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Is Orzo Gluten-free?

Mukta Badipatla Mar 9, 2020
This story will share facts about orzo. So read on to know if orzo has gluten in it, and the substitutes that can be used as its alternatives.

Did You Know?

The Italian term for barley is orzo. In Latin, it is known as 'hordeum', and 'risoni' in other parts of the world.
Orzo is similar to wheat pasta. It is also known as orzo pasta or orzo rice. Initially, orzo was made from barley, but now it is made from wheat or semolina. Semolina flour, which is made from Triticum turgidum wheat grains, gives cooked orzo a hard bite but contains less gluten.
When orzo is made from Triticum aestivum or whole-wheat grains, it becomes chewy when cooked and contains more gluten.

This rice-shaped wheat pasta is often included in soups and stews. It absorbs the flavor of meats and vegetables it is being cooked with.
Orzo grains are thick and bulky. Therefore, when cooked without adding meat or vegetables, it is served in small quantities. These grains can be stored in airtight containers. When cooked, they have to be refrigerated and should be consumed within 2 to 3 days.

Does it Contain Gluten?

Orzo pasta or grains are made from wheat, and it is rich in gluten. Therefore, a person suffering from celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity should strictly avoid consumption.
Orzo is good for those who are not sensitive to gluten and want a nutritious carbohydrate diet. Since orzo resembles rice, it can very well be mistaken as rice. Hence, those sensitive to gluten should ascertain the ingredients in their pasta before ordering or consumption.

Gluten-free Substitutes for Orzo

Pasta made from flours of rice, quinoa, lentil, fava beans, white beans, potato, amaranth, and tapioca are gluten-free substitutes for orzo.
Couscous can also be a substitute for orzo. You can even try out DeLallo's gluten-free rice orzo or Tinkyada's gluten-free rice pasta, or Edison Grain's organic quinoa orzo pasta for the perfect 'al dente' bite. Here is an easy, mouth-watering recipe that contains feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and dill.

Orzo with Feta and Dill

♨ Cherry tomatoes, 2 cups
♨ Crumbled feta, 2 cups
♨ Orzo, 1 cup
♨ Chopped dill, ½ cup
♨ Olive oil, 3 tablespoons
♨ Lemon zest, 1 teaspoon
♨ In a large serving bowl, add dill, olive oil, lemon zest, and cherry tomatoes.
♨ Then in a large pot of boiling salt water, add orzo and let it cook.
♨ Once cooked, add the orzo to the bowl of tomatoes prepared earlier.
♨ Put in the crumbled feta and serve hot.
Orzo contains gluten and it is known to adversely effect the intestinal function of gluten sensitive individuals or those suffering from celiac disease. Always be sure about the ingredients in your pasta and make the right choice.