How to Cook Orzo in a Microwave

How to Cook Orzo in a MicrowaveOrzo is pasta that resembles rice. It is high in fiber, protein, and other vitamins that are vital to the human body.

When cooking orzo, you will have to cook it like other types of pasta where water, salt, boiling, and stirring are required.

However, the question is, can you cook orzo in a microwave?

Yes, you can cook orzo in a microwave. Fill a microwavable bowl with water and add your orzo. Add a drop of cooking oil and a pinch of salt to the bowl. Microwave the orzo for 2 minutes, stir and microwave again for two more minutes. Repeat the microwaving and stirring process for 6 minutes or until the orzo is cooked enough for you.

This article explains how to cook orzo in a microwave. Other discussed topics include: How long it takes to cook orzo in The Microwave, What Is the Ratio of Water to Orzo, Do You Rinse Orzo Before Cooking, and Reheat Orzo in The Microwave, among others. Answers to frequently asked questions complete the article.

Can Orzo Be Cooked in the Microwave?

How to Cook Orzo in a MicrowaveAs already observed, it is possible to cook orzo in the microwave. However, just like any other meal, certain observations are essential. For instance,

The orzo should always be submerged in water

As you place your orzo in the microwavable bowl, ensure the added water covers the orzo. That way, the orzo will be evenly cooked.

  • Stir the orzo

The orzo must be stirred after every two minutes of microwaving to avoid clumping together.

  • Getting the cooking time

As you microwave your orzo, remember different microwaves have different microwaving power. Therefore, the cooking time may vary. Keep an eye on the orzo not to overcook it so that it does not come out too soggy or undercooked for it to become hard and chewy.

  • Add more water if necessary

The main secret to successfully cooking orzo is having enough water to submerge it. With enough water, you are guaranteed that they will not come out too hard or chewy for you. However, with too much water, you can easily overcook them.

How to Cook Orzo in Microwave?

How to Cook Orzo in a MicrowaveIllustrated below is a way of cooking you may use when microwaving your orzo. The requirements and the step-to-step procedure have been made easy for you to access and conduct.


  • A large microwavable bowl
  • Water
  • Cooking Oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Stirrer
  • Orzo (1 cup)


1. Place the orzo in a microwavable bowl

You do not need to wash the orzo if you are cooking it. Therefore, pour it into a microwave-safe bowl the way it is. Ensure the bowl is large enough to hold the orzo as it cooks and will not allow the water to spill over when boiling.

2. Add water to the bowl

Pour enough water into the bowl containing the orzo. Ensure the water covers the entire orzo for even cooking.

3. Season your orzo

The seasoning of orzo does not need much. A drop of cooking oil and a pinch of salt will be perfect.

4. Microwave the orzo

Place the bowl in the microwave and heat at high power for 2 minutes.

5. Stir

Use a stirrer to stir the orzo after every two minutes. Add water to the orzo as you stir since the water will have reduced in quantity after every two minutes’ microwave.

6. Repeat stirring and cooking for 6 minutes

It takes six minutes to cook orzo completely. However, you must stop the microwave every two minutes to stir and add some water to the orzo in those six minutes.

7. Drain the water

Drain excess water from the orzo once cooked before serving. Ensure to serve immediately while still warm.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Orzo in The Microwave?

The time it takes for orzo to be cooked in the microwave depends on certain things, as discussed below.

  • The quantity of orzo

The more the orzo, the longer it will take to be microwaved. One cup of orzo will take about 6 minutes to cook in the microwave thoroughly. However, one must check it every 2 minutes to add some water and stir.

  • The amount of water used

Water contributes greatly towards how first a microwave will cook the orzo. Remember, a microwave uses water molecules in the food to ensure heat is distributed evenly. Therefore, enough water in the orzo will cook first and evenly.

  • The microwave power

The microwave power is measured in voltage. The higher the microwave voltage, the firster the orzo will be cooked.

What Is the Ratio of Water to Orzo

When boiling orzo on a stove, the ratio of water to orzo should be 1/2 cup water for 1 cup orzo.

However, when microwaving, the water should always be twice as much as the orzo. More water will allow you to stir the orzo when it is time and for heat to distribute evenly. You can always drain the excess water after microwaving to serve them warm.

Do You Rinse Orzo Before Cooking

It is not helpful to rinse orzo when you want to cook. When you rinse, you wash off the starch that helps your orzo and sauces or seasonings cling together. You may be allowed to rinse off your orzo only when you intend not to cook it. Instead, you would like to serve it fresh in salads, or you intend to bake it.

How Do You Reheat Orzo in The Microwave

Looking at leftover orzo, one might feel devastated. However, you can still restore this mushy pile of fluffy grains into a lovely meal. Below are the requirements and a procedure to make things easier for you.


