38 Best Risoni Recipes (One Pot, Soups, Pasta Salads & More!)

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Risoni (maybe you know it as orzo?) may look like large grains of rice, but it’s actually a type of short-cut pasta!

You’ll be amazed what satisfying and delicious dishes you can make with this versatile ingredient. It makes a fabulous bowl of comfort food, easy one pot dinners, warming soups or pasta salads to serve at your next summer BBQ.

Wondering what to do with that bag of risoni you picked up at the supermarket? Here are 38 of the best creative ideas!

Closeup of creamy chicken orzo in half of a large blue cast iron pan with a colorful tea towel in front and a glass of water and dark background.

One Pot Dinners

Who doesn’t love a quick and easy dinner made all in one pan? From risoni ‘risotto’ and simple orzo side dishes to a classic Greek dish, it’s hard to know which of these sumptuous recipes to try first!

1 Creamy Chicken, Bacon and Mushroom Orzo

If you’re looking for a cheesy, creamy bowl of comfort food (that actually doesn’t contain much cream!), then this chicken, bacon and mushroom orzo dish is probably for you.

Imagine a risotto, but without the constant stirring. This one pan risoni pasta dish is pretty similar to a risotto, but so much easier to make.

Closeup of creamy chicken orzo in half of a large blue cast iron pan with a colorful tea towel in front and a glass of water and dark background.
4.32 from 64 votes

Creamy Chicken Orzo with Mushroom and Bacon

A risotto-like family dinner packed full of comforting chicken, bacon and mushrooms. Super easy to make with simple ingredients and all in one pot.
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2 Greek Baked Chicken and Orzo (Giouvetsi)

This is a really easy, crowd pleasing recipe that’s perfect for busy weeknights. Giouvetsi is a classic Greek dish that you may come across if you ever visit Greece.

Cook chicken thighs with orzo, tomato passata, and a few more simple pantry ingredients, sprinkle with plenty of cheese and then bake (and put your feet up while the oven does the work!).

This is simple and comforting enough for the whole family to enjoy, from the grandparents to the kids.

A red baking dish of Greek giouvetsi with chicken with parsley and feta on it and a spoon in it and with a red checked tea towel in the background
5 from 6 votes


This version of the very delicious traditional Greek giouvetsi comes in the form of a chicken and orzo pasta baked in oregano and spice-infused tomato sauce and sprinkled with cheese. Only one or two pans to wash!
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3. One Pan Chicken Puttanesca

This incredibly delicious risoni recipe is from Killing Thyme. You get crispy seasoned chicken thighs nestled into creamy orzo with juicy tomatoes, Sicilian olives, and briny capers.

Another risoni dinner that’s perfect for busy week nights as there’s only one pot to wash!

One-Pan Chicken Puttanesca with Creamy Orzo

One-Pan Chicken Puttanesca with Creamy Orzo is a beautiful meal in both looks and flavor, and it’s simple enough to make on your busy weeknights.
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4. Risotto Style Orzo with Pumpkin

Like many Neapolitan pasta recipes, this simple dish from Pasta Project originates from what Italians call ‘la cucina povera’, or the peasant kitchen.

But despite its simplicity, this is one of the most flavorful pasta and pumpkin recipes you can imagine. This one is great for sneaking more goodness in for the kids.

Move over mac and cheese!

Risotto style Pasta with Pumpkin or Winter Squash

Risotto-style pasta with pumpkin is a traditional Neapolitan dish known as ‘pasta e cocozza’. It’s simple, creamy and so delicious.
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5. Risoni Bake

This risoni bake from Every Little Crumb is oh-so-creamy. But it actually isn’t too rich because it’s made with milk instead of heavy cream.

There’s just enough cheese in this to enhance the flavors without overwhelming the dish.

