Kritharaki, a staple of Greek cuisine!

It has been a tremendously busy week for us here at The Greek Deli with all our customers and fans making sure to stock up due to the pandemic that has so unexpectedly “struck” us all! We are working hard to ensure all deliveries are scheduled and dispatched on items to enable our customers to enjoy our products.

It being a time of “self-isolation”, voluntary or not, it also has given us – as everyone – more time at home with the family and we have hence also been blessed with some delicious home-cooking dishes. And of course, Kritharaki was one of the first that came on our list. But what is Kritharaki, as it is more widely know in the UK? What dishes can be made out of it and how “caloriffic” is it?

What is Kritharaki?

Kritharaki (Greek version of Italian Orzo) is a tiny pasta shape similar in size to a grain of rice. It is considered a traditional type of Greek pasta and widely enjoyed as a classic meal at home. It is especially good with tomato sauce, or with nuts, nutmeg and peas, in a chicken stew, or very traditionally as part of a giouvetsi (γιουβέτσι) – casseroled meat to which the pasta is added to cook in the meat juices. It cannot be cooked Al Dente (like Italian pasta) nor should it be cooked to a mush as that would alter the taste and texture.

What is the difference between Kritharaki and Orzo?

Kritharaki and Orzo look quite similar but are actually somewhat different. There are many advantages to using kritharaki over Italian Rizoni (or Orzo as it is commonly known). One of those advantages is the fact that Kritharaki comes in three sizes. If you go for the largest it will take considerably longer to cook, which gives it longer time and more “texture” to soak up the cooking juice. As Greeks, we use a slightly different durum wheat to make our kritharaki (Italians get theirs often from the US) and this also has the advantage of being slower cooking and adding that extra taste. 

Dishes to cook with Kritharaki?

Kritharaki is enormously popular amongst adults and kids in Greece and served in a variety of dishes made at home and restaurants. Feel free to search some of the recipes below online and try your hand on making this unique, Greek pasta for the family dinner this weekend!

Kritharaki Pasta with Tomato sauce

Kritharaki and Shellfish

Kritharaki, Halloumi and Tomato salad

Kritharaki, Chicken and Spinach

Kritharaki Turkey soup


The Greek Deli, is please to offer 3 different varieties of Kritharaki including our own , especially produced for The Greek Deli. We also are districutors of the most popular Kritharaki Melissa in Greece and provide 2 different options for wholesale and home delivery. Feel free to have a look at them below and order online for a fast delivery at:

The Greek Deli Kritharaki 500g

Melissa Kritharaki (orzo) pasta 500g- big size

Melissa Kritharaki (orzo) pasta 500g – medium size

Durum wheat semolina, water.

Nutrition Facts (per 100g):
Energy: 354 kcal / 1500kj
Fat: 1.5g of which saturates: 0.3g,
Carbohydrates: 72.1g, of which sugars: 3,8g
Proteins: 12g, Salt: 0.025g

Store the product in a cool and dry place.

Feel free to order online and send us your pictures of how your kritharaki turned out on your next cooking adventure.

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