Orzo with Collard Greens, Sausage Meatballs and Sundried Tomatoes

I swear to you I eat more than just Italian sausage.

Orzo with Collard Greens, Sausage Meatballs and Sundried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

But this time they’re in meatball form (!), so it’s . . . different?

The funny thing is, remember when I was telling you about that meal that totally failed, so we looked at chunks of severed hair instead? Right. Well, I made this dish the next day, not planning to photograph it. When something in the lining of my soul cavity buzzed with a message. A message of hope. A message of reassurance. A message of a new tomorrow. I should get more dental floss.

Wait, no. Hold on. Crap, what was the message.

Oh! I should photograph this recipe.

Orzo with Collard Greens, Sausage Meatballs and Sundried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks  Orzo with Collard Greens, Sausage Meatballs and Sundried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

On paper it’s a very stripped down combination. Deliciously bitter collard greens, spicy sausage meatballs, sundried tomato slivers, and a buttery, lemony orzo with a heavy hand of fresh parmesan to finish it off.

In your mouth? GAH, it’s like, the perfect marriage of comfort, complexity, brightness, heat and health. And cheeseandbutter. It has that in it.

Would you just look at that for a hot second? Girl, please.

Orzo with Collard Greens, Sausage Meatballs and Sundried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

Perrrrrfect for this time of year. Eaaaaasy to pull together any night of the week. Taaaaaasty to the max and beyond.

There’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be all up in this like, yesterday.

Orzo with Collard Greens, Sausage Meatballs and Sundried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

Orzo with Collard Greens, Sausage Meatballs and Sundried Tomatoes:

What it took for 4:

* 3 hot (or mild, sissy) Italian sausage links, casings removed
* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 bunch collard greens, thinly sliced into ribbons
* 6-7 sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
* 1/3 cup chicken stock
* juice from half a lemon
* 2 Tbs. butter
* 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
* 1 cup orzo
* pinch of salt

Pinch little pieces of the sausage and roll them into 1-inch balls. Brown them in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through. Set aside.

Back in the skillet, add the oil, garlic, collard ribbons and sundried tomato slivers. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the stock and let it bubble for just a sec. Add the sausage and lemon juice. Toss toss.

In the meantime, boil the orzo in a pot of salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, and transfer the rest of the pasta into the skillet. Off the heat, add the butter and cheese. Toss it all together until melted and coated and ridiculous. Taste for any adjustments. Salt? Yeah? Do it.

Orzo with Collard Greens, Sausage Meatballs and Sundried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

Yeah I definitely have to make this again today.



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117 Responses to Orzo with Collard Greens, Sausage Meatballs and Sundried Tomatoes