Risoni Bake – Every Little Crumb Spinach Mushroom Orzo

This risoni bake is creamy, cheesy, and delicious. Baked orzo with spinach and mushrooms is a delicious vegetarian orzo dish, and it’s super easy to make.
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6. Greek meatballs and orzo

This risoni recipe from Recipe Runner is the perfect choice if you want something that cooks in one skillet… and you’re a fan of Greek food!

fThis recipe uses ground turkey but works just as well with ground chicken, beef, pork and even lamb.

Greek Meatballs and Orzo Skillet

Greek Meatballs and Orzo Skillet is the perfect easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love. Hearty, healthy and full of fresh Greek flavors!
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7. Oven Baked Sausage Orzo

This baked pasta with sausage and spinach from Chef Not Required elevates the humble sausage to the next level! The best part? The oven does all the hard work!

One Pan Oven Baked Sausage Orzo

One Pan Oven Baked Sausage Orzo – oven roasted sausages in a rich tomato orzo sauce packed with vegetables, then topped with feta and basil pesto.
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8. Herby Lamb with Orzo

What a stunning lamb dish from A Mummy Too. Juicy lamb sliced and served on a bed of herby, lemony orzo and garnished with herbs and fresh tomatoes.

Herby Lamb with Orzo

Have you ever paired herby lamb with orzo? This gorgeous dish is made with Welsh cannon of lamb, rubbed with a homemade blend of Greek spices and pan fried to perfection.
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9. Baked Orzo Pasta (vegetarian)

What’s wonderful about many risoni recipes is that you don’t have to precook the pasta. For this baked orzo recipe from I Heart Vegetables, simply add the pasta to the casserole dish and bake it in the sauce until tender.

Look at those delicious pockets of ricotta cheese!

Baked Orzo Pasta

This delicious Baked Orzo Pasta comes together in just one dish! The pasta cooks in the sauce for added flavor, making this tasty recipe quick and easy.
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10. Pan-fried salmon with creamy lemon orzo

This recipe from Kitchen Sanctuary uses beautifully seasoned salmon on a bed of creamy orzo with lemon and parmesan. Dinner perfection!

Pan-Fried Salmon with Creamy Lemon Orzo

This dish feels like a really special dinner, yet it’s quick to make and all cooked in one pan!
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11. Apple Chicken Sausage with Orzo

This delicious one pan recipe from Howe We Live is on the table in under 30 minutes!

Apple Chicken Sausage with Orzo Pasta

This one pan apple chicken sausage recipe with orzo is the perfect family meal. A healthy meal that’s delicious but also quick and easy- perfect for a busy weeknight.
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12. Slow cooker Greek lamb shanks

This comforting dish from Mrs Jones’s Kitchen is perfect for cooking lamb on a budget- but it certainly doesn’t skimp on flavor!

Slow Cooker Greek Lamb Shanks

These budget friendly slow cooker Greek lamb shanks are cooked with Greek spices and tomatoes until meltingly soft and tender then pasta is added to this comforting one pot meal.
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13. One Pot Shrimp and Feta Orzo

This one pot beauty from Dishing Out Health requires very little legwork and can be on the table in only 30 minutes. It’s hearty but not heavy, rich yet virtuous, and has plenty of veggies in each serving.

One Pot Harissa Shrimp Orzo with Feta

One Pot Harissa Shrimp and Feta Orzo comes together in one pot in 30 minutes. Enjoy this easy shrimp orzo recipe with a side salad and crusty bread.
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14. One Pot Chicken with Orzo, Lemon and Feta

This easy dinner recipe from Craving California is complete in less than an hour. The risoni pasta soaks up all of the delicious flavors in the pot and creates a velvety risotto-like consistency (without all the work!).

One-Pot Chicken with Orzo, Lemon and Feta

This one-pot chicken with orzo is packed with all your favorite Mediterranean flavors like lemon, olives, fresh oregano, and feta cheese!
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15. Tuscan Chicken Orzo

Barley and Sage‘s Italian inspired meal will have your taste buds singing!

Tuscan chicken is often served over pasta, but by adding the orzo straight to the dish you can skip a step for this easy yet filling weeknight dinner.

