This shrimp orzo in a lemon garlic sauce is rich and buttery and ready in less than 30 minutes. With bright flavors, it is a delicious dish for a quick, luscious dinner, and great for entertaining. The lemon garlic sauce is hard to resist and ideal for bread dipping.
If you love this shrimp orzo, you will also love this shrimp saganaki, this quick-and-easy tortellini pasta salad, and this one-pan chicken and potatoes.
Why this recipe sings
The lemon garlic sauce is bright and buttery and ready in less than 30 minutes. The shrimp is ideal for a delicious quick meal, they are literally ready in minutes and so tasty. The orzo is a comforting and wholesome pasta, favored by Greeks and the rest of the world. The sauce is truly impossible to resist, you NEED crusty warm bread to dip in it.
What you need for this recipe
- Large shrimp. I used two kinds, extra jumbo royal red shrimp and jumbo white shrimp. Ask your fismonger to clean and devein the shrimp for you.
- Orzo pasta. This dish also works well with spaghetti.
- Shallot. Altenativelly you can use a scallion or a small onion.
- Garlic. I use a microplane for mincing the cloves, it's easy and quick.
- White wine. Use a wine you would drink. Substitute with broth if alcohol is not desired.
- Broth. For cooking the orzo. Can be vegetable or chicken. Substitute with equal amounts of water and half a teasoon of sea salt or a boullion cube (please mind the salt if you use boullion).
- Lemons. The juice and zest from the lemons gives such a brightness in this sauce.
- Butter. For a luscious velvety sauce. You can use unsalted or salted butter. See recipe card notes.
- Extra virgin olive oil. Just a tavlespoon to marinate the shrimp.
- Fresh parsley. For garnish and a fresh note.
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Red chili flakes. For some heat and extra layer of flavor. Optional.
Here is how to make it
Serve immediately placing the shrimp on top of the orzo and pouring over generously the lemon garlic sauce, a sprinkle of parsley, and more lemon juice or zest if desired. Don't forget the crusty bread to dip in the sauce!
Check out my Greek pantry staples
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Shrimp Orzo In Lemon Garlic Sauce
- large skillet
- citrus squeezer
- medium stockpot
- 1½ cup orzo pasta
- 2 lb large shrimp cleaned and deveined
- 1 shallot diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 cups broth vegetable or chicken. For cooking the orzo. You can also use equal amounts of water. See recipe notes.
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves chopped
- 2 lemons juiced and zested
- 7 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground pepper
- sea salt
- red chili flakes
- In a medium bowl, stir together shrimp, one tablespoon olive oil, one teaspoon lemon zest, a pinch or two red-pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and one garlic clove minced. Set aside to marinate. (You can do this step up to 1 hour in advance.)
- Add two tablespoons of butter to a medium pot set over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add the orzo and cook, often stirring, until the orzo is toasted, about 2 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary. Stir in the broth, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until orzo is al dente, about 12 minutes. If you are using water for cooking the orzo, add ½ a teaspoon of salt.
- While the orzo is cooking, heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, add half the shrimp to the pan in one layer and cook undisturbed until they start turning pink, about 1 minute. Flip and cook for about 1 minute more, then remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
- In the same skillet, melt the rest of the butter.Add the diced shallot and remaining garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the reserved shrimp back to the pan with any juices that have accumulated. Add wine ( or broth), lemon juice, remaining lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and plenty of freshly ground pepper, and bring to a simmer. Let the wine reduce and finish cooking the shrimp, about 2 to 4 minutes. Don't overcook the shrimp.
- Serve immediately in bowls with the shrimp on top of the orzo. Pour over generously the lemon garlic sauce, a sprinkle of parsley, and more lemon juice if desired.