Beefy Orzo

What the heck is an orzo?  It looks like rice, but it’s a pasta. It can be confusing.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Orzo.

Orzo (Italian for “barley”, from Latin hordeum),[1] also known as risoni (It.: “big rice”) outside the Western Hemisphere, is a form of pasta, in the shape of a large grain of rice, slightly smaller than a pine nut. It is often served with a ragù, used in soup, or baked in a casserole. While it was originally made from barley, orzo today is a hard wheat semolina product. It is also found as kritharáki (“little barley”) and manéstra in Greek cuisine and arpa şehriye in Turkish cooking. Orzo is sometimes referred to as “Italian rice“.”

I’m posting this recipe for 3 reasons.

  • I’ve got a friend who requested some easy recipes that use canned goods. She is caring for a parent who is going through chemotherapy. Apparently, fresh fruit and veggies are a No-No during chemo.

Those of you who post recipes, if you have any good recipes that use canned goods not fresh veggies and fruit, please leave a comment with a link to that recipe. I will make sure that the link gets to my friend.

Thank you.

  • I’m linking up with Tandy at Lavender and Lime for the weekly food challenge. This week she is hosting Presto Pasta Night
  • This is a easy to make, quick cooking, great tasting dish.

I made this recipe with ground beef, but you could use ground Turkey, ground chicken, or stir fry cut meat for this recipe.

Orzo and Cilantro Beef   Inspired by a Betty Crocker recipe.


3 cups of beef stock or broth

1 1/2 cups of uncooked orzo (You will find this in the pasta section at the store)

1 can of corn (undrained) I used Mexicorn (it has pieces of red and green diced pepper in it.)

1/2 to 1 can (4 ounces) of chopped green chilies (1/2 for less spice, 1 for regular spice)

1/2 to 1 pound of meat (I used ground beef)

1/4 cup of cilantro

***if you’re making this and are able to add fresh items to the meal***

Try adding

  • 1 chopped bell pepper *add to the meat while it is browning*
  • fresh cilantro instead for dried cilantro
  • 1/2 chopped onion *add to the meat while it is browning*

In a large saucepan, mix broth, pasta, corn and chilies. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 min. Make sure you stir the orzo a few times, it’s likes to stick.

While the orzo is simmering, cook your protein choice (with green peppers and onions if you’re adding them). Cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5-7 min (until done)

Once everything is cooked, stir the meat mixture into the pasta mixture. Now stir in the cilantro. Let stand for 2-3 min.


I served mine with garlic bread.

The leftovers…are great for lunch the next day…or a midnight snack!



  1. Great recipe. I love orzo but don’t use it a lot. You gave me one more recipe.

    • I do not use orzo much either, Greg. I’d love to hear your recipe, I’ve still got half a bag of pasta. 🙂

  2. Love orzo but have never seen it in Spain. Am now on a mission to track it down….All the best to you friend who is caring for her parent.

    • Thank you Tanya, I’ll pass that along.

      I wonder if I can mail pasta….if you don’t find any…I can mail you some. 🙂 or you could try making your own. No, I’ll mail it. LOL

  3. Janice

    I discovered orzo last year and love it! I especially love it in soups. I make a veggie soup, add some orzo, and even my kids will eat it, despite the veggies.

    • That’s a great idea! Thanks Janice.

  4. what a kind thing to do, make a dish for someone who needs to be cared for 🙂 My tuna lasagna dish fits the bill as well 🙂 Thanks for taking part in PPN!

    • Thanks Tandy. I’ll check out that post. I am going to forward my friend all the recipes I can find. 🙂

    • Ahhhh…forgot something on that last comment. Thank you for hosting PPN and you’re very welcome! It gave me a chance to break out a recipe I had not used in a while.

  5. I had a frightening mishap with orzo many moons ago and have been leery of it every since… but this looks good!

    • It tastes great. Orzo mishap…oh my!

  6. Love orzo…always look for new things to make with it.

    • “New to me” recipes are some of my favorite recipes. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for commenting.

  7. What a nice gesture collecting recipes for your friend. This dish looks tasty. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I’ve added yours to my Google Reader and look forward to reading your future posts!

    • Thanks for the comment! This dish was very tasty, even as leftovers a few days after it was made. 🙂

  8. Looks delicious – orzo is one of my favourite pastas 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment Sue! 🙂 I love this dish it’s great fresh and as leftovers.

  9. You have a great blog here. Thank you for visiting! I will visit again. 🙂

    • Thanks Mia! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


  1. Presto Pasta Nights 222 « Lavender and Lime

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