Spicy "Cheddar" Pumpkin Orzo (vegan) - Sophie Uliano

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Sophie's Recipes

Creamy Pumpkin Vegan Orzo

Spicy “Cheddar” Pumpkin Orzo (vegan)

This wonderful SPICY “CHEDDAR” PUMPKIN ORZO was adapted by Dr. JJ Levenstein from Sarah BollaThis luscious pasta dish is perfect for fall. Loaded with flavor, color, crunch and a hit of heat with chipotle, this is sure to be a winner this fall and winter.

I made my version without the pumpkin seeds and arugula because I wanted my daughter to love it and she dislikes these two ingredients. But when I make it again for me, I’ll load with toasted pumpkin seeds (full of immune-boosting zinc) and peppery arugula:)

Serves 4


  • 1 ½ cup raw orzo
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • ¾ cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 3 large garlic cloves – finely minced
  • 1 TB chili garlic sauce
  • 1 TB liquid from Chipotles in Adobo
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 ounces (about 1 cup) nut-based cheddar shreds
  • 4 cups arugula, spinach, or both
  • 4 TB roasted pepitas


Into a large pot of boiling salted water, cook your orzo until al dente. Strain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Put orzo in a bowl with a TB of olive oil, and stir. Set aside.

Heat another TB of olive oil in a large skillet – saute the garlic until light brown, then add the pumpkin puree, chili garlic sauce, chipotle, mustard, nutmeg, salt – stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cheddar shreds, and whisk until incorporated. Add in the pasta and fold gently to combine. Add in the greens and let sit until slightly wilted.

To serve: ladle pasta into bowls and top with vegan cheddar shreds and toasted pepitas. Yum!




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