Vegan Lemony Sausage and Kale Orzo

 Tempeh sausage, kale and orzo have made this gal very happy!

For me January is still all about comfort food(as all year is really), but I try to make an effort to go a bit healthier. This vegan lemony sausage and kale orzo is perfect for such an occasion. It is really cold outside today, making me crave all those holiday comfort foods. This satisfies all those cravings but lets me get some great veggies and protein in! This orzo also takes like 20 minutes, which is exactly the kind of meal I always want!

The “sausage” in this dish is incredibly easy, it is just crumbled tempeh seasoned like Italian sausage and browned in a cast iron skillet(that is what I like to use anyways). It tastes so darn good. Then you just add some fresh kale to the skillet and saute that as well with just a bit more salt and pepper. It pairs so incredibly well with a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice and tossed with orzo.

This is one of my new go to quick and healthy meals. You can also substitute gluten free pasta or rice if gluten isn’t your thing! This combination of tempeh sausage and kale goes great with a bunch of different starches! Or honestly is delicious all on it’s own!

 Are you trying to eat a little healthier in the new year? Or trying to add more vegan meals to what you already eat? Or are you already an eating badass? I myself indulged a teensy bit too much this holiday season and I am going to make a solid effort to make my pants a little looser again! 

This orzo dish is something I feel really great about eating. This is a perfect meal prep dish too. It makes a lot and you can have it for lunch all week. It even tastes great cold, if you aren’t in a place to warm it up! 

Vegan Lemony Sausage and Kale Orzo
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Tempeh seasoned like Italian sausage, sauteed with kale, tossed with lemon dressed orzo. This dish takes 20 minutes tops and is to die for!

Course: Main Course
Author: Lauren Hartmann
  • 8 oz. Tempeh
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. Fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Onion powder
  • pinch of Black pepper
  • pinch of Red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 2-3 Lemons, I used meyer, but use whatever kind you want
  • 5-6 oz. Kale, chopped. I used half of a 10 oz. bag
  • 16 oz. Orzo pasta, vegan
  1. Start boiling the water for the orzo. Once the water is boiling, cook according to package instructions. 

  2. While the orzo is cooking, heat the olive oil on medium high in a large cast iron skillet or non stick pan. 

  3. Now add the garlic. Then crumble the tempeh into the pan so it is in small clusters and looks sausage like. Now add all the seasoning to the tempeh, stir to coat. Brown the tempeh, reducing heat as needed. May take about 5-6 minutes. 

  4. Once the tempeh is nice and brown, add in the chopped kale. Stir in and add a little more olive oil if you like, and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. 

  5. Saute the kale until wilted, about 2 minutes or so. Now squeeze the juice of one lemon over the sausage and kale. Remove from heat. 

  6. Once the orzo is done, drain and return to pot. Squeeze the juice of 1-2 more lemons over the orzo, depending on how much lemon flavor you want. Add a bit more olive oil if you want and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

  7. Now scoop the tempeh sausage and kale into the pot with the orzo. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately. It tastes amazing with some vegan Parmesan on top! 

Recipe Notes

I like to either toast my fennel seeds, or crush them before adding to the tempeh. This is optional though. 

You can use as much kale as you want. This was a good amount for me, but if you are a huge kale fan, add more. 



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