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What Exactly is Orzo Pilaf?

What is Orzo Pilaf?
orzo pilaf dish

Are you wondering how orzo pilaf might be different from rice pilaf? Until I reminded myself of what orzo was compared to rice, I wasn’t sure! My brain always tricks me into thinking orzo is rice at first, but it’s not! It’s pasta that’s rice-shaped. It is often time used in the same ways slightly crispy rice is. It’s a good base for many dishes! It also makes a wonderful pilaf.

Pilaf, by the way, is usually just spiced-up rice cooked in stock.

What Ingredients Will I Be Working With?

You may wish to add some crunchier ingredients to your orzo pilaf. I occasionally do.

  • olive oil
  • onion
  • mushrooms
  • chicken broth
  • orzo
  • parsley

Orzo is pleasantly accentuated by pine nuts oftentimes, if you want something extra thrown in there. Now let’s take a look at how to prepare our orzo pilaf!


  1. Heat the olive oil in a sturdy saucepan over moderately high heat. 
  2. Pop those onions and mushrooms in once the oil is hot.
  3. Let them saute until they turn a slightly crispy, golden brown.
  4. Pour in your chicken broth and let everything come to a boil.
  5. Pour the orzo into the boiling broth.
  6. Let the pasta boil for however long your package recommends.
  7. When it’s soft (but still chewy), lower the pan’s heat and simmer till tender.
  8. Liquid will absorb if stirred occasionally. Sprinkle in some parsley.
  9. Remove the orzo pilaf from heat, season, and serve hot.

If you don’t like mushrooms, you could remove them completely without a substitute and still enjoy this tasty meal! I like the idea of adding some spicy sausage balls as a topping or some thin slices of it on the side. Maybe a quarter of a green pepper, chopped up and mixed into the orzo at the end. Tinker around with some of the seasonings and you could even enjoy this as your entree without any sides! As long as you have orzo and some type of stock, you should end up with some type of orzo pilaf. Enjoy!

About Brittany Davidson

Brittany is the main writer and content creator for Food Questions. She believes life is worth living if you're constantly learning, enjoying, and admiring things. Passion is her backbone and she tries not to do anything without it. Sharing information is as valuable as sharing a smile, Brittany says.

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  1. I have never had this! Thank you so much for this recipe. Awesome! I cannot wait to try it.

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