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This tomato orzo recipe is a one pot wonder that’s a complete meal with chicken sausage, broccoli, and a comforting tomato sauce! It’s ready in just 30 minutes.

Try my Ground Beef Orzo with Tomato Cream Sauce or Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Orzo next.

tomato orzo in a bowl

Why you’ll love it

If you’ve been a reader here for any length of time, you know I’m a huge fan of orzo. I wanted to do something a little different with this recipe, so I branched out and chose chicken sausage as the protein here. I don’t cook with it often, but I probably should since it’s really very tasty. If you’re asking yourself what to make with chicken sausage, you should give this one pot pasta a go.

This chicken sausage orzo is a no-brainer for busy weeknights. Prep isn’t time-consuming, the ingredients are readily available, and you don’t have to do a ton of dishes since it’s made all in one pot. It’s sort of like a risotto but with WAY less work. Half an hour, and it’s on the table for a satisfying family meal with protein, pasta, and veggies!

What you’ll need

  • Olive oil – for sautéing
  • Chicken sausage – it’s made up of lean ground chicken and is a popular alternative to pork sausages since they’re generally lower sodium and fat.
  • Onion and garlic – the tasty base aromatics. I prefer sweet (Vidalia) onions. For the garlic I mince it with this garlic press since you don’t need to peel the cloves first.
  • Orzo – it’s that tiny rice-shaped pasta. You’ll find it in the dry pasta aisle at the grocery store.
  • Italian seasoning – I always keep several jars in my pantry since I use it for so many of my creations. It’s a dried herb blend that’s perfectly proportioned and very convenient.
  • Chicken broth – for moisture and savory flavor
  • Tomato sauce – it gives that concentrated, delicious tomato taste. For my UK readers, substitute passata.
  • Broccoli – we’re using fresh broccoli cut into bite-sized florets
  • Bell pepper – for more freshness and flavor. I chose red, but use your favorite color.
  • Parmesan – totally optional, but this one of those meals that freshly grated parm really complements

Pro tip

  • As with any one pot pasta dish, the liquid quantities work as tested on my stove, but pots/stoves/temperatures can vary from my kitchen to yours. If you feel like it needs more liquid, add another splash of broth. If it seems too wet, I recommend covering the pot when it’s done, take it off the heat, and it’ll soak any excess liquid up in a few minutes.

tomato orzo with chicken sausage and broccoli in a pot

How to make tomato orzo

This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

  • Chop the veggies and slice the sausage into rounds. Sauté the chicken sausage in the olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, and cook until softened.
  • Stir in the garlic and orzo. Cook for about 30 seconds. Pour in the broth along with the tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, and add the broccoli and red bell pepper.
  • Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce has reduced and the pasta is cooked. Season with salt & pepper, grate some fresh parm if desired, and enjoy!

Substitutions and variations

  • You can substitute turkey sausage. In testing, I also tried an uncooked “breakfast” variety of turkey sausage. It worked great, so you definitely have some flexibility here. Or just use pork sausage if that’s what you prefer.
  • If you don’t want to include the broccoli, you can skip it or sub with another vegetable that’s also chopped fairly small. Spinach works too, but add it in towards the end so it wilts for a few minutes vs. cooking for the entire 10 minutes.
  • Love olives? Some pitted Kalamata olives would be a great addition to this dish to give some Mediterranean vibes.
  • Since orzo is pasta, we haven’t tested this with rice. If you want to sub the orzo for rice, you will likely need to adjust the liquid measurements and cooking time since rice typically takes longer.

What to serve with this orzo

Leftovers and storage

  • You can store any leftovers of this orzo in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container, but be mindful that the pasta will continue to absorb the sauce over time.
  • Reheat in a saucepan over a low temperature until warmed through. Add a splash of broth if it needs a touch reviving.
  • I don’t recommend freezing leftovers of this recipe. The texture won’t come out the same.
tomato orzo with chicken sausage and peppers in two bowls

Did you make this one pot orzo recipe? Questions, or want to leave a review? Let me know in the comments! I’m also on Instagram so you never miss a recipe.

