On many occasions we want to vary our dishes so as not to use rice as an accompaniment to the main dish all the time. For doing that, many people choose to add a vegetable side dish, in the form of a salad, or a starchy side dish, such as bread, potatoes or pasta.

However, it turns out that there is an appetizing, healthy and easy-to-prepare alternative: It is called orzo. This is a rice-shaped pasta that you can cook and serve, similar to rice.

In this post you will find interesting healthy features about this product that has been gaining popularity amongst diners and it is now regularly cooked at homes. It is even part of the menu of many prestigious restaurants.

You will also find here a description of a typical recipe of orzo as side dish for you to try this delightful dish.

What are the health benefits of eating orzo?

Orzo a healthy alternative

It is a worldwide trend that people are now more concerned about their health and are looking to consume foods with fewer fattening carbohydrates. To this respect, orzo can greatly contribute to keep you healthy by providing the appropriate nutrients you need in your diet. Let’s see what they are:


Orzo is one of those foods whose carbohydrates can be included without any problem in the daily diet. Indeed, carbohydrates in an orzo dish provide the amount of energy you just require, giving your body the necessary vigor and strength for your daily routine.


In one serving of orzo you consume 7 grams of protein, representing 13 to 15 percent of the recommended daily amount. You can increase this protein intake by eating whole-grain orzo along with seafood, such as salmon, shrimp or clams, or some other meat. Also, this protein in orzo helps boost your energy levels.

Furthermore, dietary protein has different important functions in the body, contributing to muscle growth, healthy aging, bone and tissue health and appetite control.


Studies have shown there is a high content of vitamin B in orzo pasta. This is significantly important since if you daily consume enough vitamin B, you will be safe from some diseases like anemia, acne, insomnia, and even heart failure.


Orzo a healthy alternative

Concerning fats, orzo is a low-fat food with just 1 gram of fat per serving. This is a small amount that in no way contributes to weight gain. As can be seen, the orzo does not contain much fat.

However, combining orzo with avocado or olive oil you can increase the healthy fat content of your diet. In that way you will have better cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart disease and a healthy brain.


Adding orzo to your diet provides you with the iron the body needs, at 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance. If you require more you can increase iron intake by serving orzo with spinach.

Iron helps your body get the oxygen it needs to function properly. Without adequate oxygenation, you may experience dizziness and heart palpitations, as well as fatigue.

Another good thing about orzo is that it is very versatile and you can add it to soups and salads, have it as a hot or cold dish, or use it as a main dish for a meal.

For more valuable information about orzo and how to prepare delicious meals with it, you can access https://riceselect.com/product/orzo.

Primavera orzo pasta with Parmesan cheese

This delicious recipe makes 8 servings of 1/2 cup each. Primavera is the Spanish word for spring, so this is a fresh, light and enjoyable meal.


This easy-to-prepare recipe requires the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup orzo pasta, uncooked.
  • 2-1/2 cups fresh greens (broccoli, carrots, green onions and red bell peppers), chopped.
  • 1/3 cup water.
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Orzo a healthy alternative


Follow the few steps below:

  • Combine broth and water in a medium saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Stir in pasta.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer pasta for 7 minutes.
  • Add vegetables; stir.
  • Cook vegetables for 5 minutes more or until pasta is tender.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Stir cheese into pasta with vegetables.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy.

Cook’s tip: For a special touch you can add 1 teaspoon chopped fresh herbs, such as basil or rosemary, along with the vegetables.

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