Best Substitute for Orzo | 18 Healthy Gluten-free Alternates

Orzo is a type of pasta also known as Risoni. It is mainly used in soup, salad, etc.

However, if you want to try something unique that is similar to orzo, there are multiple options. Simply substitute it with orzo according to your taste preferences.

So, how excited are you about the orzo substitute? Then go for it, but there are a few things you should keep in mind first, as it may alter the taste.

What is Orzo? 

Orzo is a type of pasta that is shaped like a grain of rice. It is popular in Italian and Greek cuisine and can be served as a side dish or main course.

Orzo can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiled, baked, and sautéed. There are many recipes available for this versatile pasta, so you can easily find one that fits your taste.

Some popular dishes that feature orzo include pasta salads, soups, and casseroles. Whether you’re looking for a simple side dish or a hearty main course, orzo is a great option.

What can I use instead of orzo?

You can use Rice, arborio rice, acini de Pepe, quinoa, Anelli, couscous, pearl barley, bulgur, pastina, fregula, ditalini pasta, Stelline, Grattini, Short-Grain Brown Rice, Farro, Risoni, Cauliflower rice, millet, orecchiette, etc. instead of orzo.

Let’s explore each of the alternatives and how to use them.

Best Substitute for Orzo Pasta

1. Acini De Pepe

You could substitute acini de Pepe for orzo pasta in this recipe. Acini de Pepe is small, round pieces of pasta that would work well in soup and salads.

The two pastas are very similar in size and shape, making them ideal substitutes for one another.

To use Acini de Pepe, simply add it to your dish of choice. If you are making a soup or salad, the pasta will need to be cooked first. Simply simmer the pasta in water for a few minutes until it is tender.

you could substitute acini de pepe for orzo pasta in this recipe

Then, add it to your soup or salad along with the other ingredients. Acini de Pepe can also be used as a garnish on top of casseroles or pasta dishes.

Simply sprinkle a few pieces on top of your dish before serving. Acini de Pepe is a versatile pasta that can be used in a variety of ways. Get creative and use it in any dish you can think of!

2. Substitute Arborio rice for orzo in a recipe

Arborio rice is a type of short-grain rice that is commonly used in Italian cooking. It is often used in risottos and other dishes where a creamy consistency is desired.

Arborio rice has a high absorbency rate, which allows it to absorb flavors well. When cooking with arborio rice, it is important to use a flavorful broth or stock to get the most flavor out of the dish.

Arborio rice is also a good choice for dishes that will be baked or grilled, as it holds its shape well and doesn’t become mushy.

Check More- Ideal Substitutes for Arborio Rice in Paella, Rice pudding

3. QUINOA -a good gluten-free substitute for orzo

A healthier alternative to orzo pasta, quinoa is a great option. Quinoa is a high-protein grain that is also gluten-free, making it a great choice for those with gluten sensitivities.

It is a great alternative to rice or pasta and can be used as a side dish or even as a main course. 

Quinoa is packed with nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is also gluten-free, making it a great option for those with gluten intolerance.

Quinoa can be cooked in just a few minutes and can be flavored with various herbs and spices. It is a versatile grain that can be used in various recipes, so get creative and try something new!

4. Anelli

Anelli pasta is a great substitute for Orzo pasta. It has a similar shape and texture but is made from semolina flour instead of wheat flour. Orzo pasta is also lower in calories and has a higher fiber content than Anelli pasta.

Anelli pasta is a type of ring-shaped pasta that is traditionally used in Italian cuisine. It can be made from durum wheat semolina or plain flour and comes in a variety of sizes.

Anelli pasta is often used in soups and salads, as well as is a popular choice for pasta bakes. To cook Anelli pasta, simply boil in plenty of water for 10-12 minutes until al dente. Drain and serve with your favorite sauce.

Anelli pasta is also a great option for kids as it is easy to eat and less likely to cause a mess! Try adding some vegetables or meat to your Anelli pasta dish for a complete meal.

5. Couscous- (A FAMOUS RISONI SUBSTITUTE)

For a quick and easy pasta dish, try substituting couscous for orzo. Couscous is a type of pasta made from durum wheat semolina. It’s similar in size and shape to orzo, making it a good substitute in many recipes.

