Savory Orzo Stuffing

A fabulous holiday stuffing recipe made with orzo pasta instead of day old bread. Just the thing to give your stuffing recipe a little dose of intrigue this year.

Orzo Stuffing Recipe - Just the thing to add a little oomph to #Thanksgiving! #stuffing #pasta #recipe

It pains me to say this, but it has come to my immediate attention (after a very official survey on my Facebook page late one night) that approximately 20% of you don’t like Thanksgiving stuffing because of the texture.

As stuffing is my absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner, my head is hanging in sadness.

In fact, to further explain my attachment to stuffing, let me just say my older sister tells stories about how I use to talk about stuffing in my sleep when I was a little girl. It is very special to me.

So today I’d like to reach out to those of you who don’t have the same appreciation for stuffing that I do, and offer a compromise…

Our Orzo Stuffing Recipe!

Orzo Stuffing Recipe - Just the thing to add a little oomph to #Thanksgiving! #stuffing #pasta #recipe

If wet-bread texture is troubling to you, this stuffing recipe is the solution.

Using DeLallo Pasta in the orzo stuffing recipe creates a lovely firm yet fluffy texture, instead of the moist dense stuffing that the other 80% of us love.

After experimenting with this, I have to tell you, this might be my new favorite stuffing recipe. The piece-y texture and light pasta flavor means the other ingredients really shine through. You get the savory-sweet pop from sautéed apples, celery, carrots and onions, along with rich salty bits of crisp bacon.

Easy Orzo Stuffing Recipe - Just the thing to add a little oomph to #Thanksgiving! #stuffing #pasta #recipe

Plus the shape and size of my favorite orzo, DeLallo Orzo Number 65, is not only visually appealing, it makes it easy to scoop, serve, and stuff.

If you like to fill your bird with stuffing on Thanksgiving, you could most definitely use this orzo stuffing recipe in it! Wouldn’t your turkey look beautiful with this colorful orzo cascading out?

I think so.


Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Orzo Stuffing Recipe


  • 1 lb. DeLallo Orzo Pasta
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups diced apple
  • 12 oz. chopped bacon
  • 1 Tb. chopped fresh sage


  1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook the orzo according to the DeLallo package instructions and drain, saving 1 cup of the pasta water for later use. (If you plan to use this stuffing in a bird, undercook the pasta a little bit.)
  2. Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon to the skillet and brown until just cooked through. Then add the celery, onions and carrots to the skillet and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the apples, stir and saute another 2-3 minutes until soft, but firm.
  3. Now mix in the cooked orzo and sage. Toss well and add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to help the flavors mingle. Toss and cook another 1-2 minutes, using more pasta water if needed. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.

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26 Responses to “Savory Orzo Stuffing”

  1. #
    Tieghan — November 22, 2013 @ 7:39 am

    This looks good good, Sommer! I love the idea of using orzo instead of bread! My family is actually not real big on traditional stuffing so this is perfect!


  2. #
    Shari — November 22, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    This looks delicious, and great presentation dish. The colors are gorgeous.!

    xoxo ~Shari


  3. #
    Maria — November 22, 2013 @ 7:54 am

    Love DeLallo’s orzo! Great way to switch up the traditional stuffing!


  4. #
    Jenny Flake — November 22, 2013 @ 8:03 am

    What a fun way to switch up stuffing! I want some!!


  5. #
    Marian (Sweetopia) — November 22, 2013 @ 8:08 am

    Looks soo good! Wish this was my lunch today!


  6. #
    Stacy — November 22, 2013 @ 8:17 am

    O.M.G. My mouth is watering! You just added a new twist to our Thanksgiving. Wonderful!


  7. #
    Heather Christo — November 22, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    I LOVE this idea in place of bread- beautiful dish sommer!


  8. #
    Jay — November 22, 2013 @ 8:27 am

    Any ideas on a good substitute for the bacon? Other than that may fix it today….


    • Sommer — November 22nd, 2013 @ 8:39 am

      Jay in my mind, nothing compares to bacon. Are you looking for a meatless substitute or a pork-free substitute?

      You could make it with chicken sausage, or even try turkey or soy bacon.


  9. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — November 22, 2013 @ 8:29 am

    I love this version of stuffing!!! I could eat this any day of the year!


  10. #
    Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living — November 22, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    What a beautiful simple stuffing alternative Sommer – love the bright veggies!


  11. #
    DeLallo Foods — November 22, 2013 @ 8:45 am

    This looks delicious, Sommer! Perfect for the holiday season! Thanks for featuring our orzo!


  12. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — November 22, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

    What a fun way to mix it up for Thanksgiving!!


  13. #
    Cassie — November 22, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    What an amazing stuffing recipe!!


  14. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — November 22, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

    I love orzo, wonderful stuffing idea!


  15. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — November 23, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

    This looks amazing. I love the bacon and sage together!


  16. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — November 24, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    Seriously so creative!!! I LOVE that you used orzo for this stuffing!!


  17. #
    Kevin @ Closet Cooking — November 24, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

    Nice orzo stuffing!


  18. #
    marla — November 25, 2013 @ 7:46 am

    Such a great twist on traditional stuffing!


  19. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — November 25, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    I can just eat this with a spoon right ? I don’t want anything else getting in the way of me and that orzo but a fork!!


  20. #
    Russell at — November 25, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

    Yum and yum!


  21. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — November 26, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

    Oh my, I love this stuffing recipe :) perfect twist on a classic


  22. #
    Shaina — November 27, 2013 @ 9:44 pm

    I love the idea of doing all the stuffing flavors but without the soggy bread. I can’t wait to try this!


  23. #
    Dorie — December 14, 2014 @ 1:13 pm

    Hi Sommer I love your site, everything is creative and unique! I stumbled across this recipe awhile ago and want to make it for Christmas. I am making turkey again and wanted to change up all the sides. Question: Can I make it ahead and reheat without it getting sticky or mushy? I have 30 people coming and need to do as much as I can ahead of time. Thanks!



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