11 Substitutes for Orzo Pasta (That Taste the Similar!)

Are you looking for a Substitute for Orzo Pasta that tastes the same or similar? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll list 11 substitutes that you can use in place of orzo pasta.

We’ll explain the differences and similarities between each and give examples of how you can use them.

So whether you’re looking for a gluten-free option or want to try something new, we have you covered!

Substitutes for Orzo Pasta

  1. Arborio rice
  2. Acini de Pepe
  3. Pearl barley
  4. Fregola
  5. Cauliflower rice
  6. Couscous
  7. Ditalini pasta
  8. Quinoa
  9. Short Grain Brown Rice
  10. Farro
  11. Risoni

Arborio rice

Arborio rice is one possible substitute for orzo in a variety of dishes. Arborio rice is a short-grain Italian rice with high starch content. It works well as a thickener in sauces and pureed soups, making it ideal for use in risotto and other creamy dishes.

Arborio rice also has a robust, nutty flavor that pairs well with many different flavors, making it an excellent choice for experimentation in the kitchen.

In addition, Arborio rice is easy to prepare and cook, requiring far less time than other grains such as quinoa or barley.

Overall, Arborio rice is an excellent alternative to orzo for those looking to add texture and flavor to their cooking.

Wait until the rice absorbs the liquid present in the pot. Thus, these measures will result in a dish that is similar in taste and texture to traditional orzo pasta.

Acini de Pepe

Acini de Pepe is a type of Italian pasta that is very small and round, making it an excellent substitute for orzo. Acini de Pepe can be used in soups, salads, and other dishes that call for small pasta.

One benefit of using Acini de Pepe is that it cooks very quickly and does not require pre-cooking like other pasta types. Acini de Pepe is also very versatile and can be used in various recipes.

If you are looking for a healthy and delicious pasta substitute, Acini de Pepe is a great option.

Pearl barley

Pearl barley is a great substitute for orzo in many different recipes. Pearl barley’s small shape and mild flavor make it an ideal replacement for pasta, rice, or other grains in soup, stew, casserole, and other dishes.

Furthermore, pearl barley is high in protein and fiber, making it a nutritious choice for any meal. With its many benefits, pearl barley is likely to become a go-to substitute for orzo in kitchens across the country.

Whether you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative to wheat pasta or simply want to try something new in your favorite dish, there’s no doubt that pearl barley will be a welcome addition to your cooking repertoire!


Fregola is a type of pasta that is similar in appearance to couscous. It is made from durum wheat and is traditionally used in Sardinian cuisine.

Fregola can be used as a substitute for orzo in many dishes. It can be cooked in the same way as pasta and can be used in soups, salads, and casseroles.

Fregola has a chewy texture and a nutty flavor, making it an excellent alternative to Orzo pasta for people who want something different.

Fregola is also a good source of fiber and protein, making it a healthy choice for those on a gluten-free diet.

Cauliflower rice

Cauliflower rice is another popular substitute for orzo, and there are many reasons why. For one, cauliflower is much lower in carbs than pasta, making it a healthier option for those watching their intake.

Additionally, cauliflower rice is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and K. It’s also rich in fiber, which can help to promote a healthy digestive system.

Cauliflower rice can be used as a replacement for orzo in most recipes, and it can be easily made at home by grating or processing cauliflower into small pieces.

When cooked, cauliflower rice has a similar texture to orzo and can be used in dishes such as salads, soups, and casseroles.


Couscous is a small, round grain that is popular in North African cuisine. It is made from durum wheat and is typically served as a side dish or used in salads and soup.

Couscous can also be used as a substitute for orzo, a type of pasta.

When cooked, couscous has a light and fluffy texture, making it a good replacement for orzo in dishes such as soup and salad. Couscous is also a good source of fiber and protein, making it a healthier option than orzo.

In addition, couscous takes less time to cook than orzo, making it a convenient substitute for busy weeknights.

Ditalini pasta

Ditalini pasta is a great substitute for orzo. It is a small, tube-shaped pasta that is about the same size as orzo. Ditalini pasta can be used in soups, casseroles, and salads.