  1. Kiara January 26, 2015 at 9:45 pm #
    I saw a pic without knowing who posted this initially and thought, Classic Bev. You're in your element with italian sausage. You don't want to be out of your element, do you?!
  2. Jess January 26, 2015 at 11:46 pm #
    Keep the Italian sausage recipes coming - I can't get enough of it either - or chorizo. Clearly being a vegetarian is out. Must try this!
  3. Cassie January 27, 2015 at 7:42 am #
    I love the way you made these meatballs. So much love for this one.
  4. Stefanie - sarcastic cooking January 27, 2015 at 7:51 am #
    See everything happens for a reason. I'm sure this recipe is waaaay better than the failed one. And who doesn't love talking about balls right!?!? ;)
  5. Paula - bell'alimento January 27, 2015 at 10:40 am #
    Oh sweet Mamma you had my Southern heart at Collards and then pasta and then sausage. Okay you just had me ; )
  6. Tori@Gringalicious.com January 27, 2015 at 1:22 pm #
    This looks delish! You can't have too much Italian sausage!
  7. JuneMK January 27, 2015 at 4:09 pm #
    Would this work with Kale instead of the collard greens?
    • Bev Weidner January 27, 2015 at 4:31 pm #
      Oh kale would be fantastic! That would be my first choice, but I was wanting to change her up this time with collards. Even spinach or arugula would be great!
    • Anonymous February 3, 2017 at 5:58 pm #
      I was thinking the same thing. Gonna try it.
  8. Sune Moolman January 28, 2015 at 12:30 am #
    Butterandcheese. The end. :)
  9. Simone Sika January 28, 2015 at 9:17 am #
    Made this last night and it was soooo good!
  10. Sarah @ People,Places&Plates January 28, 2015 at 11:28 am #
    Mmm looks like just about my perfect meal! (despite having never had collard greens before..)
  11. Edith Brown February 2, 2015 at 8:37 am #
    Mmm, looks yummy! I will try it this weekend! :) xoxo Edith
  12. LoveCompassionateLee February 4, 2015 at 2:08 pm #
    One should never apologize for the love of italian sausages :) This recipe looks amazing, and I cannot wait to try a bowlful. Happy Wednesday!
  13. Laurie February 21, 2015 at 8:46 pm #
    Bev! I just served this to 70 grown men, and they LOVED it! So tasty and a huge success. Thanks for sharing a great recipe!
  14. Kerri February 28, 2015 at 6:23 pm #
    Made this tonight.... Outstanding! Such a hit. I will be making it again soon. The flavors work perfectly together. Hubby just got up for seconds!! Thank you :)
  15. Kate April 20, 2015 at 8:07 pm #
    Pinned this a while ago, just made it...WHAT EVEN. This is amazing. It is going into my forever list of recipes!
  16. Tisha April 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm #
    This is crazy good...I don't usually post on blogs, but this was so phenomenal I had to give my compliments....YUM!!!
  17. Marissa May 19, 2015 at 9:34 am #
    Do you use the sundried tomatoes jarred in oil?
    • Bev Weidner May 21, 2015 at 4:22 pm #
      I sure did! Sorry I'm just now getting to this. I've been out of town. Hope it turns out well!
  18. CJ June 18, 2015 at 12:11 am #
    Love this dish! I did do a short cut with the meatballs! They were the Chechen owns sold in a back age of eight. They were still great! Hubby loved it to. its going into my two week menu! Thanks
    • CJ June 18, 2015 at 12:13 am #
      Love this dish! I did do a short cut with the meatballs! They were the Chicken Basil ones sold in a package of eight. They were still great! Hubby loved it to. its going into my two week menu! Thanks
  19. Rachel Taylor November 9, 2015 at 9:38 pm #
    Finally made this tonight, and it rocked my freaking world! Love your recipes, Bev!
  20. Anne December 20, 2015 at 9:09 pm #
    Just made this - my first time cooking with collards. Quite tasty. I used a 1 lb bag of chopped greens so I think my ratio of green to everything else was higher than yours (according to the pics.) If I make it again, I will use more sun dried tomatoes and / or a can of diced tomatoes or maybe even some tomato sauce. YUM! This will be followed up by the rustic tomato and Italian sausage soup to use up the sausage. :)
  21. Ronda January 13, 2016 at 2:26 pm #
    Made this last night for dinner, and just had leftovers for lunch - AWESOME!! Thanks! :D
  22. AJ February 17, 2016 at 11:15 pm #
    Does this recipe make for good leftovers? If so what would be the best method for reheating (do you need to add more liquid etc)?
    • Aldina Prefontaine January 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm #
      I always reheat in a fry pan and add either small amount of water or broth so your pasta stays soft and it doesn't burn to the pan.
  23. Lauren April 14, 2016 at 9:36 pm #
    I never comment on blogs, but I have to tell ya-- I love this recipe! I don't know how many times I've made it, and I'm making it again right now! I rarely repeat recipes, but this is in the regular rotation. I use gluten free orzo and turkey sausage sometimes, even, and it still is good! And makes delicious leftovers, too.
  24. Anonymous November 6, 2016 at 10:24 pm #
    Thanks for the recipe. I made this tonight and used spinach instead of collards and added some fresh tomatoes with the sundried tomatoes. Very yummy! I'd consider adding even more veggies next time.
  25. Anonymous November 27, 2016 at 2:13 pm #
    This is an absolute Rockstar recipe!!!!
  26. Lyne November 27, 2016 at 2:38 pm #
    This is an absolute Rockstar recipe and has quickly become one of my favorites! I've also used Kale and spinach in it as well and at times will add a little shredded mozza cheese if I have any around. Thank you for this amazing recipe, you nailed it big time!!
  27. Lisa January 1, 2017 at 6:34 am #
    Tried this recipe last night, was delicious! Will definitely be on my list of repeats! My grocery store was completely out of some ingredients, so I ended up making the meatballs with ground chicken (seasoned with salt, pepper, minced garlic, a little hot sauce, Italian herbs and panko), and substituted turnip greens for the collards. Hubby and I loved it!
  28. Tracy January 8, 2017 at 10:37 am #
    This recipe was awesome! I changed it a little bit and instead of using the pasta water I used more chicken broth. I also used red peppers in place of the tomatoes. Really good!!
  29. Sarah January 8, 2017 at 2:24 pm #
    Could the sun dried tomatoes be omitted or replaced with something? I think chard would be another great replacement.
    • Bev Weidner January 9, 2017 at 11:11 am #
      You could definitely leave them out if you don't care for them!
    • Anonymous March 2, 2019 at 7:08 pm #
      I used Kalamata olives instead and it was delicious!
  30. Khris January 22, 2017 at 2:20 pm #
    I made this for lunch today and it was fantastic! Thank you for such an easy and yummy recipe.
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  32. Monica August 1, 2017 at 1:52 pm #
    Is this easy to make for a group of 30 for a baby shower? Thoughts?
    • Bev Weidner August 1, 2017 at 2:08 pm #
      I wish I could answer this! I've never made it for a group that big, so I'm not sure how it would work out. I'm sorry I'm not more help!
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      I don't know exactly, but I feel like three links of your local would be perfect!
  96. Crissy May 27, 2021 at 10:19 pm #
    This was delicious and very flavorful! I used skinless chicken sausage sliced and kale instead of collard greens. Loved the lemon and parmesan! A definite make again!
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