Orzo: learn how to cook orzo to perfection

Discover how to cook orzo for the best results. A fun alternative to rice or couscous, it's great in salads, soups, and stews

orzo pasta
(Image credit: Getty)

Discover how to cook orzo for the best results. The great news about orzo pasta is that it can be cooked in a number of ways, depending on how you're planning to use it.

Because of the small size and rice-like shape, it can be cooked in much the same way as rice. However, as it is technically a type of pasta, you can also cook it in exactly the same way as any other pasta. Find out more about the different methods below – plus, the easiest way to enjoy orzo for lunch. 

Find more recipe inspiration over on our food hub page. 

Orzo pasta: three preparation methods

Method 1:

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the orzo and cook for 8-9 minutes. Drain.

Method 2:

Place the orzo in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Season and bring to the boil. Taste frequently for doneness as soon as the water begins boiling.

Method 3:

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan, add a finely chopped onion and the orzo, and sauté for two to three minutes. Then cover with hot vegetable or chicken stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes.  

Method 4:

If using orzo in a stew or soup, simply add it in the last five minutes of cooking. 

Orzo pasta recipe: the best way to enjoy orzo for lunch

After cooking, let the orzo cool down a little. Then simply add some cherry tomatoes and feta and drizzle with a little olive oil. For a more substantial lunch option, add some cooked chicken breast. Top off with Parmesan. 

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