Creamy Tuscan Chicken Orzo

One-pan creamy Tuscan chicken orzo with sundried tomatoes and spinach is an easy weeknight dinner that comes together in just 30 minutes!
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16. Orzo with tomatoes and artichokes

This recipe by The Forked Spoon combines simple everyday ingredients to make something really delicious!

Orzo Pasta with Tomatoes and Artichoke Hearts

This Orzo Pasta recipe is filled with garlic, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, asparagus, and chicken sausage. Drizzled with fresh lemon juice and sprinkled with parmesan cheese, you’ll love this easy, 30-minute one-pot recipe!
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Soups with risoni

Risoni pasta is a great addition to soups. It’s the perfect substitute for rice, cooks in no time and can turn an ordinary soup into a hearty dish that’s just a little bit special.

17. Creamy Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

This soup has it all- it’s creamy, comforting and packed with flavor. The good news is there’s actually not too much cream so it’s not too heavy (only a third of a cup to serve around 4 people).

Plus it’s full of veggie goodness!

Someone eating from a bowl of chicken orzo soup with a spoon and with ingredients and a red pot in the background.
5 from 8 votes

Creamy Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

Anything with the words ‘creamy’, ‘lemon’ or ‘orzo’ in, and I’m sold. So how could a soup with all three of these in, plus CHICKEN and lots of healthy vegetables, be anything but delicious? Ready in just 30 minutes.
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18. Vegetable Orzo Soup

 Love From the Table’s hearty risoni soup is full of fresh ingredients like carrot, zucchini, peas, and spinach. It’s a great way to get in your extra veggies on a cold day!

Vegetable Orzo Soup

This soup is hearty and delicious and filled with tons of healthy veggies! It has a classic minestrone flavor that your whole family will love and bonus- you only make it using one pot!
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19. Tuscan Minestrone with Orzo

The Pasta Project has you covered for perfect winter comfort food with this beautiful take on minestrone soup. Full to the brim with veggies, it’s a healthy but hearty meal.

Tuscan Minestrone with Orzo

Tuscan minestrone with orzo uses fresh seasonal veggies and greens, beans and pasta. This is an absolutely delicious and nutritious yet authentic Italian recipe.
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20. Italian Wedding Soup

Everybody loves a wedding, right? Well, you’re sure to love this cozy, comforting soup from The Healthy Epicurean– it’s delightful! The meatballs work so well with the flavorful parmesan broth. Yum!

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup with mini turkey meatballs, orzo, spinach and ribbons of Parmesan swirled eggs in a delightful broth.
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21. Buffalo Chicken Soup with Orzo

This hearty soup from Running to the Kitchen is quite the crowd pleaser, perfect for large crowds. It’s very quick and easy to make too.

Buffalo Soup with Chicken and Orzo

If you love buffalo wings, you’ll love this cheesy, spicy, buffalo chicken soup with orzo. It’s a simple & easy meal and ready in 30 minutes!
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22. Butternut Squash and Coconut Orzo Soup – Vegan and Gluten free

This warming and nourishing soup from Eating By Elaine is something the whole family will love. The natural sweetness of butternut squash pairs so well with the garlic and onion. The coconut milk adds a creamy base to create a comforting and cozy meal.

Butternut Squash Coconut Orzo Soup (vegan + gluten-free)

This Butternut Squash Coconut Orzo Soup is filled with satisfying orzo, colorful veggies, and a creamy coconut milk base.
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23. Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup – Vegan

This delicious lemony soup from The Stingy Vegan is very easy to make- use your food processor to do the work for you and you’ll have a healthy and vegan-friendly soup in no time!

Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup

This healthy lemon chickpea orzo soup is quick and easy to make with a delicate lemon flavour and a creamy consistency.
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24. Cream of Tomato Soup with Orzo

This creamy tomato soup from Garlic and Zest is made with San Marzano tomatoes, a touch of vermouth and a swirl of cream for a velvety feel. Cooked orzo adds more heft to this super easy and tasty risoni soup recipe.

