Easy Orzo-Mushroom Risotto Style- Kritharotto

May 20, 2016

kritharoto-orzo risotto style
Orzo is called kritharaki or manestra in Greek and we use it quite often, especially as an accompaniment with meat. The traditional Greek way is to cook it along with the meat in the oven or in a pot. This recipe basically takes the risotto technique and applies to orzo. Orzo is more forgiving than rice, making this recipe easier and quicker. In Greek we call this dish kritha-rotto and has become popular in restaurants as chefs are looking to use traditional Greek ingredients but with different cooking techniques. Keeping with the Mediterranean diet principles, I did not add any butter but used olive oil for the whole recipe.

You can add a variety of vegetables, in this case I used mushrooms.

I find that this dish re-heats well. Just put the orzo in a pan, on moderate to high heat and add a bit of hot water and stir quickly until the water is gone and you have a creamy texture again.

Serve it a Greek stewed vegetable dish or a tomato and cucumber salad.

Easy Orzo Risotto Style- Kritharoto

Servings: 4 Servings
Author: Elena Paravantes
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  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 14 ounces uncooked orzo I used medium size
  • 1 ½ cup broth
  • 1 pound mushrooms peeled or washed chopped or sliced
  • ¼ cup of wine
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • Chopped parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • Heat ½ of the olive oil in a deep pan and sauté the onion until soft.
  • Add the orzo and increase heat and stir for about 1 minute.
  • Start adding the broth with a ladle and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue this process for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and the wine and continue stirring. Once liquids are absorbed, continue adding the broth, continuing the process for 2-3 minutes.
  • Try the orzo, it should be soft with bit of a bite in the center.
  • Add a bit more broth stirring.
  • Remove from heat, add the parmesan and the rest of olive oil and stir for about 2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with freshly ground pepper and sprinkle with some chopped parsley.


Make sure you have all the ingredients ready before starting the recipe.
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  • Reply Kirsten Cook March 28, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    I have this same question too!

  • Reply Joanna Williams March 23, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    This sounds delicious! Would I use white or red wine?

  • Reply Lisa K. July 2, 2019 at 2:10 am

    This was restaurant-quality, thank you Elena! Absolutely delicious and super easy to make. I used about 2.5 cups of broth and it was just enough.

  • Reply Maria August 26, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Hi love your blog and real Greek food ! One thing that I want to ask you is bout orzo from Greece .. I have noticed it has an odd taste a sweetness like Mahlab maybe or is it the water there ,, it throws me off so I just used domestic or Italian pasta .. ty for any info

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN September 8, 2018 at 8:43 am

      Generally Greek orzo does not contain any flavorings, just semolina flour and water.

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