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Garlic & Parmesan Sausage Orzo

January 5, 2023 (Last Updated: April 17, 2024) by Chris Collins

Creamy orzo loaded with roasted garlic, soft & juicy sausage and plenty of parmesan!

As one of my most loved and most popular recipes, I had to include this in my Debut Cookbook ‘Comfy’!

close up shot of garlic parmesan orzo sausage in small white bowl

Roasted Garlic

One thing that really takes this dish to the next level is roasting the garlic.  When you roast garlic it turns gorgeously sweet and sticky. It completely transforms the flavour of the garlic into a much more subtle, nutty flavour.

The texture of the garlic also transforms too. Roasting the garlic low and slow turns the garlic buttery soft. It can then be squeezed out of the skins and blended into the sauce with ease.

Process shots: slice garlic bulb (photo 1), wrap in foil (photo 2), roast (photo 3), squeeze out garlic and smooth with fork (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to roast garlic

Sausage Orzo

When I first tested this recipe I crumbled the sausage as it browned. However, I found it kind of got lost in the sauce. As such, we’ve ended up with larger chunks of sausage; kind of like mini meatballs.

What kind of sausage should I use?

I typically just use store-bought sausage meat. No fancy flavours added, I don’t think you need them. If you can’t find ground sausage meat you could just squeeze the meat from some pork sausages. If you’re in the US and have access to plain sausage meat use that, if not I imagine mild Italian sausage will work just fine.

Browning the sausage

A key step in frying the sausage is ensuring it gains a nice crust. You want to brown the sausage properly to develop flavour. You might also find that some of the sausage meat sticks to the pan and lightly chars. This is flavour – don’t waste it! This is where I grab some white wine and deglaze the pan to pick up all that bonus flavour.

Uncooked Orzo

Instead of cooking the orzo separately and then combining it with the sauce, we’re actually going to cook it in the sauce. Not only does this mean less washing up, but it also means the excess starch from the orzo will help create a glossy/creamy sauce.

Process shots: add sausage to pan (photo 1), brown (photo 2), deglaze with wine then add orzo (photo 3), stir to combine (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make sausage orzo

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Once the orzo is in the pan, you’ll want to go in with a combination of chicken stock and cream, which will create the base of the sauce for the orzo to cook in. You’ll want to simmer until the orzo is al dente (still a teeny bit hard), then you can go in with the roasted garlic, parmesan and parsley.

It’s important that both the parmesan and parsley are fresh. The dusty packaged parmesan will throw off the flavour and could potentially cause a grainy texture. Dried parsley simply won’t add the fresh burst of flavour or colour you’re looking for.

Process shots: add stock and cream (photo 5), simmer (photo 6), add garlic, parmesan & parsley (photo 7), stir to combine (photo 8).

4 step by step photos showing how to make garlic parmesan orzo

close up shot of parmesan garlic sausage orzo in skillet with wooden spoon digging in

Serving Garlic Parmesan Sausage Orzo

As you stir in the parmesan, the sauce will begin to thicken. You can control the sauce’s consistency by adding a dash of stock or water. If you go a little overboard, or the sauce isn’t quite thick enough, just gently simmer and stir until your preferred texture.

To serve, I usually add any leftover parsley/parmesan I’ve got lurking about, but that’s completely optional. No sides needed – this is a rich and hearty meal!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this sausage garlic parmesan orzo shall we?!

close up shot of garlic parmesan sausage orzo in small white bowl garnished with parsley

How to make Garlic Parmesan Sausage Orzo (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of garlic parmesan sausage orzo in small white bowl garnished with parsley

Garlic & Parmesan Sausage Orzo

Creamy orzo loaded with roasted garlic, soft & juicy sausage and plenty of parmesan!
5 from 7 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories per serving: 1228kcal
Cost per serving: £3 / $3.50

Equipment:

  • Large Deep Cast Iron Skillet or Large Pot
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Aluminium Foil
  • Fine Cheese Grater
  • Jug (for stock)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 2 cups / 400g uncooked Orzo
  • 1.3lb / 600g Ground Sausage Meat (see notes)
  • 3 1/2 cups / 875ml Chicken Stock, plus more if needed (make 5 or so mins ahead of time)
  • 1 cup / 250ml Heavy/Double Cream, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup / 120ml Dry White Wine
  • 3/4 cup / 60g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2-3 tbsp finely diced Fresh Parsley
  • 1 small bulb Garlic
  • Olive Oil, as needed
  • Salt & Pepper, as needed

Instructions:

