Orzo Pasta Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
with balsamic vinaigrette
This is a perfect cool weather pasta salad that's got a lot of textures and varying flavors from sweet butternut squash and craisins to salty feta.
Smarts: Going to a potluck? This dish is sure to be a hit and will hold up well, even pre-dressed. Just sprinkle the feta on right before serving.
- Butternut squash - 1 1/2 lbs, cubed
- Garbanzo beans (14 oz / 397 g can) - 1 can, drained and rinsed
- Brown sugar - 1 Tbsp
- Balsamic vinegar - 1 Tbsp
- Cooking oil - 1 Tbsp
- Orzo, uncooked - 1 cup
- Parsley - 3 Tbsp, chopped
- Craisins - 1/2 cup
- Walnuts - 1/2 cup
- Salt and pepper - to taste
- Feta, crumbled (opt) - 4 oz
- Balsamic vinegar - 2 Tbsp
- Maple syrup - 1 tsp
- Dijon mustard - 1 tsp
- Cooking oil - 3 Tbsp
- Butternut squash - If not purchased prepped, cube. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
- Garbanzo beans - Drain and rinse.
- Roast butternut squash / garbanzo beans - Heat oven to 425F / 218C degrees. Toss butternut squash with brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and cooking oil. Spread butternut squash out onto a sheet pan. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden and caramelized. Add garbanzo beans in the last 10 minutes of roasting. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead and then stored and refrigerated)
- Cook orzo - Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt generously and add orzo. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Drain. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Parsley - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Make vinaigrette - Whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon, and cooking oil.
- If you want this to be a warm pasta salad, warm up any components that you might have made earlier.
- Toss half the vinaigrette with orzo. Mix in roasted butternut squash and beans, craisins, walnuts, parsley, and remainder of vinaigrette. Toss and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with feta (if using) and enjoy!
Doubled the dressing and left out the cheese. Also added a squeeze of lemon juice. I think it would have been good with cotija cheese instead of feta.0 Helpful
Delicious. Would also be good with rosemary.0 Helpful
We really liked the vegetables with this one. Should have used a thicker pork chop than we did, but it was the perfect meal to use up the things we had in the fridge.0 Helpful
Keeper! My husband asked me to be sure to make this again. I sous vided the pork and then seared it. Also added bacon chunks to the veggies for the last 10 minutes.0 Helpful
I made this because I had a TON of butternut squash I needed to use up. It was fine for lunches, perfectly edible... not sure how I felt about it overall. The Butternut Squash Risotto was much tastier.0 Helpful
My family felt it was more of a side dish. Next time will grill some chicken for on top of it.0 Helpful