Learn More About Orzo and How It Can Enhance Your Vegetarian or Vegan Diet

When shopping in a supermarket, you may see a package of something that says “Orzo.” It looks like rice but with pasta color, and since you probably don’t know how to use it, you decide not to buy it. However, think twice and give Orzo a chance next time.

You were right in your first thought: Orzo is pasta in the form of rice. It is a versatile, mild-tasting ingredient, and you can make an endless number of delicious recipes with it.

 The cooking process involves:

  • Make dough with flour and water.
  • Rolling it out.
  • Cutting it into rice-shaped grains (sometimes they are more significant than traditional rice).

The most common type of Orzo has a yellowish color. But there are also red, green, orange, and yellow-white versions. Tomatoes, spinach, chili peppers, saffron, black beans, or other flavors are added to these varieties to create multiple Orzo flowers.

Knowing how to use Orzo

With his empty taste, he goes very well with many ingredients. In Italy, Orzo is commonly used to make soups. However, it can be used in salads or substitutes for many rice-based dishes such as risotto or plov. Also, you can use it in your regular pasta preparations.

His cooking process is simple: it’s made like your regular pasta. All you need is boiled water and salt. Depending on the orzo recipe you want to cook, the other ingredients must be included at the beginning of the process.

Using Orzo in Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes

Orzo is nutritionally similar to rice, except it’s not gluten-free. A half-cup of rice or Orzo contains the same carbohydrates, fat, sodium, fiber, protein, sugar, vitamins, and minerals as rice. This brings several benefits as below:

  • Increase in energy.
  • Fight free radicals.
  • Allow muscle growth.
  • Improve the condition of bones and tissues.
  • Satisfy the feeling of satiety.

For vegetarians or vegans, this is an exciting option to include in your diet, opening up a range of choices in all dishes. It easily replaces rice or pasta in any meal preparation.

The main advantage of using it is that you can cook all your regular meals with new ingredients that offer different flavors and textures in less time. Orzo gives vegans and vegetarians a fresh and versatile ingredient for multi-tasking meals.

Cooking Vegan Meals

There are countless ways you can add Orzo to a vegan diet. It can be ideally used in the following dishes:

  • Stuffed tomatoes.
  • Risotto with broccoli.
  • Pilaf.
  • Autumn salad orzo.
  • One-pot tomato Orzo.
  • Lemon Orzo with roasted vegetables.
  • Orzo soup with white beanballs.
  • Greek salad with orzo pasta.

This is just a collection of countless recipes you can make with Orzo. But, if you like to create in the kitchen, Orzo – is a clean slate where you can add all your favorite ingredients and cook delicious meals while staying true to your vegan diet.

Learn how to cook the following recipe and get ideas for your new dishes to get started.

Greek salad with orzo pasta

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 cup orzo.
  • 1 diced red pepper.
  • Two diced tomatoes.
  • 1 diced cucumber without seeds.
  • 2 tablespoons of ground jalapeno pepper.
  • Two tablespoons of capers.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, cut in half
  • ½ chopped red onion.

For the Greek Vegan Dressing:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano.
  • 2 minced garlic cloves.
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar.
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard.
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt.


  1. Pour a sufficient amount of water and salt into a saucepan and bring to a boil,
  2. Add orzo, stir and cook until tender. Al dente.
  3. Drain the water, add a little olive oil and place the Orzo on a baking sheet to cool.
  4. Combine red peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeno, kalamata olives, red onion, and chilled Orzo in a bowl. Mix very well.
  5. In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the garlic, dried parsley, dried oregano, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sea salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
  6. Drizzle Greek dressing over the entire salad.


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