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One-Pot Orzo Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale

One-Pot Orzo Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale

This recipe is a keeper!

A wonderful mid-week (or any lazy day) meal that is super easy to put together, but is so flavourful and filling. It’s full of delicious orzo pasta, spicy Italian sausage, healthy green kale, and rich, melty cheese!

The Italian sausage (we used hot sausages… cause some like it hot, hot, hot) adds amazing savoury flavours and texture to the dish. Of course, you can replace hot sausages with sweet or mild flavours according to your preferences.

Leafy kale is super nutritious; it’s high in vitamin K and A, high in iron, and a good source of fibre. I love the texture of kale too; it gives this meal more body and a nice dark green colour; otherwise, the dish would be shades of brown, which looks a little boring.

Close-up side angled view of orzo pasta with Italian sausage and kale in a large pasta bowl.

This recipe uses one of my most favourite cheeses (and I love cheese!): cheddar. It has a great tangy, rich flavour. So good. I wish I had a wheel of cheddar cheese to snack on right now… It’s found in most supermarkets too and usually less pricey than other cheeses, which is great for the food budget.

In this recipe, the cheese melts beautifully, combining and marrying all the other ingredients together.

Another cheese that works well in this dish if cheddar is not available is Gruyère, which has a slightly salty, creamy, and nutty taste, but as it ages, it becomes more tangy and earthy.

Alternatively,Emmental (sometimes called Emmenthaler) melts great and tastes similar to Gruyère. Any melty cheese will do, so pick the one that has the flavour profile you prefer.

Orzo, onions, kale, cheese, sausage, chicken broth in different glass bowls with salt and pepper grinders.

Gather and prepare the ingredients.

Cooked sausage, sautéed onion, garlic, and kale, broth, and uncooked orzo in a pot.
Orzo pasta with Italian sausage and kale with shredded cheese on top in a metal pot.

In a large pot, cook sausages first, then add onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the kale and cook until wilted and then add the chicken broth and orzo.

Bring the broth to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Let the orzo absorb the chicken broth until tender. Add the cheeses and mix ingredients together. Enjoy!

Orzo pasta with Italian sausage and kale in a large pasta bowl and in a small bowl.

Bowl it up and enjoy this hearty meal!

Orzo pasta with Italian sausage and kale with shredded cheese on top in a large pasta bowl.
One-Pot Orzo Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale

One-Pot Orzo Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Creamy and Cheesy Orzo Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. A delicious, easy, and filling meal that's made in one pot and ready in 30 minutes or less!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 hot Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch (5-6 leaves) of kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 3 cups chicken broth (no salt added preferred)
  • 1½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a large saucepan, on medium-high heat, add the olive oil and sausages. Crumble the sausages using a wooden spoon, letting the meat brown slightly. Then add in the onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir occasionally until the onions begin to soften, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the kale and sauté until it begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and add the orzo; mix the ingredients together*. Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce the heat down to a simmer. Cook with a lid on for 12-15 minutes until the broth is absorbed into the orzo and the orzo is tender.
  3. Add the cheese and stir to coat the orzo and vegetables. Taste for additional salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


  • *You may need to add more chicken broth so that it just covers the top of the ingredients in the pot.
  • We used hot Italian sausages, which had red pepper flakes and other seasonings in it. If you use mild Italian sausages, add red pepper flakes if you like a little more heat!
  • Substitute any melty cheese that you have on hand. We love substituting with Gruyère or Emmental.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 509Total Fat: 21.7gCarbohydrates: 49.6gProtein: 25.7g

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Sunday 4th of December 2022

I’ve made quite a few different recipes involving kale and sausage, and your dish is by far the best! I follow your instructions to the letter and it turns out beautifully every time. The simplicity of ingredients allows each one to really shine. This meal is a fan favourite in our household- so easy to prepare and unbelievably yummy! Huge thanks to you for sharing your creation.

Marie | Yay! for Food

Tuesday 6th of December 2022

Patti, thank you so much for the review! This comment made my day!

Michelle Hadland

Monday 31st of October 2022

Tried this recipe today. It was nice, but wouldn't add it to my go-to recipes. Quite underwhelming.

katia mitchell

Monday 29th of March 2021

I love this recipe because it is so good and a one pan dish so it is so easy to clean up after!

Marie | Yay! for Food

Monday 5th of April 2021

Thanks Katia!

Tiffany S

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

This recipe turned out great! I added red pepper flakes and garlic lover's seasoning. And instead of cheddar i used mozzarella

Marie | Yay! for Food

Friday 23rd of October 2020

So glad you liked this recipe!


Tuesday 30th of July 2019

Absolutely delicious without any modifications. Will definitely work into my rotation of recipes!

Marie | Yay! For Food

Tuesday 30th of July 2019

So happy you like this recipe Justine! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

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