Shrimp Orzo with Lemon Dressing is an easy dinner for those nights when you want something on the lighter side. Bright green sugar snap peas, asparagus, and English peas color this easy meal. The lemon dressing is super easy to make, light and refreshing, and the shrimp takes only minutes to cook. Sprinkled with fresh parsley, green onion, and sliced almonds, serve either room temperature or cold, which makes it perfect as leftovers the next day; just pop open the Tupperware and dive in.
The lemon dressing in this dish is so good you’ll want to use it in other things. It’s made with olive oil, salt and pepper, then the zest and juice from one lemon. Easy items you can find anywhere. It’s a light and refreshing dressing you can also use with green salads, or with other seafood recipes.
Making Shrimp Orzo with Lemon Dressing
First, I have to talk to you about one thing that’s always kind of bugged me about recipes. When the recipe says it takes 30 minutes to make, does it ever really take that long? Heck no! It takes way longer, and here’s why.
Recipe makers (and food bloggers) have to fill out recipe cards on the computer before we publish them. So when I list something like asparagus, I list how much and what should be done to it before you cook it. In other words, all the prep work.
More specifically, I’ll list 1/2 bunch asparagus spears cut into 1-inch pieces. Sounds easy, right? Well, it is easy, but first it needs to be washed and dried, then cut into pieces, and sometimes measured. These little details take time and if your kitchen is anything like mine, nobody but me is doing the prep work.
What does this mean?
So, what I’m saying is, when you read this recipe it says the time could take 30 minutes, but that’s after everything has been prepped first, just like on the TV shows. Rachael Rae makes recipes look so easy, but everything has already been washed, dried, sliced, diced, and measured out before hand. Seriously, I think I was in my kitchen for just over an hour.
The other option would be to list just the amount of the ingredients, but then write a whole lot about what needs to be done in the directions, and that’s just not the standard.
So, please don’t feel bad if you ever make a recipe (any recipe) and wonder why it took you so much longer than what the recipe says it should have taken you. Read the items, and when they specifically say “chopped” or “thawed,” know it takes everybody a bit longer to make the dish.
Ok, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Let’s cook.
Where to start…
Make the dressing and set it aside.
The orzo only takes about 9 minutes to cook al dente, but first we need to prep all the veggies and thaw the shrimp and frozen peas per my rant above. HA!
Once you’ve got all the veggies cut and measured, and everything is thawed, get out 2 pots. Both will need salted water brought to a boil.
Make the orzo in the first pot according to the package directions. We’re going to cook the rest in the other pot.
In that second pot of boiling water, add in the asparagus and sugar snap peas for about 2 minutes. They’ll turn a beautiful bright green.
Then add in the English peas for another 30 seconds or so.
We’re going to need this hot water to cook the shrimp after the veggies, so remove the veggies with a slotted spoon to an ice bath.
Then, add the shrimp to the boiling water and cook until they turn opaque, which is about 3 minutes. Remove the cooked shrimp to the ice bath with the veggies and allow them to cool as well.
The orzo should be done and just needs to be drained and cooled.
Where’s that serving bowl?
Grab your serving bowl and mix it all together. That’s right, throw it all in there from the shrimp, orzo, veggies, parsley, green onion, even the sliced almonds. Spoon the dressing on and toss it like a salad.
Speaking of sliced almonds, check out the section in your grocery store where they have the croutons and bacon bits. They sell some really cool stuff now, like flavored sliced almonds. Do I sound like a commercial?
I grabbed a bag of Sea Salt and Pepper Sliced Almonds by Fresh Gourmet. They’re so good! It’s a good thing I set some aside, I barely had enough left for this recipe.
So that’s it, you’re done. Serve with an optional wedge of lemon and some fresh cracked pepper and enjoy!
Here are a few more recipes that are either lemon, shrimp, or pasta inspired:
- No Bake Lemon Blueberry Dessert
- Sugar Cookie Lemonade Crumble
- Grilled Lemon Shrimp and Veggie Kabobs
- Bacon Herbed Spaghetti
- Creamy Spinach Prosciutto Tortellini
Shrimp Orzo with Lemon Dressing
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- rind and juice from 1 lemon
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 12 oz. medium or large raw shrimp, thawed, peeled and de-veined (approx. 1-1.5 cups)
- 1/2 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed, but into 1" pieces (approx. 1 cup)
- 1 cup fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 1 1/2 cups frozen English peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup fresh green onion, sliced (approx. 2)
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leafed parsley, chopped
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- Whisk together the oil, salt, pepper, rind and juice from one lemon. Set aside.
- Cook the orzo per package directions. When al dente, drain and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in large pot bring salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and sugar snap peas. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add English peas and continue boiling for another 30 seconds.
- Reserving the water, remove veggies with slotted spoon to ice bath.
- Add shrimp to boiling water. Cook until opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove shrimp to ice bath with veggies to cool. Orzo, veggies, and shrimp should be cooled to room temperature.
- In serving bowl, mix all ingredients together, spoon on dressing. Toss together and serve room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold. Enjoy!
Shrimp Orzo with Lemon Dressing.
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