  • Leftover orzo
  • Water
  • Microwavable bowl


1. Transfer the orzo to a microwavable bowl

Do not make a habit of microwaving leftover meals in the containers used to store them. First, confirm the container is microwave safe. If not, transfer your meal to a microwavable bowl.

2. Add enough water to the bowl

Ensure the bowl has enough water to cover the orzo. The water will ensure the orzo is reheated evenly.

3. Microwave

Microwave the orzo for about two minutes. Stir to ensure they detangle and also heat evenly. Suppose the two minutes do not reheat. Consider microwaving for another two minutes. Ensure not to overcook as they are already cooked; you are just giving them a boost. Overcooking will cause them to become too soggy.

4. Drain excess water

Once the orzo is warm enough for you. Drain the excess water and serve it while still warm.

What to Serve with Orzo

Suppose you are wondering what you will likely put on the table alongside orzo. Below are examples of meals, sauces, and herbs that are quite delicious and go well with your meal.

  • Tomato sauce
  • Pesto
  • Alfredo sauce
  • Olive oil and garlic
  • Vegetables
  • Chicken
  • Seafood
  • Cheese
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • thyme

Is It Safe to Microwave Orzo

There is no mentioned harm brought about by microwaving orzo. However, the only harm that could occur is when you use a non-microwavable bowl for cooking the orzo. Before placing your orzo in the microwave, ensure the container being used to microwave has a microwave-safe symbol.

Not all containers can handle microwave heat; others end up melting due to too much heat, while others might ignite due to the metals’ availability. Therefore, ensure the container microwaving your orzo is microwave safe to avoid harm.

Secondly, orzo can easily burn in the microwave when exposed to heat without water. Ensure the container water is at least 1 inch above the orzo. That way, there will be no possibility of the orzo having black spots due to heat.

Thirdly, ensure to stir the orzo after every two minutes. Suppose the water seems to have reduced during the two-minute stirring break. Add more water and stir thoroughly to avoid clinging and sticking together.

Advantages of Using a Microwave to Cook Orzo

If you are wondering if there are any benefits of cooking orzo with a microwave compared to other cooking options? The advantages are discussed below.

1. You are guaranteed evenly cooked orzo

Even though a microwave is known for its partial cooking, when orzo is cooked appropriately by following the required rules, the orzo will come out perfectly and evenly cooked.

2. The method is fast

Within a few minutes, the orzo will be ready. A microwave is the fastest method to cook your orzo compared to other methods. It is the most convenient method when you are in a hurry.

3. The cooking method retains the orzo’s flavor

Due to the short cooking time, nutrients and flavors in the orzo rarely get destroyed by heat in the microwave.

4. You can easily cook your orzo with fewer ingredients

Water, salt, and cooking oil are the only vital ingredients when microwaving orzo. The three ingredients are enough to give you a tasty meal out of a microwaved orzo.

Challenge You May Encounter When Microwaving Orzo

Like most cooking methods, there are some challenges one must encounter when cooking. Below are some issues that might give you a bit of a headache when microwaving orzo. Their solutions are also provided.

1. Knowing the quantity of water to use

The amount of water should not be an issue. The secret is to ensure the water is always above the orzo. Every time you stir, you may add some water to ensure the water is always above the orzo.

2. Knowing the cooking duration

To be on the safer side, consider microwaving your orzo at an interval of 2 minutes until it cooks enough for you. At the end of each interval, stir thoroughly and add some water if necessary.

3. Avoiding situations when the orzo comes out too soggy or too chewy

Your orzo will come out undercooked or overcooked when you are not careful. When orzo is undercooked, you end up with chewy orzo. When it is overcooked, you get one that is too soggy. Again the solution is microwaving the orzo at an interval of two minutes as you stir, add water and check the doneness.

Faqs On How to Cook Orzo in a Microwave

1. Is orzo pasta or rice?

Orzo is usually confused with rice due to its small rice shape. However, orzo is not rice; it is classified as pasta. Therefore, orzo is pasta.

2. Do you cook orzo covered or uncovered?

It is better to cook orzo uncovered. When covered, it boils and spills over, causing a mess on the stove or microwave.

3. Is orzo healthier than rice?

Yes, orzo is healthier than rice. Orzo is better equipped with fiber, protein, and 50% more calories than rice, which makes it more beneficial to the body.

4. Is orzo good for diabetics?

Yes, orzo is perfect for people with diabetes. The high fiber content in the orzo is good for lowering blood sugars and insulin levels. This means people with diabetes can greatly benefits from consuming orzo.

5. Is orzo healthier than spaghetti?

Yes, orzo is healthier than spaghetti. Orzo contains more fiber and protein than spaghetti, making it more nutritious and beneficial to the body.


The best and fastest method of cooking orzo is using a microwave. The method does not require much, just a microwavable bowl, water, orzo, and salt.

However, to work perfectly, you need to be keen not to undercook or overcook the orzo. Microwave at an interval of 2 minutes as you stir, add water and check the doneness.

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