Did you know you can make orzo pasta in a rice cooker? This small pasta cooks quickly and easily for a simple side dish!

orzo pasta in a rice cooker

Orzo is one of my favorite types of pasta because it can easily be added to soups, salads, and casseroles. Thanks to its small size, it cooks quickly! Like most pasta, it can easily be cooked on the stovetop, but you can also use a rice cooker to prepare this pasta. While I do think the stovetop or Instant Pot is an easier way to cook orzo, it is possible to create tender orzo pasta in a rice cooker!

What is orzo?

Orzo is a short pasta that’s shaped like a large grain of rice. You can typically find orzo in the past section at the grocery store. You can also get whole wheat orzo pasta, but it may be a bit harder to find. It may be sold by the boxed pasta but it can also be found sold near the rice. Keep in mind that different brands may vary in size. It’s a quick-cooking pasta due to its small shape.

orzo pasta

Is orzo healthy?

Like other pasta, it’s made with refined flour, so it doesn’t have a lot of nutrients. However, you can still enjoy this pasta in moderation and pair it with your favorite vegetables. While it can be hard to find whole wheat versions of orzo, they are out there! If you’re looking for an option with more protein and fiber, check out Banza’s “chickpea rice”.

What is a rice cooker?

A rice cooker is specifically designed to steam rice. As the water boils, it steams the rice, or in this case, the pasta. Ever since I started cooking quinoa in a rice cooker, I’ve realized that a rice cooker can be used for more than just rice! While I do think the stovetop or Instant Pot is an easier method for cooking orzo, sometimes you don’t have other options. So in a pinch, a rice cooker can be used! This is the rice cooker that I have and it works great! I’m sure it would work in pretty much any sort of rice cooker though so if you already have one at home, give it a try.

How to Make Orzo in a Rice Cooker

Add 2 cups of water, 1 cup of orzo pasta, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt to a rice cooker. As the orzo cooks, the water will be absorbed. Once the water has been absorbed and the pasta is al dente, turn off the rice cooker and fluff with a fork. It will typically take 15-20 minutes for the orzo to cook in a rice cooker.

Tips & Tricks

  • I recommend spraying the rice cooker pot with non-stick spray just to avoid any sticking. Most models have a pretty good non-stick coating but a quick spray of olive oil or avocado oil helps!
  • Different brands of orzo are different sizes so you may need to adjust the cooking time. I used Barilla’s orzo pasta in my recipe testing.
  • For more flavor, cook the orzo in vegetable broth intsead of water.
orzo pasta in a rice cooker

How to Use Orzo

Once your orzo is cooked, you can add it to soups or salads or just toss it with your favorite sauce! I love making this 15 Minute Parmesan Orzo or you could use it in the Feta and Orzo Salad! It keeps well in the fridge, but I recommend tossing it with a little olive oil before you store it to help prevent clumping.

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orzo pasta in a rice cooker

How to Make Orzo in a Rice Cooker

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Rice Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to a rice cooker and turn the rice cooker on. As the orzo cooks, the water will be absorbed.
  2. Once the water has been absorbed and the pasta is al dente, turn off the rice cooker and fluff with a fork. It will typically take 15-20 minutes for the orzo to cook in a rice cooker.

Keywords: orzo in a rice cooker