Is Orzo Pasta?

There’s a lot of confusion about orzo. Is it a pasta or a rice? We’ve got the answers you’ve been craving!

There’s a lot of confusion about orzo. Is it a pasta or a rice? We’ve got the answers you’ve been craving!

The Short Answer

Yes, orzo is a form of pasta.

The Long Answer

I’ve heard many people ask the question, “can I just substitute rice in this recipe with orzo?” Well… in theory you CAN, but then it stops being a rice dish. Orzo is not rice, it is a pasta. The confusion comes from orzo being shaped like rice, as well as one of its other common names, risoni, which literally translates from Italian as “big rice.”

Both orzo and rice have differing textures, despite looking similar. They’re as different from one another as rice is from spaghetti. You wouldn’t make rice and meatballs with tomato sauce, just like you wouldn’t make jambalaya with spaghetti or ziti. They’re both grains, yes, but they’re two totally different foods.

There’s a lot of confusion about orzo. Is it a pasta or a rice? We’ve got the answers you’ve been craving! #orzo #pasta #rice #grains
There’s a lot of confusion about orzo. Is it a pasta or a rice? We’ve got the answers you’ve been craving! #orzo #pasta #rice #grains

Kevin Kessler

Kevin J. Kessler is an experienced professional writer and published author living in Orlando, Florida. With a lifelong passion for food, this sandwich loving Italian boy enjoys exploring unanswered questions about the foods we all know and love so well. Kevin’s foodie lifestyle was born through his love of Walt Disney World and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. A lover of stories, he enjoys trying new dishes from all over the world and learning everything there is to know about where food comes from, how its prepared, and what variations on it exist.