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

Shrimp Orzo In Lemon Garlic Sauce

This shrimp orzo in a lemon garlic sauce is rich, buttery, and ready in 30 minutes. Perfect for a quick dinner or entertaining guests.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Greek, International
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 500kcal


  • large skillet
  • citrus squeezer
  • medium stockpot


  • 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.


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.


Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 875mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1632IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg