Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

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How to Cut a Butternut Squash - Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

This pasta has all the goods- veggies, fruits, and nuts!  Oh, and maple syrup and fresh rosemary.  Great for weeknights, hosting, as a main course, or as a side dish.

How to Cut a Butternut Squash - Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

How to Cut a Butternut Squash - Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

How To Chop up a Butternut Squash

How to Cut a Butternut Squash - Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

Use a very sharp peeler to take off the peel. You will have to make several swipes at it to get the full layer. You will see tiny green stripes, once you remove those, you’ve removed the full peel.

How to Cut a Butternut Squash - Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

Cut off the top and bottom, then slice it lengthwise.

How to Cut a Butternut Squash - Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

Scoop out the goopy insides.

How to Cut a Butternut Squash - Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

Cut into 3/4 inch slices.

How to Cut a Butternut Squash - Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

Cut those slices lengthwise.

How to Cut a Butternut Squash - Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

Then cut into cubes. VOILA! If this isn’t your thing- lots of grocery stores now sell pre-chopped squash.

Let’s Cook!!

Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

Roast the squash in a 450 degree oven with 1 Tablespoon olive oil for 25-30 minutes, or until soft. Toss once.

Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

I beg you to try this! Toast up your nuts in a dry, hot pan for about 5 minutes, tossing occassionally. This enhances their nutiness.

Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

While the squash is baking, boil and drain orzo according to package instructions.

Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

Once the orzo and butternut squash are finished, add the remaining ingredients (except the arugula) together in the orzo pot. Don’t forget that second Tablespoon of olive oil.

Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}

Sprinkle arugula on top of the pasta right before serving. And maybe a squish of lemon over the top.

Butternut Orzo with Cherries and Pecans {Vegan}
Serves 4
This dish has all the goods- veggies, pasta, fruits, and nuts! And it's all packed into a very pretty and impressive dish that's great for weeknights or hosting.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium Butternut Squash, cubed
  2. 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
  3. 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  4. 1 teaspoon Salt
  5. 1 teaspoon Fresh Rosemary, minced
  6. 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  7. 1/2 lb Orzo Pasta (1/2 box)
  8. 1/2 cup Dried Cherries*
  9. 3/4 cup Pecans*
  10. 2 handfuls Arugula*
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss squash with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until soft. Turn squash halfway during roasting.
  3. While the squash is baking, boil and drain orzo according to package instructions.
  4. Optional: Toast pecans in a hot, dry pan for about 5 minutes tossing occasionally. This really enhances their flavor.
  5. Once the orzo and butternut squash are finished, add the remaining ingredients, except the arugula, together in the orzo pot. Don't forget that second Tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Sprinkle the arugula on top of the pasta right before serving.
Notes
  1. Substitutions: Dried cherries and pecans can be quite expensive but I scored bulk bags at Costco! You can easily substitute dried cranberries and almonds for a budget friendly option.
  2. Spinach can be substituted for arugula if you already have that on hand, but I'm telling ya' arugula is delish and great in salads and sandwiches.
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