Pasta With Benefits: Is Orzo Healthy?—All You Need to Know

cover image representing the health facts of orzo

Orzo, if you are a pasta lover, this small, rice-like handy pasta is for you. It is not as popular as the other pasta varieties, but it is widely accepted in Greece and Italy. It is suitable for many light dishes, hence in Italy, they include it in soups, and many will add it as a base for salads. The small size is the key characteristic that makes it convincing for many people to think that it is another rice variety.

But how healthy is it? Many people incorporate orzo in their diet and are fond of it due to the health benefits offered. What is it made of? What are the benefits? This writing will help you understand the reasons behind the rising popularity of Orzo.

Ingredients in Orzo

Orzo is a pasta variety, which includes most of the ingredients that are found in other pastas. 

  • Wheat Semolina and Pasta.
  • These two ingredients are mixed, shaped, and dried to make this pasta.

The wheat semolina is rich in protein and gluten. Gluten can be allergic to people who have celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Hence, it is not suitable for such people to eat orzo. But you may get other brands of pasta using wheat alternatives, such as rice flour, corn flour, etc.

image representing ingredients of orzo

Nutritional Profile

100 grams of orzo contains:

Calories- 300 Cal

Fat- 1 gram

Carbohydrates- 76 gram

Fiber- 1 gram

Protein- 5 grams

  • Orzo provides a high amount of calories. But it may vary with the preparation method and brands. 
  • Protein content is 5 grams per 100 g serving, proving that it is not a rich source of protein, but can be altered with the meals incorporated.
  • If you are looking for a low-fat food to include in your diet, orzo is a good source, which has nearly 1 gram of fat content. 
  • To maintain metabolic activities, orzo provides certain amounts of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins.
  • The micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, etc., help in bone health and other body functions. 

Health Benefits of Orzo

There are a variety of pasta that are refined and offer very few benefits if consumed. But, orzo, being a versatile product made of whole grain, offers certain health benefits. 

  • The low fat and cholesterol properties of orzo make it suitable for a balanced diet without fat intake.
  • Carbohydrates provide energy and keep active throughout the day. Orzo contains a high amount of carbohydrates, which provides energy to your body. 
  • Orzo contains a lower amount of fiber. However, it provides a low amount of dietary fiber, which helps in easy and smooth digestion. It also regulates bowel movements, constipation, and a healthy gut function. 
  • It may also help you manage weight due to its low fat and protein content.  
  • Orzo contains less sodium in it. But the preparation and variety may contribute to some amount. Therefore, a moderate quantity of intake can be beneficial for your diet and heart health. 
image representing orzo platter

Consideration for Individual Health

Impacts on Pregnant Women

  • Safe for pregnant women
  • Contributes to the overall energy by providing complex carbohydrates.
  • B vitamins and other nutrients present in orzo may help in pregnancy.
  • Always try to include orzo with a nutritional diet.

Impacts on Lactating Women

  • Lactating women need sufficient energy and vitamin intake, which is essential for the baby. Orzo helps to meet their nutritional needs if consumed in moderation with a nutritious diet.
  • Try to include orzo with lean protein, vegetables, and other healthy foods.

Impact on Diabetics

  • Orzo is a good source of carbohydrates. But, you can consume a moderate quantity while keeping a controlled amount of carbohydrate intake. Moreover, the fiber content also helps in regulating sugar levels. 

Impact on Gut Health

  • Dietary fiber helps in digestion and smooth bowel movements, resulting in healthy gut functioning. It also contributes to maintaining the gut microbiome. But, refined orzo may have a negative impact, hence, it is suggested to consume a moderate quantity.

Impact on Kidneys and Liver

  • A conscious diet pattern will help you deal with kidney and liver health issues. Also, orzo does not directly have any effects on the kidneys and liver, hence you are free to consume it with a well-balanced diet. 

Impact on Heart Health

  • The dietary fiber in Orzo is helpful for heart health and regulating cholesterol levels. A regulated cholesterol level reduces the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, you can have a wholesome side of orzo by choosing a healthy preparation method and adding more nutritious meals. It can help you with a healthy heart. 
image representing an orzo platter

Allergens in Orzo

A sensible consumption of orzo can help you avoid any harm caused by the allergens present in it. 

  • Orzo is made of wheat, hence it is not free from gluten. But you can enjoy it if it is made of any alternatives such as rice flour, etc. 
  • A high amount of carbohydrates may hurt people who are focused on the keto diet. They are not recommended to consume carbohydrates to remove fat. Hence, individuals following the keto diet should be mindful of their orzo meal. 
  • While choosing an alternative for wheat flour, you should be aware of the effects of other flour you are choosing. Always read the label to know the ingredients list, and make sure there are no allergens in it. 


Orzo is a unique pasta variety, which offers several nutrients and health benefits. But, while consuming orzo, you must be aware of the ingredients and potential allergens present in it. Consider individual health conditions before consuming any food, including orzo. Make it a favorite dish in your well-balanced diet by incorporating a healthy preparation method. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is orzo healthy?

Orzo can be healthy if you consume it in a moderate quantity and incorporate it with nutritious foods such as vegetables, lean protein, etc. Moreover, it contains a considerable amount of carbohydrates and proteins, making it a good source of energy. 

Is orzo similar to rice?

Orzo has a higher amount of carbohydrates and proteins than rice, making it a hearty choice of food. Moreover, it does not contain peak starch content like in rice, however, the moderate quantity will not have any impact on health if consumed carefully. 

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