Orzo: The Little Pasta with Big Benefits



With the warm weather of spring finally upon us, it’s time to say goodbye to all those heavy dishes reserved especially for winter like chili and lasagna. But if you are not ready to pack up pasta all together, one type that easily makes the transition from winter to spring is called orzo. Orzo resembles large grains of rice and is perfect for making light pasta dishes that go well with the blossoming of spring.

Orzo is commonly made from white flour, but it can be made from whole-grain flour as well, making it a healthier pasta option. A two oz. serving of orzo is 200 calories. This small pasta is a good source of carbohydrates; one serving of orzo contains 42 grams of carbohydrates and two grams of fiber. You can get more fiber from this pasta by choosing orzo made from whole grain flour instead of white flour. The protein found in orzo, seven grams per serving, can also help boost your energy levels. You can increase the amount of protein in your diet by eating more of this small pasta and pairing it with other sources of protein such as salmon, shrimp or chicken. Orzo is also a good low-fat pasta option with only one gram of fat per serving.

Eating more pasta, including orzo, is a good way to keep you full longer. In 2009 the British Journal of Nutrition found that consumption of pasta may help you take in less food per day (Source: Livestrong).

While orzo may be eaten alone, this versatile pasta makes it easy to pair with any sauce, veggies, meat and cheese.