This one pan shrimp orzo consists of an inviting base of juicy shrimp and orzo pasta. Add in your favorite seasonings and veggie ingredients for an absolute masterpiece!

Shrimp Orzo in a pan with herbs.

Did you know? Orzo might look very similar to grains of rice, but it is actually a type of pasta! It is similar in size to Italian “pastina” or “little pasta.”

Shrimp Orzo Video

How To Make Shrimp Orzo

Half an hour, a bowl, and a pan are all the tools you need to make this shrimp orzo. Read this overview because the cooking process moves quickly!

  • Prep the shrimp: Toss the shrimp, olive oil, and garlic parsley salt in a bowl until the shrimp is well coated.
  • Sauté the garlic: Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Melt the butter, then add in the minced garlic cloves. Cook until the garlic is fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Toast the orzo: Toss the orzo into the pan and stir frequently until it is golden and toasted (about three minutes).
  • Pour in the liquid: Pour in the wine and simmer until it has mostly evaporated. Then, add in the boiling water. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add in the shrimp: Nestle the shrimp into the orzo and cook covered for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and stir the shrimp and orzo together and cook until all the water evaporates.
  • Garnish (optional): Garnish the shrimp orzo with a drizzle of lemon juice and fresh parsley. Serve and enjoy!

Flavor Variations

We pride ourselves in recommending dishes that can easily be changed to suit your flavor preferences. Try any of these ingredient additions to tune the taste to your palate.

  • Chicken broth: For a stronger base flavor, use chicken broth or chicken stock instead of water. Also — if you prefer not to use white wine, substitute it with an equal amount of chicken broth instead.
  • Seasoning: Seasonings and spices are a great way to add more flavor to the dish. For an Italian flair, add Italian seasoning and black pepper. For a smoky flavor, add paprika. For a spicy kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Vegetables: To include more vitamins and nutrients, add your favorite veggies like shallots, spinach, cherry tomatoes, chopped asparagus, broccoli, etc.
  • Herbs: For herby flavor, toss in your favorite fresh herbs like parsley, dill, or basil.
  • Cheese: If you love cheese, garnish the orzo with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Or, for a Mediterranean spin, opt for feta cheese.

Two Tips for the Best Shrimp Orzo

Want to be sure your orzo turns out phenomenal? Follow these two tips to make it “shrimply” the best!

  • Avoid overcooking the shrimp: Overcooked shrimp are notorious for being rubbery. Avoid this by cooking the shrimp for only a few minutes or until they turn pink and opaque. Keep in mind the shrimp will continue cooking while nestled in the hot orzo.
  • Add more water as needed: In case the orzo is not fully cooked but all the water has evaporated, add in a bit more boiling water. Add enough water to fully cook the orzo.

Serving Suggestions

Shrimp orzo pairs extremely well with a side salad. Go with a simple veggie and arugula salad or get a little fancier with arugula caprese salad. If you don’t have time to prep a full salad, any veggie side will be delicious. Buttery garlic green beans, roasted baby carrots, or roasted broccolini are all crazy easy and can be made at the same time as the shrimp orzo.

Storing & Reheating

This shrimp orzo recipe makes about four servings. In case you make a double portion and/or have leftovers, store them in the fridge or freezer!

  • Refrigerator: Store shrimp orzo leftovers for up to two days in the fridge.
  • Freezer: To store shrimp orzo for up to three months, freeze it in an airtight container immediately once it has cooled. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  • Reheating: For a quick reheat, use the microwave. For a more flavorful reheat, place the leftovers in a skillet and heat on medium. Add a splash of water or chicken broth to replenish the moisture. Avoid overheating or the shrimp may turn rubbery.

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About Author

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Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.