Shrimp and Orzo

Made by Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, AOCN
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania?
Last Modified: March 3, 2011

Shrimp and Orzo Recipe

The fresh herbs and feta make this dish! This makes enough for my husband and I, but I usually have a little left for lunch the next day.

  • 1 cup orzo pasta, cooked (see tips below)
  • 2 Tbs oil (I use canola)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (minced or through a press)
  • Raw shrimp (I use 21/25 per pound size an add 18-20 to the dish)
  • Grape tomatoes, cut in half (I use most of one container- can’t help but snack on a few while I’m chopping!)
  • 1 can (2.25 ounce) sliced black olives, rinsed
  • 3 Tbs chopped cilantro
  • 3 Tbs chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • feta cheese to your taste (2-3 ounces for the whole dish)
  • salt & pepper

Cook the orzo, stir in a little oil to keep it from clumping and set aside with the lid on to keep it hot.

Heat some oil in a skillet on medium heat, add garlic and cook 1-2 mins. Toss in shrimp, lightly salt & pepper and cook until they start to turn pink, flipping to cook both sides. I use a stainless skillet (not non-stick) and add a little chicken broth to deglaze the pan at this point.

Remove from heat and toss in the rest of the ingredients except the feta (tomatoes, olives, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice and cooked orzo. Stir to combine. Transfer to your serving dish(es) and sprinkle feta on top. Once you stir in the feta it begins to melt some and create a yummy creamy consistency.

Some Tips

  • I like to cook my orzo in chicken broth for extra flavor, but this does add to the sodium content, even with low sodium broth. I use 1 cup orzo to 2 cups broth, cover in a pot and simmer until the liquid is absorbed.
  • I like adding the feta at the end for two reasons: for starters, my husband likes less feta, so we each add what we like. Secondly, I keep any remaining without the cheese for a leftover lunch, which I heat and add the feta before I eat it.
  • Worried about the cholesterol content? See this piece about shrimp in your diet from LIVESTRONG.
  • If you are concerned about sodium, you could cut back by using less olives or using goat cheese instead of feta.

Nutritional Information

Serving size: ½ of the above recipe
Calories: 556
Total Fat 15 g (saturated 6g, Trans fat 0g)
Cholesterol 348 mg
Sodium 929 mg
Total carbohydrates 54 g
Dietary fiber 9 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 53 g
Vitamin A (91% RDA), Vitamin C (103%), Calcium (33%) and Iron (48%)