen by Giada de Laurentiis, is actually in the “Not Just for Kids” section of her cookbook because of the small noodle shape. However, I thought that if I switched out mild Italian turkey sausage for spicy Italian (pork!) sausage and maybe some red pepper flakes, it would be more grown up.

The verdict: the dish was fairly flavorful but something was missing. Maybe next time I’ll add more garlic and more fresh herbs. Luckily this dish is very adaptable and can be easily changed without compromising anything. It did keep well for leftovers for lunch and dinner for a few days which is why I made it. I would definitely try this dish for kids who enjoy pasta!

Note: I used spicy Italian pork sausage (pork > turkey) and plum tomatoes (that’s what I had).

How to make
Orzo with Sausage, Peppers, and Tomatoes

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
I would definitely try this dish for kids who enjoy pasta!


  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 links (7 ounces total) mild Italian turkey sausage, castings removed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 jarred roasted red bell peppers, cut in 1/4 inch strips
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large saucepan, bring the chicken broth and 3 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey sausage and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes (if using) to the pan and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and transfer it to a large serving bowl. Add the sausage mixture, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to combine, adding the reserved cooking liquid if needed to loosen the pasta. Top with the Parmesan and sprinkle with remaining parsley.

Recipe Notes

Giada's Kitchen by Giada de Laurentiis
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Anonymous — August 11, 2009 at 1:43 am

    hopefully I can find all the ingredients to make this lovely dish…..Rete in Australia

  2. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — August 11, 2009 at 2:12 am

    This looks fantastic! I love Italian sausage… I will definitely give this recipe a try!

  3. #
    Tessa — August 11, 2009 at 4:23 am

    Auntie Marguerite- I'm sure you'll be able to! Or at least something similar enough. Thank you for checking out my blog! 🙂 Hope all is well.

    Jen- Isn't it the best? It makes almost any meal good. Let me know how it goes if you try this recipe!

  4. #
    Ninette — August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am

    How about adding some artichokes for a little extra flavor?

  5. #
    Aggie — August 11, 2009 at 11:49 am

    This looks wonderful!! All my favorites…but never thought to mix with orzo. Love it!

  6. #
    Tessa — August 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Ninette- Good idea!!

    Aggie- I don't usually think to use orzo either but it turned out good!

  7. #
    Tanya — August 11, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    I just made something similar but used bow tie pasta instead. I think I might like it better using orzo – thxs for the idea 🙂

  8. #
    Patsyk — August 12, 2009 at 12:38 am

    I love orzo and this looks like it has so many possibilities depending on what you have on hand. Great idea to make it so that you have leftovers for lunch!

  9. #
    Tessa — August 12, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Tanya- Bow tie is one of my favorite pasta shapes! Orzo is good too though 🙂 You're welcome!

    Patsky- Don't you love easily adaptable recipes? Especially if you don't want to waste time/money on buying ingredients.

  10. #
    Pamela — August 14, 2009 at 3:05 am

    Tempting picture, that's for sure! I'll have to give this one a try, because I have a bunch of sausage to use up in the freezer.

  11. #
    Sara — August 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    yummy! your pastas always look fantastic. I can't wait to play around with this one.

  12. #
    Tessa — August 15, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Pamela- Let me know what you think if you give it a try! I have some more sausage in my freezer too that I need to use up.

    Sara- Thank you!!

  13. #
    Roger Smith — November 26, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Thanks for such a recipe that you have given here.
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