How To Cook Orzo
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How To Cook Orzo

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Have you ever walked past Orzo at the store and wondered what it was and how to make it? I’m so excited to teach you guys how to make orzo. It’s an inexpensive dish that can be made right at home. It’s very pandemic friendly, which is great. I don’t know about you, but we are all looking for ways to feed our families a little better, and cheaper. Here is an awesome meal that you shouldn’t miss out on making. Let me walk you through how to cook Orzo. In case you missed this post, How To Cook Quinoa and Store It

How To Cook Orzo

Kitchen Items You May Need

How to Cook Orzo

Of course, you know that I enjoy making dishes with very basic ingredients. Whoever makes this meal always enjoys it. Plus, it is budget-friendly, which makes me super happy. I’m going to share the ingredients with you so we can get onto making this fabulous dish. Orzo is actually my go-to pasta dish to make now because it’s that easy.

What is Orzo?

Are you wondering what Orzo is? This special pasta is also known as risoni. This is is a delicious form of short-cut pasta. It is shaped like a large grain of rice, but it tastes way better than rice, if you ask me. Also, Orzo is usually made from white flour, but it can also be made out of whole grain. You should give both versions a try and let me know what you think.

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Ingredients for Cooking Orzo

  • 2 cups dry uncooked Orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups water, chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup grated/shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Grab a large pot and melt the butter on low heat. I like using the big pots because this means you can make more food and feed more people. Plus, who doesn’t LOVE leftovers?!

Saute The Orzo

Add the raw Orzo pasta and saute until slightly browned. I mean, it doesn’t get easier than this, does it? Adding the Orzo to the pan is very satisfying.

Brown the Orzo in Butter

It’s like toasting the pasta in rich melted butter. Cook for about 4-5 minutes. You will love watching this cook and brown up. I promise you, this will be a go to meal for you!

How To Cook Orzo

Add the liquid, simmer covered on low for about 15 minutes.

Cover and Simmer

This is something I used to make for my girls when they were little. It helped to get those veggies in their tummies. Give this a try if you’re having issues getting your kiddos to eat veggies.

Grate The Carrots

Add the grated or shredded carrots with the onions. 

How To Cook Orzo

By adding the carrots and onions, you are also adding some needed nutrition into the bellies of your family. Your family may not even want plain Mac and cheese anymore, they will be asking for Orzo.

How To Cook Orzo

Cover and cook an additional 15 minutes on low until the liquid is absorbed. Add the spinach right before serving. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a side dish or a main dish. Enjoy.

What other food items can I use with Orzo?

  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Green Beans
  • Shredded Chicken
  • Shredded Beef
  • Avocado (right before serving)
  • Kale
  • Black Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Soup (any soup works)
  • Chili (yes, it’s yummy!)
  • Cooked Sausage
  • Shrimp
  • Broccoli
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Salads (serve cold with vegetables)

How To Cook Orzo

5 from 4 votes
How To Cook Orzo
How To Cook Orzo
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
  1. Grab a large pot and melt the butter on low heat. Add the raw Orzo pasta and saute until slightly browned. It's like toasting the pasta in rich melted butter. Cook for about 4-5 minutes. Add the liquid, simmer covered on low for about 15 minutes. Add the grated or shredded carrots with the onions. Cover and cook an additional 15 minutes covered on low until the liquid is absorbed. Add the spinach right before serving. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a side dish or a main dish. Enjoy.

Is Orzo Pasta Healthier Than Rice?

Hey, if you’re hungry, you’re hungry. However, some of you may want to know if Orzo pasta is healthier than rice. Let’s talk about that for a second. Orzo has about the same equivalence in calories and carbs. If you were to get the whole wheat version of Orzo, you would get more nutrition. However, this dish is rich in calories, which can be a blessing, when you need to feed a large crowd and keep them full!

Is Orzo a Pasta or a Rice?

Deep inside, I know you want to know if Orzo is a rice or a pasta. Orzo is actually Italian for “barley.” However, it is a rice-shaped pasta and it is so good! You will enjoy trying it out and seeing if you like it or not.

Can I Freeze this Recipe?

I freeze it in serving size portions every time I make it. It’s best if used within one month of freezing.

Final Word

There you have it, one of the most delicious pasta meals you will ever come across. Many people enjoy learning how to cook Orzo because it’s so easy and it’s something different. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of eating the same old pasta and rice all the time. Orzo is just something different to eat and it’s so tasty. I hope you’re able to enjoy it with your friends and family. May God Bless this world, Linda.

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  1. What other vegetables can be used in this recipe. My husband does not eat carrots or onions. The spinach he would eat he loves it. It is not a picky thing with him. Carrots send his blood sugar sky high and onions tear his stomach up. So all I would be left with is the spinach. Could I use granulated garlic and granulated onion both have the liquid which has the irritants in them so that people who can’t use regular onion and garlic can eat those.

    Thanks for the recipe

    1. Hi Jackie, oh my gosh, I did not know that about blood sugar. I grew up eating “Rice a Roni”. I loved it but I wanted to figure out how to make it from scratch. This is as close to and it’s inexpensive to make. Here’s the deal, you can add celery, leftover scrambled eggs, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, shredded chicken, and so much more. I will add these to the post. I’m heading to the dentist. I’m so glad you asked, I LOVE Orzo! Stay tuned, Linda

  2. Linda, Can the cooked Orzo be pressure canned like soup? Also I have a small pasta called tubetinni I do something similar with it and add cooked shredded chicken to it. Tubetinni is a very small spaghetti type noodle with a hole in it, kind of like those old glass beads we used to string up and make jewelry with

    1. Hi Kathy, I took classes to get my Master Canning and Preserving Certificate. My thoughts were no because of the flour in the pasta. So, I looked in my book. I quote from the USDA Canning Guide: “Caution: Do not add noodle, or other pasta, rice, flour, cream, milk or other thickening agents to home-canned soups.” So, the answer is no. I will have to look for that Tubetinni pasta. Yes, I remember those beads to make jewelry. So fun, Linda

  3. Thanks Linda, I wasn’t real sure about it being canned with the Orzo. Will store it separately and add when I heat the broth up. That is presupposing I can pressure can the rest of it together. I’m just (now) learning how to pressure can. I do a real good job with water bath canning but have been (and still am) leery about pressure canning. But I shall forge (or is it pressure) on . Hope you’re staying safe.

    1. Hi Kathy, pressure canning is easier than you may think. You still have to prepare the jars the same, remove the air from the jars, wipe the tops of the jars before placing the lids, and then putting the rings on. Once you pressure can a few times, it’s really easy. Do you have the USDA Canning Guide? That’s the book I received when I took the Master Canning Preserving class. There’s a free download but, I would rather have the $8.95 book. Let me grab the link. Or the download:
      Have fun, Linda

  4. Thanks again, Linda for the link. Will check it out. So far our garden is NOT producing a lot. SO I will be heading to the farmer’s market to see what they have available. Just have to get off the hinney and do it.

  5. I think if I added some canned chicken I could make this as a main dish. Thanks for the information. I have been given some Orzo and didn’t know what to do with it . 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I have been sooo curious what orzo was and how to cook it! Thank you sooo much for sharing! I can’t wait to make this recipe for my family!❤️

  7. 5 stars
    I have actually went to make this recipe more than once! I truly love that you have recipes like this on your website.

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