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.

A bowl with shrimp orzo in lemon butter sauce and utensils, a cloth napkin under the bowl.

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

Ingredients on a butcher block for lemon garlic shrimp orzo.
  • 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

Raw shrimp in a bowl marinating.
In a bowl stir together the shrimp, one tablespoon olive oil, one teaspoon lemon zest, a pinch or two red-pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, some freshly ground pepper, and one garlic clove minced. Set bowl aside and let shrimp to marinate.
(You can do this step up to 1 hour in advance.)
Orzo in a pot with butter and a spoon.
Add two tablespoons of butter to a medium pot set over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add the orzo and cook, stirring often , until the orzo is toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the orzo is al dente, for about 12 minutes.
Shrimp sautéing in a skillet.
While the orzo is cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat, add half of 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 the process with the remaining shrimp.
Browned butter in a skillet, garlic and a wooden spoon.
In the same skillet, melt the rest of the butter.
Add the diced shallot and remaining garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Shrimp in a skillet sautéing with lemon zest and butter.
Add the reserved shrimp back to the pan with any juices that have accumulated. Add the wine or broth, the juice of two lemons, remaining lemon zest, a pinch or two of red pepper flakes, and plenty of freshly ground pepper, and bring to a simmer.
Shrimp in a skillet simmering in sauce.
Let the wine reduce and finish cooking the shrimp, about 2 to 4 minutes. Don’t overcook the shrimp. When the sauce is ready adjust the salt to taste.
Two bowls with shrimp orzo in lemon butter sauce and utensils. Side view of a pan with shrimp and sauce and a spoon.

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!

A serving dish with shrimp in a lemon garlic wine sauce and a fork with a piece of bread.

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A bowl with shrimp orzo in lemon butter sauce and utensils.

Shrimp Orzo In Lemon Garlic Sauce

by Jenny | The Greek Foodie
This shrimp orzo in a lemon garlic sauce is rich, buttery, and ready in 30 minutes. Perfect for a quick dinner or entertaining guests.
5 from 12 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Greek, International
Servings 4
Calories 500 kcal

Equipment

  • large skillet
  • citrus squeezer
  • medium stockpot

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, stir together shrimp, one tablespoon olive oil, one teaspoon lemon zest, a pinch or two red-pepper flakes, 1/2 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.

Notes

Butter. For ease, you can both salted or unsalted in this recipe. If using salted butter, do not add any salt for cooking the orzo, and adjust the seasoning to taste after cooking. Same for the shrimp and sauce. I would marinate the shrimp with just a pinch of sea salt and would season again to taste while in the sauce. 
 
Nutritional Info – Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided is only an estimate and can vary based on the products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 9gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 875mgPotassium: 320mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1632IUVitamin C: 40mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 2mg
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Shrimp Orzo In Lemon Garlic Sauce

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love Greek food, and I love Shrimp and love Orzo. This was the perfect food pairing for me, and dinner done in 30 minutes! Bookmarking this recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Oh my, now this will impress my dinner guests. Love the presentation. This will make an awesome starter at my next party.

  3. 5 stars
    This is going to be my favorite seafood dinner. Delicious Shrimp with amazing sauce looks so tempting. It is on my cook list now.

  4. Now this is a shrimp dinner I can get behind. I love all the flavours and it was so simple to prepare. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner.

    1. Hi Helene!

      I use whatever I have on hand and adjust the salt in the recipe. For example, I would not add any salt for cooking the orzo and would adjust to taste after cooking. Same for the shrimp and sauce. I would marinate the shrimp with a pinch of sea salt and would season again to taste while in the sauce. I will add a note in the recipe card.

      Hope that helps!

      Thanks so much,
      Jenny

  5. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night. I love shrimp, and it was sooooo good. Definitely a keeper recipe. Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner and my wife commented on how flavorful the shrimp were and that I needed to be making this for dinner regularly!