tomato orzo in a bowl
5 from 8 votes

Tomato Orzo with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli

This tomato orzo recipe is a one pot wonder that's a complete meal with chicken sausage, broccoli, and a comforting tomato sauce! It's ready in just 30 minutes.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces chicken sausage cut into rounds
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning or more, to taste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14 fluid ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese optional, to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Prep your ingredients. You can either slice the chicken sausage into rounds or take it out of the casings (just be careful as some chicken sausages totally disintegrate if you take it out of the casings).
  • Add the oil and chicken sausage to a soup pot. Sauté for 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
  • Add in the onion and continue cooking for another 4 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and orzo and cook for around 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the Italian seasoning, chicken broth and tomato sauce. Once it starts to bubble, add in the broccoli and bell pepper. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring fairly often (the orzo may stick to the bottom of the pot). You will likely need to turn the heat down a bit (to medium or even medium-low). It should gently bubble vs. furiously boil (you don't want the liquid to reduce too much before the pasta has cooked).
  • Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

  • Serves 4-6 depending on how much people eat.
  • If the pasta is too liquidy for your tastes, cover the pot and wait a few minutes (it’ll soak it right up). If you want more liquid, add another splash of chicken broth.
  • Orzo is pasta. If you want to make this with rice, you may have to adjust liquid measurements and cooking time (I have not tested this).
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Nutrition

Calories: 399kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 1839mg, Potassium: 710mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 1479IU, Vitamin C: 78mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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25 Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and my teen daughter, who normally is luke warm to my cooking, lit up and said it was great after her first bite. I’m definitely going to include this in my normal rotation and play with adding carrots, zucchini, etc to keep it varied. Thank you, Natasha! I’ve made a few of your recipes and love them!!

    1. Natasha says:

      I love that!! 😀 You’re very welcome. So happy that you’re enjoying the recipes! Appreciate your review, Michelle!

  2. Janet says:

    I’m gluten free so I can’t use orzo. Do you think I could sub gluten free pasta for orzo? Is the 2 cups of broth used based on how much liquid is needed to cook the 1 cup of orzo?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! I think you could try. And yes, the broth is based on how the orzo soaks it up.

  3. Brianna C says:

    I substituted rice for the orzo and it came out great! I used 2 cups of rice and used the same 2 cups chicken broth and tomato sauce and cooked a little longer. Will definitely be making again and trying with orzo pasta!

    1. Natasha says:

      Awesome!! Thanks for letting me know – it’ll help other readers!

    2. Janet says:

      Brianna, May I ask what type of rice you used (brown, white, etc.) and how much longer you cooked it?

      Thanks, Janet

  4. Amelia Cotter says:

    I only have italian pork sausage! In your opinion do you think that’ll work in this? Sounds amazing!!

    1. Natasha says:

      Yes!

  5. Terri says:

    5 stars
    Delicious!! I had regular ground sausage and just put in all of the red bell pepper. We loved it!!

    1. Natasha says:

      Fabulous!! So glad you enjoyed it, Terri! 😀

  6. Lis says:

    This looks delicious! Do you think using frozen broccoli would work as well?

    1. Natasha says:

      Thanks!! I think you could give it a try. I have a feeling it may end up a little more tender-crisp since it’ll take a bit to thaw, but you could always turn the heat down and maybe cook it for a touch longer? Let me know if you try!

  7. Corine says:

    5 stars
    I’ve tried many of your recipes and I am a fan of almost all of them! This one was another one that did not disappoint. I will be adding this to my rotation! Thank you

    1. Natasha says:

      That makes me so happy, Corine!! Thank you for letting me know. 🙂 Appreciate you following along and trying new recipes out.

  8. AngelaML says:

    5 stars
    Hi Natasha,

    I made this for dinner last night and it was very yummy! I used sweet Italian chicken sausage with kale. I omitted the red peppers (I don’t like them) and just added a little more of the spices. I always go heavy on the garlic. It was very tasty and so easy to make.

    It was very liquidy at the end and you were right, just wait a few minutes and it soaked it right up.

    Another to add to the rotation. I’m trying 2 more of your recipes this week. They never disappoint me! I always share with my mom and sister too.

    1. Natasha says:

      Fantastic!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 I really appreciate your reviews and sharing the recipes.

  9. Olga says:

    5 stars
    Hi Natasha! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe! I used hot italian sausage and it turned out great! It came together quickly and was quite delicious! Definitely will make again! Thank you again!
    Olga

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful!! So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Olga!

  10. Chris De Santis says:

    5 stars
    Hi Natasha have been receiving your weekly newsletter for quite some time. Love your recipes. Sometimes I alter them a tad. The last two weeks have been wonderful.
    I love the Tomato Orzo dish this week. I might however substitute hot Italian sausage.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Ciao
    Chris
    alla-tavola.blogspot.com

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome! So glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes, Chris. 🙂