Like other types of pasta, couscous is available in different shapes and sizes. The most common type is pearl couscous, which is about the size of a pea.

There are also Israeli and Moroccan varieties, which are larger in size. Couscous can be found in most grocery stores in the international aisle or near the rice.

It originates from North Africa and is commonly used in Algerian, Moroccan, Tunisian, and Libyan cuisine.

Couscous is traditionally made by steaming durum wheat semolina over boiling water until it forms into small pellets. These pellets are then dried and ground into a fine powder.

Couscous can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and salads. It can also be served as a side dish or main course.

To cook couscous, simply add it to boiling water or broth and simmer for 10-12 minutes. For a more flavor, couscous can be sautéed in olive oil or butter before cooking.

6. Pearl Barley

For a gluten-free option, you can substitute pearl barley for orzo pasta. Pearl barley is a whole grain that is naturally gluten-free, so it’s a great option if you’re trying to avoid gluten.

It contains a chewy texture and a nutty flavor that pairs well with other ingredients in soups and stews. 

Pearl barley is a kind of whole grain that has been polished to remove the outer hull. It is chewy and nutty, with a slightly sweeter flavor than other types of barley. 

Pearl barley can be used in soups, stews, pilafs, and risottos or simply cooked and served as a side dish. It is also a good grain to use in baking, as it adds texture and flavor to bread, muffins, and other baked goods.

To cook pearl barley, simply rinse it in cold water and then simmer in boiling water for 25-30 minutes. You can also cook it in broth for added flavor. Once cooked, pearl barley can be served as is or used in any recipe that calls for cooked grains.

Pearl barley is a healthy and versatile grain that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Give it a try in your next meal!

7. Bulgur 

When it comes to pasta, there are all sorts of different shapes and sizes. But when it comes to healthy substitutes for traditional pasta, one of the best options is bulgur.

This swap will give your dish a boost of nutrients and keep you feeling full and satisfied. Plus, it is a fantastic way to add some variety to your pasta repertoire.

Bulgur is a type of whole wheat grain that has been cracked and partially pre-cooked. It is typically used in pilafs, stuffings, soups, and salads.

To cook bulgur, simmer 1 cup of bulgur in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes, or until tender.

You can also use broth instead of water for added flavor. Once cooked, bulgur can be used in a variety of recipes. Try adding it to a salad with chopped vegetables and a vinaigrette dressing or using it as a stuffing for chicken or vegetables.

Bulgur is also delicious when served with grilled meats or vegetables.

So next time you’re looking for a healthy and delicious way to change up your pasta dish, try using bulgur in place of orzo. Your taste buds (and your waistline) will thank you.

Bulgur can be found in most Middle Eastern grocery stores.

8. Pastina

You can substitute pastina for orzo pasta. Just be sure to cook the pastina in chicken or beef broth to give it flavor. You can also add vegetables, such as spinach or tomatoes, to the broth for a more filling dish.

Pastina is a type of Italian pasta that is usually made from semolina flour. It is very small in size and can be used in a variety of dishes. 

The most common way to use pastina is in soups, but it can also be used in other recipes such as salads or casseroles.

To cook pastina, you must bring a pot of water to a boil. Then, add the desired amount of pasta to the water and cook according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, it can be added to soups or other dishes.

Pastina is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different recipes. If you’re searching for a new way to use pasta, try making a pastina dish!

9. Fregula

Substituting fregula pasta for orzo pasta is a great way to add some extra flavor and texture to your dish.

Fregula pasta is a type of Sardinian pasta that is made from semolina flour and water and has a slightly chewy texture. It is similar in appearance to Israeli couscous, but the two are not related.

Fregula is typically cooked in broth and served with seafood or vegetables. It can also be used in salads or as a risotto-style dish. It pairs well with heavier sauces and is a great option for dishes that are baked or casseroled.

10. Ditalini

Ditalini pasta is a good option for substituting orzo. Ditalini pasta is a type of small, tubular pasta that is similar in size and shape to orzo. It can be used in many of the same dishes, such as soups, salads, and casseroles.

