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Shrimp Orzo

One pot Shrimp Orzo is an easy weeknight dinner packed with flavor the whole family can enjoy. Succulent, garlicky shrimp atop a bed of tender orzo pasta is made in just about half an hour. This recipe only uses one pot to keep the post-dinner cleanup to a minimum! 

Pair this delicious pasta dish with some soft, warm Dinner Rolls topped with a dollop of butter. Roasted Asparagus is a classic side dish that would compliment the Shrimp Orzo flavors wonderfully and add a touch of green to your meal. Or think outside the box and serve this dish with a side of our crisp Easy Cucumber Salad.

White dish with orzo and shrimp.

Shrimp Orzo

One pot meals are a weeknight staple in our house. Want less cleanup without compromising any of the flavor? Sign us right up! This one pot Shrimp Orzo is exactly what a busy Wednesday night needs.

Tender shrimp are cooked and perfectly seasoned with fresh garlic, dried thyme, savory sage, paprika, and smokey harissa tossed with a bed of orzo pasta. This meal is easy, flavorful, and leaves minimal mess.

And if you’re wondering what on earth orzo is, it’s just pasta shaped like rice! It’s quick and easy to cook up (definitely faster than rice) which makes it perfect for one pot meals like this one.

Shrimp orzo has tons of flavor but is also customizable! You can make it your own by adding in your favorite veggies or switching up some of the spices.

How To Make Shrimp Orzo

  1. Begin by heating a large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, minced garlic, dried thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Add in your shrimp and cook until the shrimp begin to curl and turn pink. Remove the shrimp from the pot and set aside while you make the orzo.
  3. Pour in the chicken broth and harissa to the pot and increase the heat to high. bring the liquid to a boil before adding the orzo pasta. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 7 minutes or until the pasta has reached your desired consistency.
  4. Stir in the unsalted butter, then add the shrimp back to the pot. Serve shrimp orzo with freshly minced parsley for a garnish if desired. Enjoy.
Collage showing how to make shrimp orzo.

Tips and Variations

  • Don’t like shrimp? Try using chicken, beef, or pork instead. Just make sure the meat is fully cooked through before serving.
  • Make sure your shrimp are thawed (if frozen), peeled, and deveined before cooking.
  • Customize this dish by adding in your favorite veggies. Try adding in sun dried tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, corn, broccoli, any or all the above!
  • A splash of lemon juice over the shrimp adds a great citrus flavor. 
  • Red pepper flakes or a dash of cajun seasoning will spice this dish right up.
  • For a creamy version of shrimp orzo, add in a touch of cream or half and half (just remember to lessen your chicken stock).
Plate of shrimp orzo with a fork.

Storage and Reheating 

Storage: You can store any leftover Shrimp Orzo in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

Reheating: When reheating, simply warm in the microwave or on the stove until heated through.

Freezer: We don’t recommend freezing this dish. The texture doesn’t hold up well to being frozen and reheated.

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White bowl piled high with shrimp orzo.

Shrimp Orzo

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 709kcal

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme dried
  • 1 teaspoon sage dried
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 16 ounces large shrimp thawed, peeled, and deveined
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup harissa
  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, thyme, sage, salt, pepper and paprika, and cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 garlic cloves
    1 teaspoon thyme
    1 teaspoon sage
    ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
    ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Add the shrimp, and cook until the shrimp begin to curl and turn pink. Remove the shrimp from the pot, and set aside.
    16 ounces large shrimp
  • Pour in the chicken broth and harissa, and increase the heat to high. Bring the liquid to a boil then add the orzo pasta. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 7 minutes or until the pasta has reached your desired consistency.
    6 cups chicken broth
    ¼ cup harissa
    1 pound orzo pasta
  • Stir in the butter, then add the shrimp back to the pot. Serve with freshly minced parsley for garnish if desired.
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • See post for storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 2 cups shrimp orzo. Actual calories will vary.
 
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
 
*Photos courtesy of Karla Rae Photography.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Cups | Calories: 709kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 173mg | Sodium: 1276mg | Potassium: 770mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 820IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 3mg
Recipe Rating




Barbara

Wednesday 5th of January 2022

This sounds very yummy. I have never made orzo before, will the pound absorb all 6 cups of chicken broth? Would half a pound only require 3 cups? Just my husband and me, so I am thinking about cutting the recipe in half.

Kim

Wednesday 5th of January 2022

Hi Barbara!

Thanks so much! I haven't had an issue with a pound of orzo absorbing 6 cups of broth. I haven't cut this recipe in half either, but if you do I'd try to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh the pasta to 8 ounces if possible. That way you know it's exactly half.

If you're concerned about the amount of broth, you could always start with 2 1/2 or 2 3/4 cups and add a bit more if it looks like the orzo needs a touch extra. Hope you enjoy! :)