Orzo and Wild Rice with Acorn Squash, Arugula, and Tahini Dressing

Earthy wild rice and fluffy orzo, sweet roasted squash and peppery arugula, briny olives and nutty tahini… the flavors here come together in just the right way. This dish is plant based, filling, and vegetarian. And the dressing! This dressing has been drizzled over practically everything lately. And I mean everything. I’ve put it on salads, roasted veggies, chicken, pasta, tacos, you name it – it’s been on it.

I chose to add a handful of arugula and some olives, but feel free to experiment here with toppings! Feta, cilantro, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, baby kale leaves, pomegranate seeds, sliced blood oranges or roasted corn would all be delicious options. Experiment with what’s in your fridge, and you just may find your own favorite version!




Serves 6

(You can cut the amounts listed in half if you don’t have multiple mouths to feed, although I like to make a big batch as the leftovers make for a no-fuss dinner or even lunch the next day. It tastes equally good cold!)

  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 acorn squash, seeded and cut into 8 slices
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Flakey sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Chopped olives, to garnish if desired

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the wild rice and orzo according to the package instructions, strain, and set aside.

Place the squash and shallots on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat with the oil, then place in the oven. Roast for about 40 minutes or until the squash is cooked through and slightly browned.

Toss the wild rice and orzo together, adding olive oil if sticking together. Spoon the wild rice and orzo onto the plates, top with a few pieces of roasted squash and shallots, add a handful of arugula, a few chopped olives if you like, and drizzle with a little olive oil and tahini dressing (below).


  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk the tahini, orange juice, red wine vinegar, and honey together until completely combined (depending on the sweetness of your orange juice, you may want to omit the honey or adjust the amount, so taste before adding the honey and add a bit at a time to adjust the sweetness to your liking). Whisk in the olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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