What Is a Substitute for Orzo Pasta?


According to the Italian food company Barilla, orzo can be substituted with Arborio rice. The word orzo means barley in Italian, but orzo pasta does not contain barley; it is usually made with Durum wheat flour, also referred to as semolina.

Orzo is shaped like a grain of rice; it has a firm texture. The natural color of orzo is off-white. Often served in soups or chilled in salads, some orzo uses vegetable extract to change its natural color. Gluten-free orzo made with quinoa, lentil and other flours are also available. Other substitutes for orzo are fregola pasta and couscous, depending on the dish being prepared; these pastas and grains are interchangeable.