  • Slice the tip off the garlic bulb to expose the cloves and drizzle with oil. Wrap in foil then place in the oven at 180C/356F for 50-60mins, or until super soft, golden brown and caramelized. Leave to cool for a few mins, then squeeze out as much as you can, making sure the outer peel doesn't mix in. Sprinkle over a pinch of salt then mash with a fork to smooth out any lumpy parts.
  • Meanwhile, add a drizzle of oil to a large deep pan or pot over medium-high heat. Tear small chunks from the sausage meat and add to the pan (size of mini meatballs). Fry until deep golden with a nice crust (important to develop flavour). Pour in the wine and lower heat slightly to medium. Simmer until it mostly evaporates, using your wooden spoon to scrape off any flavour from the base of the pan.
  • Stir in orzo, then pour in stock and cream. Give it a good stir then bring it to a simmer. Turn the heat down slightly and simmer until the orzo is al dente and the sauce has thickened to a risotto-style consistency, stirring occasionally. Stir in parmesan, parsley and roasted garlic, then check for seasoning and adjust if desired. Stir in a splash of stock or water if you over-reduce the sauce.
  • Serve up with more parsley and/or parmesan if desired then tuck in and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Sausage - If you're in the UK I recommend grabbing a pack of plain sausage meat. Failing that, just squeeze the meat from some pork sausages. US - if you can get plain sausage meat use that, if not I imagine mild Italian sausage will work just fine.
b) Parmesan - Make sure it's freshly grated. The powdery stuff doesn't always melt into a silky sauce and can sometimes turn it grainy.
c) Stock/Cream - Important your cream is at room temp and your stock isn't piping hot or it'll curdle the cream. Also just make sure you're definitely using heavy (US) or double (UK) cream. Anything thinner (i.e. half and half or milk) may curdle.
d) Calories - Based on 1.5 tbsp olive oil total and shared between 4.

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Garlic & Parmesan Sausage Orzo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1228 Calories from Fat 726
% Daily Value*
Fat 80.62g124%
Saturated Fat 34.199g171%
Trans Fat 0.167g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8.491g
Monounsaturated Fat 33.089g
Cholesterol 210mg70%
Sodium 1445mg60%
Potassium 797mg23%
Carbohydrates 86.89g29%
Fiber 11.2g45%
Sugar 2.02g2%
Protein 35.39g71%
Vitamin A 1428IU29%
Vitamin C 7.9mg10%
Calcium 243mg24%
Iron 3.11mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

For more garlic parmesan recipes check out my Garlic Parmesan Chicken Skewers and Garlic Parmesan Duchess Potatoes!

Looking for more similar recipes? Check out these beauties:

Delicious Orzo Recipes


 

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Recipe Rating




19 Comments

  • Reply
    Oliver
    February 26, 2024 at 8:35 pm

    5 stars
    Incredibly easy to make and absolutely delicious.

    The £3 per serving calculation seems a bit off – I fed 5 with this and I think the ingredients came to about £5 exc. the block of parmesan.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      February 27, 2024 at 10:22 am

      Thanks for the review, Oliver! I worked it out as £3 per person assuming it serves 4. Potentially a slight overestimation but depends on where you shop I guess. C.

  • Reply
    Tanya
    September 15, 2023 at 9:50 pm

    Can I make this with rice?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 16, 2023 at 4:21 pm

      You could, but you’d have to alter the measurements of the liquids, which unfortunately is something I haven’t tested. C.

  • Reply
    Christian
    July 23, 2023 at 12:21 pm

    5 stars
    This has become a family favourite! Lovely flavours and simple to cook.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      July 24, 2023 at 10:49 am

      Thanks so much for the review, Christian! 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Miska Knezevic
    July 19, 2023 at 8:16 pm

    5 stars
    excellent!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      July 20, 2023 at 11:16 am

      Thanks, Miska! 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    July 19, 2023 at 4:23 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe has been on my ‘to make’ list for some time and I finally got around to making it last night. So glad I did. Wow…..We loved it! It is so quick and easy to make, with minimal washing up and it tastes delicious. The roasted garlic really does elevate it to another level. Thank you Chris for another very tasty recipe. I always look forward to ‘don’t go bacon my heart’ dropping into my inbox.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      July 19, 2023 at 4:49 pm

      Ah Jackie I’m so pleased it lived up! The roasted garlic works wonders doesn’t it. Thanks for popping back for a review 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Hannah
    May 30, 2023 at 11:12 pm

    5 stars
    This was incredible! It was so creamy and filling. I made it without the wine, and it was still amazing. I had never baked garlic like this before: it was messy getting the garlic out (easy, just messy), but the smell and flavor were absolutely worth it. I will make this again.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      May 31, 2023 at 9:45 am

      Thanks so much for the review, Hannah! 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    February 28, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! I used sweet Italian sausage (US) and mixed in some cut parmesan roasted asparagus at the very end. My husband never eats leftovers, but took it for lunch again today!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      March 1, 2023 at 10:37 am

      Ooo love the idea of the asparagus! Thanks so much for the review, Ashley! 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Lexi
    January 21, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    Can you add sage somewhere in this dish? Also is there a lighter option than heavy cream?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      January 22, 2023 at 10:26 am

      Hey Lexi! You could certainly replace some of the parsley with sage if you prefer that flavour. I haven’t tested this recipe with a lighter option so unfortunately can’t offer advice for this. C.

    • Reply
      Christian
      July 23, 2023 at 10:15 pm

      Swap the cream for light soft cheese (Philadelphia Light) no difference in taste (still fantastic!). Big drop in calories though!

  • Reply
    Jane
    January 10, 2023 at 1:09 am

    5 stars
    Found this on TikTok and had to make it. Wow. Honestly one of the best dinners I’ve ever made. Family LOVED it!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      January 10, 2023 at 6:14 am

      Great to hear, Jane! Thanks so much for the review 🙂 C.

    5 KNOCKOUT

    DINNERS

    YOU'LL NEVER STOP MAKING!

    A FREE EMAIL SERIES, FROM ONE FOODIE TO ANOTHER