This quick-prep No-Boil Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Baked Orzo is loaded with gluten-free orzo, sweet and nutty butternut squash, and vegan cream mixed in for a dinner that's filling, flavorful, and has everyone asking for seconds. The best part? The oven does all the work.
Weeknight dinners. Can I get a collective UGH!? It's one of my most-requested recipe categories! Everyone is burnt out by the end of a busy day, the whole family is hungry, and you want dinner on the table with minimal effort. As a total pasta lover, I always reach for veggie-filled dishes with a comforting pasta base! I created this dinner recipe with some of my favorite in-season veggies and flavors. No-Boil Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Baked Orzo has the just-right blend of perfectly cooked and gluten-free pasta and fresh veggies for a balanced meal that my whole family gave two thumbs up!
Ingredients in Butternut Squash Baked Orzo
Let's talk ingredients! I used a bunch of fresh favorites in this recipe, and they all come together in the most delicious combination.
- Butternut squash - Once your squash is peeled, cut, and seeded, you should have around two cups of butternut squash. This ended up being around ⅓ a medium butternut squash for me, and I saved the rest for other recipes!
- Red onion - Dice half of a red onion. I love how the red onion looks next to butternut squash!
- Orzo - Use 8 ounces of dry, uncooked orzo pasta for this recipe. I love Andean quinoa orzo for a gluten-free option.
- Garlic - Peel and mince, or use roasted garlic if you are a garlic lover like me!
- Salt & pepper - Adjust these to taste! I always start with a little, then gradually increase.
- Vegan Cashew Cream - This is a homemade recipe that I rely on all the time for delicious, dairy-free creaminess in my favorite recipes! You can make a nut-free substitute with Sunflower Seed Cream Sauce.
- Fresh greens - Use arugula or fresh baby spinach to add some color and health benefits to your dinner!
- Caramelized onion - A game changer in savory recipes! Caramelized onions will absolutely change your dinner. They do take a while to make, but they store really well, so I recommend doing this beforehand if you want to save stovetop time before dinner.
- Aromatics - Use diced chives, fresh parsley and/or fresh sage for delicious, herbed flavor.
- Pomegranate seeds - These add an optional festive splash of color to your dish! You could also use dried cranberries.
- Homemade Vegan Mozzarella Cheese - This is optional, but everyone loves cheese! You can also use a store-bought vegan shredded mozzarella.
No-Boil Pasta Dinner
No boiling time?! It's true! I swear by this method for busy weeknights. All you have to do is measure ingredients into a baking dish, give it a stir, cover it with foil, and let the oven do the rest. Then you can kick up your feet while your dinner bakes! Whatever your weeknight looks like, a No-Boil Butternut Squash Baked Orzo makes a stressful day a little easier and tastier. Once the pasta is done in the oven, stir in your cashew cream and greens and it's ready to be enjoyed.
All About Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is an absolute favorite in my house! It's also loaded with nutritional benefits, such as being a good source of fiber, potassium and magnesium and an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Butternut squash contains phytochemicals (natural plant chemicals) that support vision, heart and gastrointestinal health. It boosts your immune system and lowers your risk of some cancers!
My Favorite Gluten-Free Pasta
I love the brand Jovial for gluten-free pasta, but when it comes to orzo, I always grab Andean Dream's quinoa pasta. It cooks, tastes, stores, and reheats just like traditional pasta! Any of your favorite gluten-free pastas will work here, or even try Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash for a totally veggie-based dish. Check out my post below for all of my favorite gluten-free products and resources!
This easy, delicious dinner is vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free! Make it nut-free by swapping cashew cream for Easy Sunflower Seed Cream Sauce. Dinners can be stressful, but this plant-based, allergen-friendly recipe isn't! I hope you make it, love it, drop a review below, and tag me on Instagram so I can see your cooking successes. If you like this recipe, sign up for my newsletter to receive a free download with more easy, vegan, and gluten-free dinners!
More Gluten-Free Pasta Dinners
- Baked Feta Pasta
- Vegan No-Boil Pasta Bake
- Easy Creamy Vegan Pasta Sauce
- Pasta Fresca
- Roasted Veggie Tomato Sauce
- Creamy Butternut Squash "Risotto"
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
- Caramelized Onion & Apple Pasta with Sage
- Vegan Chickpea Bolognese
My friend, Laney from Life is But a Dish inspired me to make this recipe when I saw her Butternut Squash Skillet Pasta. Her recipe is a hearty and delicious one pan skillet pasta made with fresh butternut squash, kale and cheese. You can substitute vegan cheese if desired. Her recipe is delicious!
This No-Boil Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Baked Orzo is loaded with gluten-free orzo, sweet and nutty butternut squash, and vegan cream mixed in for a dinner that's filling, flavorful, and has everyone asking for seconds. It is a quick prep recipe with very little hands on time.
- 2 cups diced butternut squash (about ⅓ a medium butternut squash)*
- ½ red onion, diced
- 8 ounces dry, uncooked orzo, gluten-free if desired (I love Andean quinoa orzo)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- ½ teaspoon fine salt (or more to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (or more to taste)
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 batch homemade Vegan Cashew Cream (or for nut-free substitute 1 cup Sunflower Seed Cream Sauce)
- 1-2 handfuls arugula or fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 caramelized onion, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup diced chives and/or fresh sage
- optional: pomegranate seeds for a festive garnish (or unsweetened dried cranberries)
- optional: 1 batch Homemade Vegan Mozzarella Cheese (or sub store-bought vegan shredded mozzarella cheese)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 12-inch oven-safe skillet with olive oil.
- Add diced butternut squash, dry orzo, diced red onion, minced garlic, salt and pepper to the skillet. Pour the water overtop and stir well to combine. Cover tightly in both directions with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and remove the foil. Add the cashew cream (or sunflower seed cream if nut-free) and stir well to combine.
- Stir in the chopped baby arugula or baby spinach if using. The greens will wilt from the heat of the dish.
- Top with chopped caramelized onions and chives and/or sage. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve immediately while hot. Garnish with pomegranate seeds if desired.
- Alternatively, cover the dish with vegan mozzarella cheese and bake/broil for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat in the oven for best results. Cover and add ¼ cup water while reheating to help soften the orzo.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 40
- Category: Entree
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: one-pot no-boil creamy vegan butternut squash orzo