Cream of Tomato Soup with Orzo

Nothing beats this homemade cream of tomato soup recipe. Use canned tomatoes & cooked orzo for this creamy, velvety soup. Ready in 45 minutes.
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25. Vegetable Beef Soup with Orzo

Alyssa from My Sequined Life cooks this soup once a month, year round- it’s that good!

Vegetable Beef Soup with Orzo

Tender chunks of beef join with orzo and a medley of vegetables and leafy greens for a satisfying and flavorful homemade vegetable beef soup.
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26. Slow Cooker Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

This slow cooker Greek lemon chicken soup recipe, otherwise known as avgolemono, is by Flavor the Moments . It’s packed with chicken, orzo and a creamy broth that’s full of flavor.

This one’s an easy and family friendly recipe that also happens to be dairy free.

Slow Cooker Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Slow Cooker Greek Lemon Chicken Soup is creamy, satisfying and packed with fresh lemon flavor.
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Risoni side dishes

Orzo recipes can work so well used in side dishes, too. Why not give one or more of these a try? Something a little different to the usual rice, potatoes or bread!

27. Creamy Parmesan Spinach Orzo

This fabulous side from Life as a Strawberry is quick, easy and really easy to customize to make your own. It’s a perfect accompaniment to vegetables, salad, chicken, fish or sausage.

Creamy Parmesan Spinach Orzo

Mix up your dinner routine with this quick, easy, flavorful Parmesan Spinach Orzo! Comes together in a snap with an easy garlic parmesan sauce.
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28. Orzo with Peas and Parmesan

This lovely little side dish from Valerie’s Kitchen cooks the orzo in a lemony, seasoned broth. It’s finished with peas, Parmesan, and lemon zest.

Orzo with Peas and Parmesan

This fresh and bright Orzo with Peas and Parmesan is a versatile and delicious side dish recipe that takes just minutes to make.
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29. Cheesy Butternut Squash Orzo

The sweet roasted butternut squash in this side dish from A Cedar Spoon is paired with savory, rich cheese and cream. This would pair so well with a grilled meat or fish, or just enjoy it by itself.

Cheesy Butternut Squash Orzo

Cheesy butternut squash orzo is a warm, cheesy dish mixing orzo, roasted butternut squash and a creamy cheese sauce topped with fresh sage.
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30. Spring Pea Orzo Fried Rice

Don’t you just love this clever idea of orzo fried rice from It’s a Veg World Afterall? This orzo dish with a difference would work so well as a side dish or a meal in itself.

Spring Pea Orzo Fried Rice

This Spring Pea Orzo Fried Rice is a delicious weeknight meal and a fun twist on classic fried rice. Bursting with flavor and healthier than take-out!
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Pasta salads

31. Orzo Pesto Salad With Spinach & Parmesan

There are just a few ingredients in this simple cold pesto salad with orzo, but they pack a punch in flavor. You’ll love the range of texture, and it goes well with pretty much any protein on the side.

Got leftovers? You’ll be the envy of the office if you pack some of this for lunch.

Spinach, Pesto and Parmesan Orzo Salad

A simple, tasty salad of orzo with homemade basil pesto, toasted pine nuts, shredded spinach and parmesan cheese.
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32. Orzo Salad with Feta, Asparagus and Chickpeas

Perfect as a side dish or even the main event, this delicious yet simple salad is ideal for using up the can of chickpeas hiding at the back of your cupboard (and makes a change from the usual hummus!).

A closeup of a blue bowl of asparagus, tomato and chickpea orzo salad with a spoon across the top.
5 from 4 votes

Orzo Salad with Feta, Asparagus and Chickpeas

Looking for something refreshing, simple, and healthy to go with your chicken, fish, or steak main? Look no further! This orzo salad with feta, asparagus and chickpeas is the perfect choice!
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33. Orzo pasta salad with black beans and corn

Molly from Vanilla Bean Cuisine has been making this salad for a whopping 25 years! Easy, filling and totally delicious. Give it a go to find out why Molly loves it so much!

