Shrimp Orzo with Lemon in a brown and white dish with a wooden board covered with orzo noodles and lemon zest next to a spoon all on a wooden surface (with logo overlay)

Shrimp Orzo with Lemon

This perfectly light summer dish comes together in about 30 minutes, combining delicious flavors of shrimp and lemon with a creamy base.

In South Texas, it’s basically already summer… as I write this the temperature is nearing 80F and there’s a wonderful thunderstorm rumbling. In addition to the rain, lemon and shrimp seem to say “summer” to me. Both can be refreshing on a hot summer day, so we will be making shrimp orzo with lemon a few times throughout the season.

Recently, orzo has been one of my go-to ingredients. I really like the taste, texture, and versatility of orzo pasta and have been finding numerous ways to use it. Plus, as an added bonus, almost every orzo meal we’ve made reheats really well for lunch the next day.

Shrimp Orzo with Lemon is prepared in only one large pan, so cleanup is easy when you’re done. Since the orzo is cooked in broth rather than water, it holds a lot more flavor for the final meal.

The original idea for this recipe came from the Cooking Light magazine. I changed quite a few things as I was cooking it. I like to use either photos or recipes as a base idea for a lot of meals. Then tweak and change based on our tastes as well as what we have on hand or even what was available at the grocery store when we went.

Step by Step

Place a large stockpot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. While the oil is heating, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add them to the hot oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Young boy mixing ingredients in a large stock pot
Close up of onions sauteing in a large pot

Add the orzo pasta and toast for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Close up of orzo and onions in a large stock pot

Pour the white cooking wine into the orzo and bring to a boil.

Close up of orzo and lemon toasting in a large stock pot

Once the liquid has evaporated, pour in 2 cups of the chicken broth and sprinkle with salt.

Close up of orzo and onion in broth in a large pot

Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for 7-8 minutes, until the liquid has absorbed and evaporated.

Close up of orzo and onion cooking in a large pot
Young boy mixing ingredients in a large stockpot
Tyler kept a close watch on the timer while he was cooking.

Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth plus the lemon zest and shrimp. Cook for another 7-8 minutes, until the liquid has absorbed most of the way. The shrimp should be cooked through, too.

Overhead shot of sauce pot with orzo and shrimp

Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice, pepper, and cream cheese. Stir until combined.

Close up of orzo cooking in a large pot with a piece of cream cheese

Separate the pasta into serving dishes and garnish with chives.

Shrimp Orzo with Lemon in a brown and white dish with a wooden board covered with orzo noodles all on a wooden surface (vertical)
Shrimp Orzo with Lemon

Recipe

Originally Published On: February 7, 2019

Last Updated On: May 13, 2019

Shrimp Orzo with Lemon in a brown and white dish with a wooden board covered with orzo noodles and lemon zest next to a spoon all on a wooden surface

Shrimp Orzo with Lemon

This perfectly light summer dish comes together in about 30 minutes, combining delicious flavors of shrimp and lemon with a creamy base.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: orzo, pasta, seafood, shrimp
Servings: 4
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 cup orzo (uncooked)
  • 1/3 cup white cooking wine
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 lb shrimp (medium, peeled and deveined)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp chives

Instructions

  • Add oil to a large stockpot and heat over medium-high
  • Meanwhile, dice the onion and mince the garlic
  • When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, and thyme to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often
  • Add the orzo and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly
  • Pour in the white wine and bring to a boil
  • Once the liquid has evaporated, pour in 2 cups of the chicken broth and sprinkle with salt
  • Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 7-8 minutes, until the liquid has absorbed
  • Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, lemon zest, and shrimp
  • Cook for another 7-8 minutes, until the liquid has absorbed and the shrimp are cooked
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice, pepper, and cream cheese
  • Stir until combined
  • Separate the pasta into serving dishes and garnish with chives
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Nutrition Facts
Shrimp Orzo with Lemon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 343 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 293mg98%
Sodium 1953mg81%
Potassium 417mg12%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 210IU4%
Vitamin C 28.6mg35%
Calcium 213mg21%
Iron 3.9mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Shrimp Orzo with Lemon in a brown and white dish with a wooden board covered with orzo noodles all on a wooden surface (with title overlay)

26 thoughts on “Shrimp Orzo with Lemon”

  1. Orzo brings back memories of my dad for real – he used to make a lot of orzo dishes when I was a kid. I loved that pasta’s consistency! I am sure he still makes orzo meals now but I just don’t live at home anymore, and can’t eat pasta anymore either. I am now trying to remind myself if he’s ever made SHRIMP orzo before!

    1. That’s so awesome that it can bring back fun memories! We never had orzo growing up, I hadn’t even heard of it until just a couple of years ago but it’s quickly become my favorite pasta.

  2. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it looks delicious! It looks like your son really likes to help out in the kitchen too. That’s great when its a family thing, it really does bring family together.

  3. Fran Jorgensen

    I can’t believe I have never heard of Orzo before! I would love to know what other dishes you can make with Orzo! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

  4. I feel exactly the same about orzo;
    taste, texture and versatility, for me it’s a perfect product.
    I like that it looks just as healthy as rice but it is better in taste 😉

  5. Ooooo shrimp is one of my favorites!!! Especially during the summer. I will have to add this recipe to my dinner menu!

  6. Melanie williams

    Oh wow 80, sounds like it is sizzling hot in Texas for sure. This Shrimp Orzo is deffo my hubbys fav kind of dish xx

    1. That’s nothing yet! In the summer we sometimes reach triple digits here. But, I hate the cold so I will take that over a place that snows for months at a time any day.

    1. That sounds like a great meal for him if they all enjoy it. My mom is allergic to shellfish, so we always had meals like this whenever she was out of town! Now, when she comes to visit, we get photos from him of all the seafood he is cooking in the house while she isn’t there!!

  7. I absolutely love this recipe idea! Who thought orzo could be mixed with shrimp? I have always used it in soups etc, but never like this. This is definitely going on my “to-try” list 🙂

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