Shrimp Orzo is an easy main dish that’s ready in 30 minutes! Orzo Pasta guarantees a meal with maximum flavor! Fast and fresh dinner for busy weeknights or family dinners!
What is Orzo
Orzo is a small rice-shaped pasta! It means “barley” in Italian due to its resemblance to the grain in its unprocessed form. Orzo is popular across Europe, particularly in Greece, where it’s known as krithiraki.
A two oz. serving of orzo is 200 calories. This small pasta is a good source of carbohydrates. One serving of orzo contains 42 grams of carbohydrates and two grams of fiber.
Is orzo good for you?
Orzo is a good source of thiamin and niacin, also providing some B6, folate, iron and zinc.
How to Cook Orzo Pasta
Very simple – I like cooking orzo in salty boiling water!
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil.
- Add the orzo pasta to the water, add salt to make water noticeably salty; and stir a few times to prevent the grains from sticking together.
- Cook stirring occasionally, until al dente or softer depending on desired texture.
- Drain, rinse with cold water and toss with desired sauce.
Is Orzo same as rice?
Rice and orzo share similar characteristics, but the two foods are not identical. If anyone ever asks you to explain the difference between rice and orzo—simply remember: orzo is rice-shaped pasta. Orzo is usually made from white flour, and is NOT gluten free.
What is gluten free substitute for orzo
I find that there are two options that make sense when going gluten free:
- You can use risotto (or Arborio) rice instead of orzo. Of course, any plain rice—regardless of whether it’s whole-grain brown rice, polished white rice, long-grained basmati rice, or even exotic black rice—is always a great gluten–free option in cooking.
- Quinoa. While it assumes a grain-like taste and texture after cooking, quinoa is a seed. This popular rice substitute is gluten-free and much higher in protein than rice or orzo.
Shrimp Orzo Pasta
Have you tried shrimp with orzo before? Together they. Are. AMAZING! Just one pot of pure comfort food. Shrimp is amazingly tender. And orzo. Well, it’s a fast cooking kind of pasta. It looks like rice, but it’s not. What else can I say?
I have been cooking shrimp with orzo for years, and it’s absolutely magical! I think you’ll be excited with all the amazing Mediterranean flavors in this dish. Because orzo in white wine sauce with feta is super flavorful and delicious!
Amazing Wine Sauce
I love cooking with wine… SO much. Wine just makes everything taste better. The sauce is based on garlic and wine flavors that make your kitchen smell like a restaurant! I dreamt up this dish a while ago, even made an Instant Pot version of it and also made some tweaks based on what I had on hand. This version is made with everyday ingredients, and is incredibly flavorful!
Skillet to use for Shrimp Orzo
You can make this shrimp orzo pasta in any large skillet, but I always make it in my 12 inch stainless steel pan. When I’m cooking the shrimp, I don’t want to be worried too much about overcooking it. Since stainless steel conducts heat so well, cooking shrimp in it is a no brainer! Also, because I’m a messy cook, I need a large surface, which 12 inches provide plenty of! If you don’t have a stainless steel skillet, you can use cast iron, or carbon steel skillet … but I highly recommend picking up a stainless steel skillet, they have so many uses!
Step by step instructions with photos
Make sure to use raw shrimp. I usually peel it myself and leave the tails on. Fry the shrimp on each side for 1-2 minutes just until cooked through.
To make the sauce, add butter to the pan first. Once melted, add onion and garlic and cook until fragrant. Now add wine and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add heavy cream and once the liquid is simmering, add cooked orzo, salt and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
You are now ready to add feta to the dish!
Finally, I add the shrimp back to the pan and reheat it.
What goes well with Shrimp Orzo
To go alongside this greek style shrimp orzo, I like to serve it with Mediterranean Bread. Add a nice green salad and it makes the perfect trio!
In case your family isn’t begging for more by the time dinner is over, this shrimp orzo pasta reheats well for lunch the next day!
As the weeknights get busier and busier, do yourself a favor and whip up this 30 minute Mediterranean shrimp orzo pasta!
More pasta recipes you may like
Italian Chicken Pasta
Chicken Alfredo Pasta with Bacon
Instant Pot Orzo with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Feta
Shrimp Orzo in Creamy Wine Sauce
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, (divided)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoon butter, divided
- ½ onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup white wine
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- Parsley to garnish
- In a large bowl pat the shrimps dry with paper towel, and mix them with salt, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Melt 1 tbsp. of butter in a large, non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add shrimp and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, just until it cooks through.
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook orzo pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Remove the shrimps from the skillet and set aside. In the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tbsp. of butter and melt until it just starts to brown. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent and fragrant.
- Once the garlic is cooked, add wine and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add heavy cream and once the liquid is simmering, add cooked orzo, salt and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
- Add crumbled feta cheese and mix with orzo. Now add shrimp back into the skillet and reheat. Serve with chopped parsley.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only. This information comes from online calculators. Although whatsinthepan.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
What can you use in place of white wine
You can use chicken stock instead.
Could I use 2% milk instead of heavy cream? It is all I have on hand but I am dying to try this!
Yes, you can. You will need to add a table spoon of flour to thicken the sauce (maybe even more:))
This recipe was fabulous !! I added jarred grilled artichokes and some ricotta cheese. Just fabulous !!!!!!!
Thank you Michele! Very smart additions!
Wow! Loved it!! Easy great meal
Kathy L Ortega says
Could Asiago cheese be used?
What type of white wine?
I always use Pinot Grigio – my favorite wine to cook with.
Cut this in half (I was home alone) and it made a perfect 2 servings. Subbed mozzarella in for the feta because that’s what I had on hand. I love orzo pasta to begin with, and this didn’t let me down! Delicious. I also used a dark and smoky flavor red pepper flake by Flat Iron Pepper Co. Yum! I’ll make this again. Thanks!
A masterpiece!!!!!! Absolutely delicious!!!! Love it!!!!
Thank you for this wonderful comment!
Can arbio rice work just the same in place of the orzo?
Orzo is only shaped as rice, but is actually pasta. Arbio rice will have to cook longer and will require more liquid too.
Elizabeth Farrell says
What cheese besides feta can be used?
How about goat cheese?
I used grated Parmesan (it was what I had ion hand) and it worked great!