Orzo Pasta Salad with Black Beans and Corn

Packed with black beans, corn, chopped red peppers and tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. Perfect for an easy lunch!
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34. Orzo Harvest Salad (Vegan)

Orzo Harvest Salad

This easy orzo salad is made with roasted squash, brussels sprouts and a maple mustard dressing.
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35. Orzo salad with roasted vegetables

The options are endless for this pasta salad from That Skinny Chick can Bake. Add feta, zucchini and olives for a Mediterranean vibe or use lots of roasted vegetables to keep it super healthy.

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Orzo, Mozzarella and Basil

Orzo Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables is definitely a crowd-pleaser. Full of veggies, cheese, and pasta, you may not want to share!
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36. Greek Orzo Salad

Joy, Food Sunshine has created this fabulous Mediterranean orzo salad recipe that’s fresh, light and bursting with flavor. Orzo pasta, tomatoes, chickpeas, veggies and fresh herbs are tossed in a delicious homemade dressing for a healthy, flavorful side dish.

Greek Orzo Salad

Orzo pasta, tomatoes, chickpeas, veggies and fresh herbs are tossed in a delicious homemade dressing for this healthy, flavorful side dish.
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37. Zucchini Orzo Salad

This fresh zucchini salad from Dishing Out Health is hearty, filled with fresh herbs, and deliciously zesty from the pepperoncini dressing. It’s also rich in heart-healthy fats from the walnuts and olive oil.

Zucchini Orzo Salad with Pepperoncini Dressing

Zucchini Orzo Salad with toasted walnuts, herbs, and a zesty Pepperoncini Dressing. Enjoy this easy summer orzo salad warm or at room temperature.
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38. Orzo Arugula Salad with Grapes

This salad from The Forked Spoon has a harmonious combination of fresh, sweet, tangy and earthy. Don’t you just love the look of the grapes juxtaposed with the feta?!

Orzo Arugula Salad with Feta and Grapes

This vibrant and delicious Orzo Arugula Salad is filled with juicy grapes, toasted pine nuts, feta, and asparagus tossed in an easy lemon vinaigrette. Perfect for a light dinner or lunch.
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Risoni FAQ

Can I replace rice with risoni in any dish?

Since risoni pasta has a similar (but not the same!) texture to rice, you can indeed replace rice with it in many recipes. However, remember that risoni cooks faster than rice so you’ll need to adapt the recipe accordingly. Overall, risoni (orzo) can work very well in any recipe that’s usually made with rice, such as risotto, paella, rice salad or fried ‘rice’. Give it a try!

How long does risoni take to cook?

It actually depends what you’re using it for. If you’re boiling it for, say, a pasta salad, it’ll only take around 8 minutes to cook. If you’re using it to make a risotto, you’ll cook it in the pan for around 25 minutes. On the whole, it’s quicker and easier to cook than rice.

Is risoni healthy?

Pasta, including risoni, can absolutely be part of a healthy, balanced diet, especially when paired with other whole foods. There are so many ingredients that go really well with risoni so you can tailor most recipes to your diet. You can even buy a wholegrain version of risoni if you want that extra dose of fiber.

Are there any common mistakes to avoid when cooking risoni?

To prevent your risoni from sticking, add a little olive oil or butter. If you overcook risoni it can turn to mush, so try to keep it al dente. Just keep testing after around 7 minutes of cooking. Like other pasta shapes, risoni expands when cooked (to about 3 x the size of its dried form). If you allow about 1/2 cup per person this should ensure you don’t cook too much (though you can always enjoy the leftovers later!).

Which risoni recipe/recipes do you most like the sound of? Let me know which ones you try!

Need more quick and easy meal ideas – especially at the weekend? Check out this mammoth list of 100 lazy Sunday dinner ideas!


About Helen Schofield

Don't expect to find anything fussy or complicated here. Just QUICK, EASY & (mostly!) HEALTHY recipes from the Mediterranean and beyond. ENJOY!

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