Orzo: the Italian pasta that will replace rice

Orzo is a form of pasta, which is shorter than normal and shaped like a grain of rice. It is available in various colors and can be served in numerous dishes. However, the question arises as to whether it is healthier than rice.

For example, in Spain there are pine nuts that are similar to orzo pasta. According to most consumers, orzo tastes good and is full of carbohydrates. This makes it a good staple food and can be added to many recipes.

What is?

Numerous types of pasta originate from Italian cuisine. Orzo is a barley grain-shaped pasta. It is made primarily from semolina flour , but you may also find other flours mixed into this product depending on the manufacturer. Semolina flour is made from durum wheat. It is coarser than other flours, resulting in products that have slightly firmer textures. Semolina flour is also used to make foods such as couscous, bulgur, freekeh, breads, and desserts.

Like other wheat products, semolina flour can be made as a whole or refined grain product. We can buy refined or whole wheat orzo, which means that the nutritional information of the particular orzo will be different accordingly.

Like other whole grain products, whole wheat orzo nutrition is richer in dietary fiber. Whole grain products tend to have more health benefits.


The nutritional content of orzo pasta is quite similar to regular pasta. On average, orzo pasta (100 gram serving) contains the following nutrients and substances:

  • Energy: 160 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 30.9 grams
    • Starch: 26 grams
    • Sugar: 0.6 grams
    • Fiber: 1.8 grams
  • Fat: 0.9 grams
  • Protein: 5.8 grams
  • Water: 62 grams

Rich in carbohydrates

It is true that, if you look at the nutritional value of this pasta, there are a lot of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are an important part of our nutrition. Without it, the body will not function properly and will stop working. Therefore, you need your daily carbohydrate intake.

There are many sources of carbohydrates, the most common are rice, potatoes and corn. But we can also get a decent amount of carbs from orzo pasta. According to analysis, it has 30.9 grams of total amount of carbohydrates. This is enough to meet the minimum amount of carbohydrate required for the benefits of eating sweet potatoes for breakfast.

High in fiber

Based on the nutritional value, orzo pasta contains a high amount of fiber (approximately 1.8 grams). This is good for people with digestion problems, such as constipation. It also means that orzo pasta is a type of food that will keep us hungry for longer. It is also proven that high fiber foods can improve the metabolism of the body.

High-fiber foods like orzo pasta are also good for lowering blood sugar (glucose) and insulin levels in a diabetic person, which means it can reduce the risks of diabetes in a healthy person. In general, high-fiber orzo pasta can improve the body’s metabolism, benefit the health of diabetics, and reduce the risks of some diseases.

orzo beneficios


Orzo may provide certain health advantages, although the benefits may depend on the type you buy.


This is one of the valuable health benefits of orzo pasta. We all want to have an ideal body with a proportional weight. A fit and healthy body will give us many advantages and better performance. The first step we can take to lose weight is to watch what we eat. In other words, we must control the diet.

One of the foods that can safely be part of the diet is orzo pasta. It is naturally low in fat and sugar. In addition, it also provides protein and energy (two elements necessary to keep us in shape). Therefore, we can have a delicious meal in an orzo pasta without having to worry about the weight and health benefits.

Promotes satiety

Refined orzo may not provide enough fiber to keep us full for an extended period of time. But whole wheat can keep you full for a long time, especially when combined with vegetables, meat, poultry, or fish.

We will add olive oil to the orzo to make it even more filling and contribute to a lasting feeling of fullness due to the healthy fatty acids in the oil.

reduce stress

This is another of the exclusive benefits of orzo pasta that we can easily achieve. According to scientific studies, certain types of food can reduce the level of stress and mental tension, as well as stimulate happiness.

Orzo pasta seems to have these qualities. Good taste combined with a colorful and interesting appearance can surely improve anyone’s mood.

Orzo vs rice

Orzo (also called risoni) is a small rice-shaped pasta that can be used in many recipes as a substitute for rice. Comparing a serving of 2/3 cup cooked orzo, 2/3 cup cooked brown rice, and 1 cup cooked white basmati rice. Since white rice is not as dense, these portions deliver a similar weight of food.

These have a similar carb content, but orzo provides twice the protein of brown rice and a few more calories. All of these are low fat. Brown rice provides nearly twice the fiber of white rice. When cooled, orzo, like all pasta, produces resistant starch, an important type of fiber.

Brown rice is a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and B6, as well as providing smaller amounts of iron, zinc, and selenium. Orzo is a good source of thiamin and niacin, and also provides some B6, folate, iron, and zinc. On the other hand, white rice provides more zinc than the others, but it has much lower amounts of other nutrients.

So the two fit into a healthy diet, and variety is important, although brown rice wins out as a healthy carbohydrate.

orzo efectos secundarios


There are really no downsides to eating orzo pasta, unless you need to follow a gluten-free diet. In general, orzo offers more benefits than drawbacks, and is delicious and filling.


Many people think of orzo as a gluten-free cereal, but this is a common misconception. Because orzo comes from a type of wheat flour, it is not a gluten-free food , and should be avoided by people who have allergies or insensitivity to gluten.

Now that gluten-free diets have become more popular, it’s fairly easy to find gluten-free “orzo.” Many supermarkets sell brands for celiacs, which is made with 70% corn flour and 30% rice flour.

Weight gain

One thing worth noting is the relatively high calorie content. For reference, orzo provides about 50 percent more calories than the same amount of white rice. Orzo is a pretty dense food, so if we’re trying to lose weight, we’ll make sure to read the Nutrition Facts label and pay attention to the serving size on the orzo product we buy.

Also, keep in mind that refined white grain products do not offer the same benefits as whole grain products, and refined grain consumption (along with whole grain consumption) has been linked to bloating, changes in blood sugar, and moodiness.

How to use?

This pasta is very easy to prepare. To enjoy the orzo, we will prepare it as we would any other pasta. The package we buy will have specific instructions, but we can always follow these general guidelines for cooking orzo:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil on the ceramic hob.
  2. Add the orzo.
  3. Return the pot to a boil for eight to 10 minutes (longer if we want a more tender result).
  4. Pour the contents of the pot into a strainer to drain the water.

We will mix the cooked orzo in olive oil to prevent it from clumping together. From there, we can add the cooked orzo to any dish.