How to introduce Orzo to your daily meals?

daily meals

Orzo is one ingredient that does not have its rightful place in most homes’ pantries. You may buy it once or twice, but most likely it is not a staple in your regular grocery shopping.

Orzo is a type of small pasta created in Italy. People do not use it in daily meals as a staple, but its easy way of cooking and versatility makes it an incredible option for buying it more frequently.

This tiny pasta is made of durum semolina wheat and is cooked in only 10 minutes. It is so versatile that you cannot imagine the endless dishes you can create for your daily meals.

Orzo as a substitute  

If you have tried orzo before, you will know how easy it is to prepare. It has a mild flavor like other types of pasta and goes perfectly with any sauce.

But, the advantage of orzo over other kinds of pasta is the creative way to include it in many recipes. For example, this pasta is a great option for soups and stews. It can also be an excellent substitute for recipes that traditionally call for rice.

Salads, stuffing, casserole dishes, and even risotto are a few dishes where it is used instead of rice. Check for discovering more details about this pasta and how to use it in varied dishes.

You can also get inspiration on how to use it for rice with the below list:

  • Mediterranean orzo salad.
  • Butter and Parmesan orzo.
  • Orzo Primavera pasta.
  • Orzo risotto.
  • Stuffed zucchini with orzo.
  • One-pot cheesy taco orzo.
  • Fried orzo.

Tips for cooking Orzo  

Cooking orzo is very easy and fast. But, it does not mean that preparations with orzo are simple or tasteless. On the contrary, orzo stands on its own as an exquisite side dish or a complete meal.

There are 3 easy methods for cooking orzo: pasta, skillet, and soup method.

  • Pasta method: Boil orzo with salt in enough water. Drain off the water and serve.
  • Skillet method: In a skillet with butter or oil, toast orzo, then add water and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Soup method: Add orzo into a broth soup or casserole dish. Cook until it is soft.

For the best results with any of these methods, do not forget to follow these tips:

  • Cook it in chicken or vegetable broth for a richer taste.
  • Toast with butter when using a skillet.
  • When plain orzo is done, do not rinse it.
  • Add some butter to the water to get more flavor.
  • For salads, drizzle orzo with oil while it is still hot. Then refrigerate it and include the rest of the ingredients.
  • For soups, add pasta near the end of the cooking time.

Orzo recipes  

Making a delightful dish with orzo at home is very easy and fast. Cook it and add a few ingredients, and your next meal will be ready in a short time.

Try the following ideas:

  • Cook orzo like pasta. When it is cooked, drain and add melted butter, lemon juice, black pepper, and Parmesan cheese. A simpler version is with only butter and Parmesan at the top.
  • Add to the cooked orzo your preferred sauce. Try a basil pesto or Bolognese sauce.
  • Make a quick hot salad by boiling orzo, drain, and reserve. In a skillet, sauté minced garlic, sliced tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan cheese. Incorporate orzo and cook for 2 minutes.
  • For a cold orzo salad, only add cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.

If you want to make more elaborate dishes, give this recipe a try:

Stuffed Peppers with orzo and chicken  


  • Cooking spray.
  • 1 halved green bell pepper (without seeds and stem).
  • 1 halved red bell pepper (without seeds and stem).
  • 1 halved yellow bell pepper (without seeds and stem).
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 3 sliced green onions.
  • 4 minced cloves of garlic.
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into small pieces.
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin.
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • 1 cup of orzo.
  • 1 can of chicken broth.
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  • 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Apply the cooking spray inside the green, red, and yellow bell pepper.
  3. Place them in a baking tray.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  5. In a skillet, add butter and 2 tablespoons of oil. Cook at high heat.
  6. Add 3 sliced green onions and minced garlic. Cook for 4 minutes.
  7. Incorporate chicken pieces, cumin, and black pepper.
  8. Cook chicken for 10 minutes.
  9. Incorporate orzo, stir very well and cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Pour chicken broth, salt, and black pepper. Continue cooking.
  11. Add the orzo filling to the baked peppers.
  12. Sprinkle peppers with Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 more minutes.