When it comes to weeknight dinners at my house, there are some recipes that really stand out. This shrimp orzo has fast become a favorite one-pot meal! I just love the splendid, fresh flavors of this easy pasta dish. Everyone else loves it too. And the best part is, it’s ready in 30 minutes and is great for leftovers the following day!
I make this orzo pasta recipe with marinated garlicky shrimp, fresh lemons, a pinch of red pepper and seasoning. Everything comes together in a broth-based sauce and the results are absolute quick dinner perfection! You can easily customize this shrimp pasta with your favorite ingredients, too.
What You’ll Need
Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious and flavor-filled lemony orzo pasta:
Orzo Pasta: I just love the way that orzo coats so well, and soaks up all the delicious garlic and lemon flavors!
Shrimp: Raw shrimp, peeled and deveined. I like to prep the shrimp ahead of time so we don’t need to fuss over peeling them during the meal!
Lemons: You’ll need both the juice and zest.
Garlic: Whole cloves, divided and minced.
Chicken Stock: Low sodium is great since you can adjust the seasoning to taste.
Italian Seasoning: You can also use a blend of dried parsley, basil, and oregano.
Red Pepper Flakes: For a nice hint of heat that goes great with lemon and seafood.
Salt & Pepper
You can also use Chopped Fresh Parsley as well as Lemon Slices as an optional garnish!
What is Orzo Pasta?
So, what is orzo? Orzo is a type of small pasta that’s shaped very similarly to rice, with a pasta taste. It’s chewy and tasty, and perfect for easy cooking and one-pot dinners!
How to Make Lemon Shrimp Orzo
Marinate the Shrimp: Whisk together the lemon marinade ingredients in a large bowl, then toss in the shrimp to coat. Leave this aside for now.
Lightly Toast the Pasta: Melt the butter in a large skillet and add in the orzo. Stir often until the orzo becomes golden in color, then add in the garlic to cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add in the Chicken Stock & Cook: Add the chicken stock into the orzo and bring it to a boil, then leave it to simmer, covered, until all the broth is absorbed. At this point, the orzo won’t be completely cooked yet, but that’s just the way we want it!
Combine the Ingredients: Toss the shrimp as well as the marinade into the orzo. Stir and then cover the pot, letting it cook until the shrimp is pink and the orzo is fully cooked.
Finish & Serve: Lastly, stir in the remaining butter to get the sauce nice and creamy! Season with salt and pepper to taste and then garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.
Tips & Variation Ideas
Use Uncooked Shrimp: I like to use fresh, raw shrimp for this shrimp orzo recipe for the flavor and also the results! Precooked shrimp is hit-and-miss and has a tendency to overcook and become chewy in texture.
Add in Extra Veggies: You can dress up this shrimp orzo recipe with extra veggies! Fresh asparagus and broccoli, or frozen green peas all compliment the flavors really nicely.
Add in Extra Cheese: Top your orzo pasta with some crumbled feta, or freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Make Creamy Shrimp Orzo: You can make a richer, creamy version of this dish by substituting about a third of the chicken stock with half and half or heavy cream.
Make Lemon Chicken Orzo: If you’d prefer, the shrimp can be swapped out for boneless chicken breast instead. Cube and marinate the chicken pieces, and then sear them a little until almost cooked through before adding it into the orzo and finishing as usual.
How to Store and Reheat Extras
Leftover shrimp orzo is perfect for next-day lunches! This recipe will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 days, and can be served cold or warm.
I wouldn’t recommend reheating this recipe in the microwave, as it tends to make the shrimp rubbery. Instead, reheat leftover orzo pasta in the oven or on the stovetop with a spoonful of water to help revive the sauce a bit. Then, enjoy!
This Lemon Shrimp Orzo recipe is a one-pot meal that’s fresh, zesty, and so delicious! A quick and easy weeknight dinner that’s great for leftovers, too!
1/3 cup olive oil
2 lemons, juice and zest
8 garlic cloves, divided and minced
1/2 – 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
3 1/3 cups chicken stock
Optional garnish – chopped fresh parsley and lemon slices
In a large bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and zest, 5 minced garlic cloves, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Add in the shrimp and stir to coat. Set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add in the orzo, stirring frequently until golden. Add in the remaining 3 tablespoons of garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Slowly add in the chicken stick and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low, cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes until the broth is absorbed (the orzo won’t be cooked completely). Add in the shrimp and the lemon juice mixture into the orzo, stir to combine, cover the pot again and cook for an additional 8 -10 minutes, until the shrimp is pink, and the orzo is cooked.
Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and season with more salt and pepper if desired.
Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges to serve.
Keywords: lemon orzo, one pot meals, shrimp pasta recipes