10 Orzo Substitutes! What Can You Use Instead of Orzo?

Orzo is a unique food.

It’s a type of small-sized pasta that is made of durum wheat.

Now if you love European cooking, you probably have just stumbled upon a recipe that calls for orzo but you don’t have one in your pantry, am I right?

No worries! You can substitute other ingredients for orzo.

What can you use instead of orzo?

You can try cauliflower rice, farro, barley, ditalini, tubettini, acini di pepe, risi, arborio rice, quinoa, or even couscous.

Finding substitutes for orzo can be a challenge.

And different substitutes can be applicable for different reasons.

Cauliflower Rice

What is a gluten-free substitute for orzo?

It’s cauliflower rice!

Cauliflower rice is not only free of gluten. It’s also low calorie, low carb, and of course vegan!


Besides cauliflower rice, quinoa canalso be a gluten-free alternative for orzo.

Quinoa is an amazing food.

It’s not merely a source of carbs. It’s loaded with antioxidants, protein, and fiber.

Quinoa actually seeds, but it’s classified as a grain.


Orzo is pasta.

If you want to have grain in your recipe instead of pasta, maybe you can try barley.

Barley and orzo might have different colors, but they have a similar shapes and both of them are carbs.


Farro might be similar to barley, but the texture is somehow chewier and the size is a bit bigger.

This grain tastes like the lighter version of brown rice.

Because farro is a source of carbs and it has a similar shape to rice grain, you can use it as an alternative for recipes that calls for orzo.


Tubettini is a tiny pasta that shapes like a tube.

The shape is not the same as orzo, but they both are categorized as small pasta and they taste almost the same.

So, when your salad recipe calls for orzo but it’s unavailable in your pantry or nearest grocery, maybe you can try it with tubettini.


Ditalini has a shape like a tube. It’s very similar to tubettini, but it’s a bit bigger in size.

Ditalini and tubettini are both tube-shaped pasta and they both can be used in soups and salad.

Acini Di Pepe

When you see orzo in a soup or salad recipe, you can try to substitute it with acini di pepe.

Acini di pepe is a type of small pasta, just like orzo. It has a shape like small beads so it doesn’t only taste similar to orzo but it can also make a pretty addition to your dish.


There is another kind of pasta that is very similar to orzo.

It’s called risi. It has the shape of rice, just like orzo.

Unfortunately, this kind of pasta is pretty hard to find.

But if you have one in hand, you can definitely use it to make the soup recipe that calls for orzo.


Couscous might look a lot like grain, but it’s actually pasta.

Couscous is not harvested. It’s made of crushed durum wheat or semolina, and this makes couscous considered healthier than pasta.

Couscous is a tiny pasta so it can be used as an alternative for replacing orzo.

Arborio Rice

Arborio rice is probably the best substitute for orzo.

Although they come from different origins (arborio rice is harvested from a plant while orzo is made of flour/whole grain), they share similar textures and similar shapes.

So, you can susbtitute arborio rice for orzo.

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