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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 is traditionally made from white flour, but it can also be made of whole grain.

The name orzo is common for this pasta shape in North America, and less common in Italy; the Italian word orzo means barley.


There are many different ways to serve orzo. Orzo can be served alone; in soup, especially for children; as part of a salad, a pilaf, or giouvetsi; or baked in a casserole.[6] Orzo can be colored by saffron, chilies, and black beans to yield yellow, orange, or black pasta.

Similar products[edit]

Orzo is essentially identical to the κριθαράκι/μανέστρα (kritharáki, little barley, or manestra -when soup-) 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 is a rice-grain-shaped pasta developed in the 1950s in Israel as a substitute for rice.


Orzo is often boiled in Italian soups, like minestrone. It can also be boiled and lightly fried, to create a similar dish to risotto.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "orzo". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 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 UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  5. ^ "orzo". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  6. ^ Alfaro, Danilo. "What Is Orzo? Cooking and Recipes". The Spruce Eats. The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 9 July 2020.