Ditalini is made from durum wheat flour and water, and it is typically cut into pieces that are about one centimeter in length. It is available in both white and whole wheat varieties.

To use ditalini pasta, you will need to cook it in boiling water for six to eight minutes. Once it is cooked, you can drain it and add it to your dish. 

Ditalini pasta pairs well with light sauces and vegetables. It can also be used in heavier dishes, such as casseroles. When cooking ditalini pasta, be sure to add a little extra water to the pot so that it does not stick together.

11. Stelline

Try substituting Stelline pasta for orzo; Stelline pasta is made from ground chickpeas and is a good source of protein and fiber. It’s also lower in calories and carbohydrates than traditional pasta.

Stelline pasta is a type of small, star-shaped pasta. It is typically made from semolina flour and water and is used in soups or as a garnish.

Stelline pasta can also be made from other flour, such as rice or wheat. This pasta is also sometimes referred to as star pasta or star-shaped pasta.

Try pairing stelline pasta with a light sauce or vegetables for a healthy, filling meal. 

Stelline pasta can be used in a variety of dishes. It is often used in soups, such as minestrone soup. The small size of the pasta helps it to cook quickly and evenly in soups.

Stelline pasta can also be used as a garnish on salads or main dishes. It can be used to top off a dish, or it can be mixed into the dish itself. Stelline pasta is also sometimes used in desserts, such as tiramisu.

To cook stelline pasta, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to your desired dish.

12. Grattini

If you’re searching to switch up your pasta game, why not try making Grattini instead of orzo? Grattini is a type of thin Italian pasta that can be used in various dishes.

The Grattini pasta is a small, tube-shaped pasta that is perfect for use in soups and stews, salads, and casseroles. It can also be used as a replacement for rice in many dishes.

Grattini pasta is made from semolina flour, water, and salt. It is then extruded through a die and cut into small pieces.

Plus, it’s super easy to make! All you need is some flour, water, and a little bit of time. So, if you’re feeling adventurous, give Grattini a try! You might just find your new favorite pasta dish.

13. Short-Grain Brown Rice

Substituting short-grain brown rice for orzo pasta is a great way to add more whole grains to your diet.

Brown rice is a good source of fiber and nutrients, and it has a nutty flavor that goes well with many dishes. When cooking brown rice, be sure to rinse it thoroughly before cooking to remove any dirt or impurities.

Cook the rice according to the package instructions, then add it to your dish in place of the orzo pasta.

Also, Short-grain brown rice is a versatile whole grain that can be used in a variety of dishes. Its nutty flavor and chewy texture make it a great addition to pilafs, salads, and stir-fries.

It can also be used as a stuffing for poultry or fish. Additionally, short-grain brown rice makes an excellent base for soups and stews.

Check More- Best Substitute for Glutinous rice

14. Farro 

If you’re looking for a hearty, nutritious alternative to traditional pasta, look no further than farro. This ancient grain has been a staple in the Mediterranean diet for centuries.

Farro is packed with fiber and protein, making it a filling and satisfying option for any meal.

Plus, its nutty flavor and chewy texture make it a great option for substituting in your favorite pasta recipes.

Farro is a versatile grain that can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to main courses.

 It can be found in most grocery stores, and it is relatively easy to cook.

Here are some tips on how to use farro in your cooking.

-To cook farro, simply simmer it in water or broth for about 20 minutes.

-You can also cook farro in the oven; just combine it with other ingredients and bake at a moderate temperature until tender.

-Farro makes a great base for salads, as it can be dressed up with any number of vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

-It can also be used as a side dish or in place of rice or pasta in main dishes.

-To add some extra flavor to farro, try cooking it in chicken or beef broth instead of water. You can also add some spices or herbs to the cooking liquid.

Farro can be stored in the pantry for up to six months. Be sure to check the expiration date on the package before purchasing.

15. Cauliflower rice- A low-carb alternative to orzo

Cauliflower rice is a great substitute for orzo pasta. It has a similar texture and flavor but is much healthier for you.

Cauliflower is low in calories and carbs and is a good source of fiber. It also contains vitamins C, K, and B6.

