Fish and Seafood/ Main Dishes/ Pasta

Lemon Shrimp Orzo Skillet

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We recently got back from a vacation in Italy, where we indulged in a smorgasbord of pasta, pizza, bread, and gelato for the better part of week. It was delicious! But upon returning home, I felt a serious desire to get back in the kitchen and restore some variety and balance to our diets.

Planning out meals for the week, I remembered this recipe from a recent issue of Southern Living. Admittedly, it’s still pasta-based, but the promise of lemon-y shrimp, a buttery breadcrumb topping, and the ease of a one-pot skillet dinner sounded right up my alley. (Sidenote: Yes, I live in Brussels and subscribe to Southern Living. No, I have never lived farther south than Northern Virginia. But let’s be honest, the pictures are beautiful, and there are tons of yummy recipes.)

I had to make this with frozen, pre-cooked shrimp, based on what I could find in the grocery store, but even that was delicious. (If anyone knows where to find raw, peeled and deveined shrimp in Brussels.. other than Rob, where it is amazing but $$$$$$, please let me know!) I am sure it would be even better with quality raw shrimp, as called for in the original recipe. The next time I make this, I’ll probably add even more tomatoes, and possibly another veggie or leafy green. In all honesty, I don’t think you can go wrong.. this breadcrumb topping would make just about anything taste out of this world.

In any event, this dinner definitely did not disappoint, in fact I just made it last night, and couldn’t wait to share it with the world! My husband agreed, calling it a “home run.” He is a very appreciative food consumer overall, but even so, that’s pretty high praise. 🙂 I hope you make it and love it, too!

Lemon Shrimp Orzo Skillet 
Serves 4-6

3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper, divided
3 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
12 oz. uncooked orzo
1 lb. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
zest of 1 lemon
lemon wedges, for garnish
fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) and position rack in the top third of oven. On the stovetop, warm 2 tbsp. of the olive oil over medium-high in a large ovenproof skillet (be sure to use a skillet that you can cover). Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, oregano, 3/4 tsp. of the kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. of the black pepper. Cook until tomatoes are slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth followed by the orzo; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

When boiling, remove skillet from the heat, cover, and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake until orzo is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove skillet and set oven to broil.

Toss shrimp with remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Arrange shrimp on top of orzo mixture. Combine panko, parmesan, melted butter, and lemon zest; sprinkle this topping over shrimp and orzo.

Return skillet to the oven and broil, uncovered, until shrimp are just opaque, about 4 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley or cilantro; serve immediately.

Source: Barely adapted from Southern Living 

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