Cheesy Carrot Cranberry Orzo Pasta

orzo pasta

The name Orzo is the Italian name for barley. Barley has a disc-like shape when in its natural form, hence the name Orzo. In some regions, orzo is commonly called rizoni. Moreover, Orzo falls in a class of pastas called pastinas due its small rice looking shape.

However, Orzo is known by different names in different regions of the world. For example, in Greece, orzo is called  Krithiraki  while in Spain a similar pasta is called  Pinones

orzo pasta

Orzo Pasta and Protein

Orzo is a riced shaped pasta that is sometimes made from semolina flour. In addition, This type of flour is said to be higher in protein compared to white flour.

The high protein content contributes to the rigid structure that maintains its physical structure better during cooking and does not become a soft, clumpy, or mushy product.

What Dishes Can You Make With Orzo?

Cheesy Orzo Cranberry Carrot 

Orzo Pasta Salad



Side Dish

Orzo Nutrition Content

The Pasta LaBella Orzo is made by an American company called  AIPC (American Italian Pasta Company) The nutrition facts indicate that 1/3 cup Pasta LaBella  Orzo provides: 200 cal  7 grams protein and 41 g Carbohydrates. 

Their Orzo product used in this recipe is enriched with B vitamins such as: thiamin (35% (DA) Percent Daily Value), folate, niacin, riboflavin, and also provides you with 10% DV of iron.

Below is the comparison of nutrition facts between orzo, white rice, and brown rice. The nutrition content across different brands will vary.


Nutrition Comparison of Orzo Pasta vs. Rice.

Pasta laBelle Orzo 

(1/3 cup dry)

  • 200 calories
  • 7 grams Protein
  • 41 g Carbohydrate
  • 2 g Fiber

Source: Pasta LaBelle Orzo

Long Grain White Rice 

(1/3 cup cooked) 

  • 68 calories
  • 1.4 gram Protein
  • 15 g Carbohydrate
  • 1 g Fiber

Source: USDA

Long Grain Brown Rice 

(1/3 cup cooked)

  • 82 calories
  • 1.8 grams Protein
  • 17 g Carbohydrate
  • 2 g Fiber

Source: USDA

This Cheesy Orzo Cranberry Carrot dish is inspired by my Home Made Carrot Raisin Brown Rice Recipe. My Cheesy Orzo recipe is simple, but is a very delicious side dish. It’s a complete meal and can be eaten as is or added as part of your Meatless Monday meal plan.


Cheesy Cranberry Carrot Orzo Pasta

Here are all the ingredients You Will Need.

Click on each ingredient for where to shop.

orzo pasta

Cheesy Carrot Cranberry Orzo Pasta.

Kevin Foodie
The rice-shaped orzo pasta cooks very quickly and makes a great side dish. The combination of ingredients takes the orzo from blah to flavorful.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 6


  • Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Measuring Utensils


  • 2.5 cups Orzo Pasta 1 box Pasta Labella Orzo
  • 2 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1/2 cup Four Cheese Blend
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Canola or Olive Oil
  • 2 cups Shredded Carrots
  • 1/2 cup Diced Onions
  • 2 tbsp. Chopped Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper


  • Use the grater to shred carrots.
    shredded carrot
  • In a deep saucepan, pour the olive oil and allow to heat for 1 minute.
  • To the heated oil, add the onion, garlic, black pepper, and stir. Allow to sweat for 2 minutes.
    diced garlic
  • Add the shredded carrots and dried cranberry to onion mixture and stir; allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
    shredded carrots
  • Add the dried orzo and stir into mixture.
    orzo pasta
  • Pour in the vegetable stock and allow to bring to boil and allow to cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid evaporated.
    cheesy orzo
  • At halfway during the cooking process, Add the cheeses and mix well.
    cheesy Orzo
  • Turn off flame and serve hot in a bowl.


Vegan Cheese can be used in place of the cheeses called for in this recipe.
If cranberry is not your thing, I have used raisins before and the dish came out just as great.
Keyword Canberry, Orzo, Pasta, Pasta Dish, Recipe, Rice Dish

Cheesy Carrot Cranberry Orzo Pasta

The sweetness of the carrot and the sweet-tartness of the cranberries combined with the nuttiness of the orzo creates a balance of texture and flavors.

Orzo and Stewed Fish

This orzo was served with this delicious Stewed Salmon. Check out my blog for other stewed recipes.


I'm Orzomatized

Check out my other tasty pasta dishes:

Top 10 Pasta Dishes

orzo pasta

45 thoughts on “Cheesy Carrot Cranberry Orzo Pasta”

  1. 5 stars
    I love Orzo, my husband can’t eat barley so I don’t have it as much as I used to but I really want to try this recipe it sounds delicious!!

  2. 5 stars
    I love trying new and different recipes. This is a combination I’ve never tried before but it looks delicious! I’m going to add this to my list of side dishes. Thank you for sharing!

  3. This sounds yummy! And, as someone newly diagnosed with Alpha Gal Syndrome, a super annoying allergy to all mammalian meat due to a stinking tick bite, I love that I can eat this dish as is! Plus, it’s good to know that orzo is higher in protein than other pasta-like ingredients since I am now scrambling to get enough protein from other sources.

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