Orzo Recipes

Looking for orzo recipes? Orzo is the Italian word for barley; orzo pasta is a tiny, flat pasta in the shape of barley grains. Orzo cooks quickly, so it makes a great addition to soups or substitute for slow-cooking rice.

1. Greek Orzo

To make Greek orzo, you will need:

  • one pound dry orzo pasta
  • water
  • salt
  • two cups tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups feta cheese, cubed
  • one cup chopped fresh basil
  • one cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • two tablespoons lemon juice
  • one teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Cook the orzo in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain and let cool to room temperature, tossing so they don't stick together.
  2. Toss the orzo with the feta cheese, basil and green onion. (For a heartier meal, add bite-sized pieces of Greek spiced lamb.)
  3. Combine red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey and olive oil into a dressing; add to orzo.
  4. Serve at room temperature. Toss in pine nuts just before serving, so they don't lose their texture.

2. Red Beans and Orzo

To make red beans and orzo, you will need:

  • two cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cups dried orzo pasta
  • 1/4  cup  finely chopped onion
  • one teaspoon Italian seasoning, or a combination of dried basil and oregano
  • one 15-ounce can red beans, drained and rinsed
  • one ounce prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • parsley and Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  1. Bring the water and chicken broth to a boil. Add the orzo, onion and Italian seasoning.
  2. Lower the heat and simmer the orzo until tender, uncovered (about fifteen minutes).
  3. Stir in the beans and prosciutto and heat through. Serve sprinkled with parsley and Parmesan cheese.

3. Vegetarian Orzo "Risotto"

To make vegetarian orzo "risotto," you will need:

  • two tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • two minced garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups diced zucchini
  • one cup dry orzo pasta
  • three cups vegetable broth
  • one cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
  • one cup tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and zucchini and sautee until soft.
  2. Add the orzo and broth. Simmer about ten minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the spinach, tomato and basil. Continue cooking until the orzo is tender, then stir in Parmesan cheese.
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