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Uncooked orzo
Alternative namesRisoni
Place of originItaly

Orzo (/ˈɔːrz, ˈɔːrts/,[1][2][3][4] Italian: [ˈɔrdzo]; from Italian for 'barley', from Latin hordeum),[5] also known as risoni (pronounced [riˈzoːni]; 'large [grains of] rice'), is a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice.


Orzo can be served alone; as a soup accompaniment; as part of a salad, a pilaf, or giouvetsi; or baked in a casserole. Orzo can be colored by saffron, chilies, and black beans to yield yellow, orange, or black pasta respectively. The color of the orzo stands out if it is mixed with other orzo colors or white rice, as in, for example, a white rice pilaf with orange orzo.

Similar products[edit]

Orzo is essentially identical to κριθαράκι (kritharáki, "little barley") in Greek cuisine, arpa şehriye ("barley noodle") in Turkish cooking, and لسان العصفور (lisān al-ʿuṣfūr, "songbird tongue") in Arabic cooking. In Spain, the equivalent pasta is called piñones. Confusion may arise from the fact that piñones is also the Spanish word for pine nuts. Ptitim (Hebrew: פתיתים‎, literally "flakes") in Israeli cuisine are similar, but are typically spherical or spheroid rather than grain-shaped.


Orzo is often boiled in Italian soups, like minestrone. It also is boiled and lightly fried, to resemble risotto.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "orzo". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  2. ^ "ORZO". Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  3. ^ "Orzo". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  4. ^ "orzo" (US) and "orzo". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  5. ^ "Orzo". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved February 10, 2019.