It is also a good choice for pasta salads because it holds up well to dressing and does not become mushy.

Ditalini pasta is made from durum wheat semolina, so it is high in protein and fiber. It is also a good source of iron and B vitamins. Ditalini pasta can be found in the pasta aisle of most grocery stores.


Quinoa is a popular replacement for orzo, and it has many benefits as an ingredient in various recipes. Quinoa is high in protein, and it can be used to make a variety of tasty dishes, from salads and soups to casseroles and pasta dishes.

Additionally, quinoa adds a healthy dose of fiber to any meal, which helps to keep us feeling full and satisfied. In addition to its culinary versatility, quinoa is also easy to prepare and relatively inexpensive.

Overall, quinoa makes an excellent alternative when craving orzo but wants something healthier or more nutritious.

Whether you are whipping up dinner for yourself or entertaining family and friends, you can count on quinoa to deliver great flavor with minimal effort.

So the next time you are looking for an alternative for orzo, consider giving quinoa a try!

Short Grain Brown Rice

Short grain brown rice is a great substitute for orzo in different dishes.

One of the most common uses is in sushi, as it has a starchy and resilient texture that makes it ideal for rolling and forming into bite-sized pieces.

Additionally, brown rice can make rich and creamy puddings, as it has a much starchier texture than orzo, which helps absorb liquid more evenly.

Whether you’re looking to add some flair to an Asian-inspired dish or just prefer a heartier pasta alternative, short grain brown rice is sure to become one of your go-to substitutes for orzo.


Farro is a versatile grain that can be used as a substitute for orzo in various dishes. One of the main benefits of using farro instead of orzo is its nutritional profile, which is higher in fiber and protein than orzo.

In addition, farro has a mild flavor that can easily pair with other ingredients, making it an ideal base for savory stews and soups or as an accompaniment to rich meats or seafood.

Farro also holds its shape well when cooked, meaning that it can be used in place of orzo in recipes like pasta salad or risotto without disrupting the dish’s texture.

Overall, farro is a great alternative to orzo for anyone looking to incorporate more whole grains into their diet.


Substitute for orzo pasta in soup

The best substitutes for orzo pasta in soup are rice, quinoa, couscous, farro, and short-grain brown rice.

These substitutes will add more nutrition to your soup with their higher levels of fiber and protein. Additionally, they all have a mild flavor that won’t overpower the other ingredients in your soup.

So if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to orzo pasta in your next soup recipe, be sure to give one of these substitutes a try!

Can I substitute macaroni for orzo?

Macaroni isn’t a suitable substitute for orzo as it is a completely different shape and will therefore alter the dish you are making.

Additionally, macaroni is made from durum wheat semolina, which gives it a higher protein and fiber content than orzo.

So if you’re looking for a pasta substitute for orzo, be sure to choose something that is similar in shape and size, such as ditalini or shells.

Can I substitute risotto for orzo?

As mentioned above, using arborio rice is the best substitute for orzo in risotto. This is because arborio rice has a high starch content, which helps create the creamy texture characteristic of risotto.

So if you’re looking to make a delicious and authentic risotto dish, be sure to use arborio rice as your pasta substitute.

Healthy substitutes for orzo?

A healthy substitute for orzo is quinoa. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also a good source of fiber and minerals such as iron and magnesium.

So if you’re looking for a healthy alternative to orzo, be sure to give quinoa a try!

Orzo substitute gluten-free

If you are looking for a gluten-free orzo substitute, several options are available to you.

One option is to use brown rice, as it has a similar texture to orzo and can be used in various dishes.

Another option is to use quinoa, which is a complete protein and also gluten-free.


There are many substitutes for orzo pasta that can be used in various dishes. The most popular substitutes include arborio rice, quinoa, couscous, farro, and short-grain brown rice.

Each of these substitutes has its own unique benefits, so be sure to choose the one that best fits your needs. And if you’re looking for a healthy alternative to orzo, quinoa is a great option!

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