Plus, it’s super easy to make! Just grate a head of cauliflower, and cook it in a pan with some olive oil for a few minutes. Then, add your favorite seasonings and enjoy!

16. Millet

Millet is a versatile grain that can be used in a variety of dishes. It has a nutty flavor and can be used as a substitute for rice or orzo and other grains.

Millet can be cooked like rice or ground into flour to make bread and other baked goods. It is also a good source of fiber and protein.

To substitute millet for orzo pasta, you’ll need to cook the millet first. To do this, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add 1/2 cup of millet. Reducer the heat and let the millet simmer for about 15 minutes, or until it is soft.

Once the millet is cooked, you can use it in any recipe that calls for orzo pasta. Keep in mind that millet doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own, so you may want to add some extra seasonings to your dish.

17. orecchiette 

For a heartier pasta dish, substitute orecchiette for orzo. Orecchiette is a type of pasta that is shaped like a small disk with a concave center. This pasta pairs well with robust sauces, so it’s perfect for a winter meal. To make this dish vegetarian, use a vegetable-based pasta sauce.

for a heartier pasta dish replace orecchiette for orzo

18. Risoni 

Risoni and orzo are synonyms. If you can’t find orzo, look for it under the name Risoni.

Risoni is a type of pasta that is similar in shape to rice. It can be utilized in various dishes, including soups, salads, and main courses. Risoni is made from semolina flour, water, and salt. It is typically sold in packages that contain 500 grams or 1 kilogram.

Risoni can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to six months.

Substitute for orzo in soup

  • · Acini de Pepe
  • · Anelli
  • · Couscous
  • · Pearl Barley
  • · Pastina
  • · Ditalini
  • · Stelline
  • · Grattini
  • · Short-grain brown rice
  • · Risoni

Substitute for orzo in a salad

  • · Farro
  • · Ditalini
  • · Acini de Pepe
  • · Quinoa
  • · Bulgur
  • · Pastina
  • · Risoni
  • · Short-Grain brown rice
  • · Couscous
  • · Anelli

FAQS on Orzo substitutes

Q1. How is orzo different from pasta?

Orzo, also known as riso, is rice-shaped pasta. It is about the same size as a grain of rice and is often used in soups or salads. Orzo can also be cooked like rice and used as a side dish. Pasta is made from durum wheat flour and water. It comes in different shapes and sizes, such as spaghetti, macaroni, and fusilli. Pasta is usually served with a sauce or in a soup.

Q2. Is orzo pasta or rice?

Rice is a grain, and pasta is made from flour, so they are not the same thing. Orzo is a type of pasta that is shaped like a grain of rice.

Q3. What pasta is closest to orzo?

Acini de pepe is closest to orzo.

Q4. Is rice the same as orzo?

No, rice and orzo are not the same. Rice is a grain, while orzo is pasta. They have different textures and flavors but can be used in similar ways. For example, they can both be used in soups or salads or as a side dish.

Q5. Can I substitute risotto for orzo?

In general, you can usually substitute risotto for orzo without too much issue. Just keep in mind that the texture of the finished dish may be slightly different than what you’re expecting.

If you’re looking for an exact replica of your favorite orzo dish, it’s probably best to stick with the pasta. However, if you’re willing to experiment, go ahead and give the risotto a try!

Q6. Can I substitute macaroni for orzo?

You can substitute macaroni for orzo, but the texture and flavor will be different. Macaroni is a bit tougher than orzo and has a stronger flavor, so it may not be the best option if you’re looking for a delicate dish.

If you decide to go ahead with it, cook the macaroni for a minute or two longer than the package directions recommend.

Q7. Can you substitute pearl couscous for orzo?

Orzo is a type of pasta, while pearl couscous is a type of grain. They can be used interchangeably in some recipes but will have different textures. Pearl couscous will be chewier, while orzo will be more pasta-like.

Q8. Can I use paella rice instead of orzo?

Yes, you can use paella rice instead of orzo. Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that is made with rice, seafood, and vegetables. Orzo is a type of pasta that is similar in size and shape to the rice. Both paella and orzo can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling, baking, and frying.

Leave a Comment