Seasonal vegetables and healthy orzo take center stage in this family-friendly casserole dish.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

Serves 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  • In a medium bowl, mix together panko, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  • Divide butternut squash between two baking sheets, spreading in an even layer. Drizzle each baking sheet with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and roast until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 5 minutes; drain and transfer to bowl with squash.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer fennel to bowl with squash and orzo.

  • Return skillet to medium heat and add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, and 1 cup water; let simmer until tomatoes begin to soften, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to bowl with orzo, squash, and fennel. Fold in sage and season with salt and pepper.

  • Transfer orzo mixture to a 3-quart baking dish; cover with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil. Transfer to oven and bake for 15 minutes; uncover and sprinkle top with panko mixture. Return baking dish to oven and bake, uncovered, until panko is toasted, about 10 minutes more. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and serve.

Reviews (4)

73 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 14
  • 3 star values: 25
  • 2 star values: 20
  • 1 star values: 8
Rating: 5 stars
I loved this recipe. But, I did some things differently. I was making pans for my family and my neighbor who is vegetarian for a cancer diagnosis. I made the whole shebang for both pans to begin with, but for each cooked layer I salted and peppered well: squash, pasta (no pepper but lots of salt), fennel, onions, garlic and tomato and water. I also took advice below and added extra sage. Then I added even more salt and pepper once combined. The pan for my neighbors I left as is, because he is fighting cancer and is vegetarian. For our pan I opened sausages from their casing, sauteed, and then added to the remainder of the mixture. They were BOTH great.
Rating: Unrated
This dish looks beautiful but it is a little too bland. I would double the sage and maybe add some ginger, which helps the squash a little.
Rating: Unrated
I just made this and it is very tasty but somehow lacking a little something. I think next time I will add a little grated mozzarella in with the vegetables and pasta.
Rating: Unrated
Thanks for all the delish vegetarian recipes, Martha!