Orzo with shrimp (Κριθαράκι με γαρίδες)

Orzo with shrimp (Κριθαράκι με γαρίδες)A delicious recipe for orzo pasta with shrimp and plenty of fresh herbs.

There are some foods which were always considered somewhat of a treat when we were growing up.  Shrimp was one of those foods.  Maybe because it was often a little pricier than our usual fare, or maybe because our parents tried to reserve seafood dishes for periods of lent, when they would be appreciated even more.  Whatever the reason, when shrimp made its way to the table, it was a good thing.

The great thing about cooking with seafood like shrimp, is how easily a delicious meal can come together; shrimp literally cooks in minutes.  It’s also incredibly versatile and is delicious grilled, fried, steamed, boiled and baked.  There is no shortage of ways to prepare shrimp (did you see what we did there?) 🙂

Orzo with shrimp (Κριθαράκι με γαρίδες)
Helpful hints
There are many ways to purchase shrimp: fresh, frozen, pre-cooked, shelled, and so on.  Depending upon where we are purchasing our shrimp, and what time of year it is, we will either choose fresh or frozen varieties.  The best advice we can give you, is the advice our parents gave us. Make friends with your local fishmonger and ask him or her to direct you to the best quality ingredients available.
Whether we buy our shrimp fresh or frozen however, we usually always purchase it with the shell on, another piece of advice passed on by our folks.  This is because shell-on shrimp offers versatility; sometimes you want to cook with the shell on, and other times, like here, with the shell off.  If you de-shell your shrimp yourself be sure to set the shells aside.  Shrimp shells make a great base for a seafood stock.

You also want to be sure that your shrimp are de-veined.  Often they already are when you purchase them, but it is relatively easy to do yourself if you must.  Shrimp have a black vein running alongside their outer edge.  Use a sharp knife to carefully make a slit alongside the outer part of the shrimp and then scrape or peel the vein away.  It is not dangerous to eat, so if you leave it there, or don’t remove it completely, don’t be too worried.  It does have a weird taste however so it is worth the effort to remove as much as you can.

Shrimp cooks pretty quickly, and it is easy to know when your shrimp is ready because it changes colour! Don’t you wish all food did that!  Your shrimp will go from a grey and translucent white raw state to a pink and white cooked state.  This happens pretty quickly, so keep an eye on your shrimp as they are cooking.  Overcooked shrimp tends to taste a little rubbery.  If you are not sure if your shrimp is done, select one to cut in half.  It should have changed colour throughout.

This recipe is great as a side, or a complete meal.  It is wonderful served warm, but also at room temperature or slightly chilled.

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Orzo with shrimp (Κριθαράκι με γαρίδες)
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Orzo with shrimp (Κριθαράκι με γαρίδες)

Orzo with shrimp

A delicious recipe for orzo pasta with shrimp and plenty of fresh herbs.
4.78 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Light meal, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 514kcal
Author: Mia Kouppa



  • 1 ¼ cups uncooked orzo
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • lbs fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined


  • 4 spring onions, sliced (white and green part)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • tbsp capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Fill a pot with water, add a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of olive oil, and bring to a boil.  Add the orzo, and cook as directed, stirring frequently.
  • Meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup of olive oil and 1/3 cup lemon juice in a small bowl.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, mix well and set aside.
  • When the orzo is cooked, drain it and place the orzo in a large bowl. Pour the oil and lemon dressing over the orzo while it is still hot, and mix carefully.  Set aside.
  • Place the shrimp in a frying pan, and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Fry the shrimp until they are pink and fully cooked through.  This should only take a few minutes per side.
  • Add the cooked shrimp to the bowl with the orzo.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir everything until it is well combined.
  • Let your orzo and shrimp salad cool for a few minutes for the flavours to blend together nicely.  You can also refrigerate and enjoy it at a later time, taking it out of the fridge, for at least 30 minutes to reach room temperature.
  • Enjoy!



Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 274mg | Sodium: 1169mg | Potassium: 693mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 855IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 2mg

Thanks for sharing!


  1. Joanne Jamis Cain says:

    Looks delicious! I have to make this. xo

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hope you do Joanne! Let us know how you like it 🙂

  2. Such a delightful recipe… and excellent advice to use the shells for stock, they have so much flavour. Finally, I can totally relate to shrimp being a treat growing up as well… they are pricier and I’m sure my own children will grow up saying the same thing! Excellent post ladies!

    1. miakouppa says:

      Thanks so much Annika! Love how recipes can elicit similar memories, no matter who we are 🙂 🙂

  3. I haven’t made orzo and shrimp in a long time! Thanks for the reminder as to how delicious this combination is! Perfect for the warmer weather 🙂

    1. miakouppa says:

      You’re welcome 🙂 Hope you give this recipe a try…it’s easy and delicious (winning combination 🙂 )

      1. Are you on instagram?

      2. miakouppa says:

        Yes we are 🙂 @miakouppa

  4. Christina says:

    I made this dish for a meal-sharing group I belong to. Since many of us are watching our weight, I left out the oil so each can add as much as they like. I thought this was delicious without the olive oil. I can’t wait to try it with olive oil. I see this dish as a good recipe for my family to cook together in no time. Many small steps (juicing lemons, cooking shrimp, cooking the pasta, various choppings) can have the whole family together in the kitchen with a rewarding final product. Thank you for posting this recipe. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    1. miakouppa says:

      That’s wonderful Christina! So glad that you made and enjoyed this recipe (and adapted it by omitting the olive oil to suit your needs! Great!) And you are right, with all of the simple steps, this is a great dish to get everyone involved in the kitchen. Super idea! Thanks for stopping by, for leaving a comment, and for your interest in Mia Kouppa!

  5. Lou Morucci says:

    Oh My!! Stupendous! Cut it down to serving for two. Perfect for me and my constant dinner partner. (Orion), my main companion. Thought I should have used the serving for four, good idea…next time!..we totally enjoyed this wonderful meal..Thanks

    1. miakouppa says:

      Yay! We are so happy to hear that you tried and loved this recipe! Hope you continue to find much to love here with us! xoxo Helen & Billie

  6. Louis Morucci says:

    Had to have an Orzo dish.. This dish made it for me. Must admit that I incorporated squid or as you guys would say calamari. Thanks this dish is wonderful.

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Louis! We are so happy that you tried this recipe and loved it! Your additional of calamari sounds great 🙂 Hope you find much more to love here with us! xoxo Helen & Billie

  7. I had to make a Lenten dish as our priest was coming over to bless the house. He was new to our parish, so he stayed for dinner. I made this dish. And he could not stop raving about it. He was saying, this is so fresh! It’s so light! It’s so flavorful! It tastes so healthy! But in a good way 🙂

    1. miakouppa says:

      Your comment has made us so happy!!! Thank you for trusting our recipe for such a special occasion. We are thrilled that your priest loved it 🙂 Hope you continue to find much to love here with us xoxo Helen & Billie

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