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Healthy Turkey Sausage Orzo Skillet Dinner

This easy skillet dinner can be made in less than 30 minutes! Delicious lean turkey sausage pairs well with orzo to make it a filling and satisfying dinner.

The turkey sausage orzo skillet dinner is a delicious blend of smoked turkey sausage in a creamy orzo sauce. This dinner has spinach and sun-dried tomatoes that add extra flavor into the dish. This is a simple dinner to make and only requires one pan.

My family loves this dinner! It makes a fantastic and filling meal, and great leftovers!

Sausage Orzo Skillet Dinner

What is Orzo?

Orzo is a type of pasta that is shaped like a large grain of rice, making it a versatile ingredient in a variety of dishes. The name “orzo” means “barley” in Italian, reflecting its resemblance to the grain. Despite its rice-like appearance, orzo is made from durum wheat semolina, similar to other types of pasta. This pasta is commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines, where it can be found in soups, salads, and pilafs.

Orzo’s origins trace back to Italy and Greece, where it has been a staple in traditional cooking for centuries. Its ability to absorb flavors and its quick cooking time make it a popular choice for home cooks and chefs alike, especially in dishes that require a small, tender pasta.

Can this dinner be a vegetarian or vegan dinner?

Yes! This is an easy dinner to transform into a vegetarian dish. You can swap out the turkey sausage for a vegetarian sausage option. The chicken broth can also be swapped out for vegetable broth. For a vegan option you can swap the heavy cream out for canned coconut milk. Use a vegan parmesan cheese to top the dish for a delicious vegan skillet dinner.

Ingredients For Sausage Orzo Skillet Dinner

Tips for cooking Orzo in turkey sausage orzo skillet dinner:

  1. Use Sufficient Liquid: Orzo absorbs a lot of liquid while cooking. Make sure to use enough broth, water, or a combination of both to allow the orzo to cook properly and become tender.
  2. Heat the Skillet: Preheat your skillet over medium heat before adding any ingredients. This ensures even cooking and helps to prevent sticking.
  3. Toast the Orzo: Before adding liquid, toast the orzo in a small amount of oil or butter for a few minutes. This adds a nutty flavor and helps to prevent it from becoming mushy.
  4. Stir Frequently: Orzo tends to stick to the bottom of the skillet, so stir frequently while it’s cooking to keep it from sticking and to ensure even cooking.
  5. Simmer, Don’t Boil: Once you add the liquid, bring it to a simmer rather than a full boil. Simmering ensures that the orzo cooks evenly without becoming too soft.
  6. Cover the Skillet: After bringing the liquid to a simmer, cover the skillet with a lid. This helps to trap steam and cook the orzo more efficiently.
  7. Check for Doneness: Start checking the orzo for doneness a few minutes before the suggested cooking time. It should be al dente – tender but with a slight bite. Cooking times can vary depending on the brand and the exact size of the orzo.
  8. Adjust Liquid as Needed: If the orzo absorbs all the liquid before it’s fully cooked, add a bit more broth or water as needed. Conversely, if there is too much liquid remaining, cook uncovered for the last few minutes to allow some of it to evaporate.
  9. Add Vegetables Later: If your recipe includes vegetables, add them at different stages based on their cooking times. For example, bell peppers and onions can be added earlier, while spinach or peas should be added toward the end.
  10. Season to Taste: Orzo can absorb a lot of flavor, so taste and adjust seasoning towards the end of cooking. You may need to add more salt, pepper, or other herbs and spices.
  11. Finish with Fresh Ingredients: For a burst of freshness, add fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon juice, or grated cheese just before serving.

The orzo in this turkey sausage orzo skillet dinner cooks down in the dish with the turkey sausage and all of the liquids.

Turkey Sausage Orzo Skillet Dinner In Our Place Skillet

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Turkey Sausage Orzo Skillet Dinner
Yield: 5

Turkey Sausage Orzo Skillet Dinner

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This easy skillet dinner can be made in less than 30 minutes! Delicious lean turkey sausage pairs well with orzo to make it a filling and satisfying dinner.


  • 12 oz smoked turkey sausage (sliced into 1/2 inch rounds)
  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (Julienne cut)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (I used lemon thyme)
  • 1 tsp onions powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded Romano or parmesan cheese


  1. Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add olive oil
  2. Add in the sliced turkey sausage and cook until lightly browned on both sides
  3. Once turkey sausage is browned, add the minced garlic and cook 30 seconds to a minute until fragrant.
  4. Push the sausage to one side of the pan and add in the dry orzo. Toast the orzo in the skillet for an additional minute.
  5. Next, add in the chicken broth, seasonings, sun dried tomatoes, soy sauce, heavy cream, and fresh thyme. Stir to combine
  6. Bring to a low boil then reduce to a simmer.
  7. Cover and cook 12-15 minutes until orzo is tender stirring occasionally.
  8. Once orzo is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, add in the fresh spinach leaves.
  9. Cook the spinach leaves in the skillet until wilted and cooked down.
  10. Top with fresh grated romano cheese
  11. Enjoy!

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Turkey Sausage Orzo Dinner

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