Pretty Plates Make Happy Palates: Lemony Shrimp on Orzo

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You can put me firmly in the column of people who believe that the prettier the plate is the better the meal is.  Well, not literally the plate…you know the food on it. I like colorful food that looks as good as it tastes. I don’t need the fancy displays of food that could double as art that you find in high end restaurants and on the table at Top Chef, just a little color to make my mouth water.

So when I make something and it’s all red and green and looks like summer and tastes like happiness…that’s when I’m so glad I cook. Not that you can’t get that at a restaurant.

And yes, this is another crustacean. What can I say? They’re loaded with protein, easy to defrost and so very very tasty. If tofu were this tasty I’d eat it like crazy too, but tofu isn’t, so I don’t. Makes sense, right? You could probably make this with shredded or bite size chicken and it would be equally good, but then, of course, it wouldn’t be SHRIMP!

Super simple, you know if key for a weeknight meal and this was fast. In fact, if my memory is accurate (and it was only last week, but that’s no guarantee these days) the weeone and I ate this for dinner in a small window of time I like to call the Thursday smooosh.

What’s the Thursday smooosh? We have a 65 minute window between the weeone’s guitar lesson with Harrold and the time we need to leave the house for her weekly Girl Scout meeting. During that time, homework must be done, dinner prepped, cooked, eaten and cleaned up, and usually there’s some laundry switching or folding or other such nonsense happening. It’s whole lot smoooshed into a short period of time.

Point is…this is a smoooshable meal – it’s quick, it’s easy, there’s not tons of clean up. Please tell me that you all have smooosh nights too? Certainly I’m not the only one????



5.0 from 1 reviews
Lemony Shrimp on Orzo
Nutritional Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: ½ cup orzo and 4 oz shrimp
  • Calories: 346.9
  • Fat: 5.8g
  • Saturated fat: 2.2g
  • Unsaturated fat: 2.0g
  • Carbohydrates: 43.5g
  • Sugar: 1.1g
  • Sodium: 168.2mg
  • Fiber: 2.0g
  • Protein: 30.1g
  • Cholesterol: 180mg
Recipe type: Dinner, Entree, Lunch
Cuisine: Seafood, Pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Light and refreshing, the lemon really sings in this shrimp on orzo dish.
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
Now What?
  1. Prepare the orzo per the directions on the package. Once drained, combine it with the parsley and keep warm if the rest of the dish is not yet ready.
  2. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium- high heat and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the shrimp (in batches if necessary) to the pan and cook them until just shy of being done (2-3 minutes) and remove from heat. Cook subsequent batches until the shrimp is all cooked. Set all the the shrimp aside so your pan is empty.
  3. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan, then add the garlic and cook for not quite a minute. You should be able to hear it sizzle and smell the aroma, but you don't want to cook so long it becomes bitter.
  4. Add into the pan the shrimp, lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper, cooking for about 1 minute or until the shrimp are done.
  5. Mix in the orzo that you've kept warm and combine.




    • Terri
      February 4, 2013

      I’m pretty convinced that no matter who you are, you have smooosh nights. It’s a universal theme these days.

  1. Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out
    February 1, 2013

    Well, I am a single girl, so I don’t necessarily have the same kind of smoosh nights that you have, but there are definitely nights I come home from working out and am RAVENOUS, and certainly don’t want to spend a lot of time on dinner. Or I may or may not have a small amount of time to get dinner fixed before the Bachelor comes on… 😉 This sounds delicious!

    • Terri
      February 4, 2013

      Indeed…everyone has smooosh nights!

  2. Laura
    February 2, 2013

    Never underestimate the power of being easy to defrost! I SO agree! Love the flavors in this–have you ever tried adding feta?

    • Terri
      February 4, 2013

      I’ve done a version that was feta, tomatoes and shrimp, but not with lemon! Will have to try that.

  3. gigi
    February 6, 2013

    Since making your rissoto recipe was such a success, I’m going to give this one a try. We do the “smoosh” probably 4-5 nights a week (currently: lacrosse, swim, girl scouts, religion class, ski club)…my head is constantly spinning. Thinking since I don’t often have shrimp on hand, I’ll try some cubed chicken?

  4. Gwen
    July 13, 2013

    I too, am a smoosher! And I am okay with that!

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