In Italian, orzo means "barley". It's a small, rice shaped pasta typically made from semolina. Acini de pepe is similarly shaped but smaller in size.
Orzo is commonly found in soups or salads but it's grown in popularity and uses over the last few years. Now you even see it used more like rice such as in risotto or pilafs.
Like other pastas, orzo is a blank canvas to which you can add any myriad of flavors and other ingredients. Orzo with chicken is very popular as is shrimp and orzo.
Since it's a tiny pasta it does cook quickly. If being used in a casserole dish where the mixture will be baked further, you will want to only cook the pasta about 2/3rds of the way since it will continue cooking in the oven.
Baked Orzo With Fontina And Peas Ingredients: mozzarella cheese, fontina cheese, heavy cream, Marsala wine, mushrooms, onion, butter, orzo, chicken broth, frozen peas stovetop, oven
Orzo With Roasted Vegetables Ingredients: black pepper, kosher salt, olive oil, lemon juice, orzo or rice-shaped pasta, black pepper, kosher salt, olive oil, garlic Show Dish Data™ ▼
Nutrition per serving: 584 calories, 40g fat, 43g carbs, 16g protein.
Spinach Parmesan Orzo photo:Ingredients: spinach, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, orzo pasta, salt, black pepper stovetop Show Dish Data™ ▼
Nutrition per serving: 454 calories, 19g fat, 57g carbs, 13g protein. Recipe is: Low in sodium.
Lemon Orzo with Herbs Ingredients: dill, salt, black pepper, olive oil, orzo pasta, lemons, chicken broth, parsley stovetop Show Dish Data™ ▼
Nutrition per serving: 270 calories, 6g fat, 46g carbs, 8g protein.
Chicken Orzo Ingredients: cilantro, diced tomatoes, white wine, garlic, onion, prosciutto, boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, olive oil, orzo, dried oregano stovetop Show Dish Data™ ▼
Nutrition per serving: 474 calories, 11g fat, 45g carbs, 44g protein.
Parmesan Orzo Primavera Ingredients: fresh vegetables, orzo pasta, chicken broth, Parmesan cheese stovetop Show Dish Data™ ▼
Nutrition per serving: 101 calories, 2g fat, 16g carbs, 5g protein. Recipe is: Low in fat.
Asiago Garlic Orzo Pilaf Ingredients: black pepper, salt, Asiago cheese, garlic, orzo pasta, chicken broth stovetop Show Dish Data™ ▼
Nutrition per serving: 297 calories, 8g fat, 44g carbs, 18g protein.
Parmesan Orzo Ingredients: Parmesan cheese, butter, orzo pasta, black pepper stovetop Show Dish Data™ ▼
Nutrition per serving: 447 calories, 19g fat, 57g carbs, 13g protein.
Orzo And Portobello Mushrooms Ingredients: white wine, marjoram, oregano, thyme, capers, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, orzo, portabello mushrooms, salt and crushed red pepper stovetop Show Dish Data™ ▼
Nutrition per serving: 592 calories, 4g fat, 106g carbs, 23g protein.
Orzo With Veggies Ingredients: carrot, zucchini, vegetable stock, orzo pasta, onion, eggplant stovetop