This mouthwatering shrimp dish comes together in under 30 minutes and can be made with either orzo or pasta! Perfect for a quick weekend or weeknight dinner!

Shrimp with orzo pasta

What is orzo and how do I to cook it? 

Orzo is a type of pasta made of semolina. It’s shape resembles that of rice and thus it can be easily confused with such.

It is very easy to cook orzo! Simply pour it in boiling water, stir to prevent it from sticking together and boil for 10-15 minutes until you reach the desired texture. I prefer it to be al-dente and thus cook it for a bit less time, though you may like it a bit softer!

orzo pasta

What is the proper way to clean shrimp?

It is very important to clean the shrimp prior to cooking. Firstly, remove the head form the shrimp with a knife. Then continue removing the outer shell. You can either start by pulling its legs from its body and removing them. This will allow you to easily remove its shell.

Alternatively, use kitchen scissors and cut the shrimp shell along its back.Remove the shell from either side, along with the legs. Depending on your preference, you may want to leave the tails on the shrimps (prawns) or remove those as well.

Finally it’s time to devein the shrimp. Score the back of the shrimp with a knife. You will notice a ‘vein’. With a toothpick, simply lift it and remove.

Shrimp devein

Do you need to rinse shrimp?

One you have ‘deveined’ the shrimp,  rinse it with cold water. This will remove any impurities. After rinsing the shrimp make sure you cook it fresh, if you can. Otherwise, refrigerate the prepared shrimp, though never for more than 14 hours.

What happens if you don’t clean the shrimp?

Leaving the digestive tract, or ‘vein’ in the shrimp will impact its taste. It will taste a bit bitter and certainly not pleasant!

Shrimp with pasta

Fresh versus frozen shrimp

This delicious shrimp with orzo pasta can be prepared with frozen shrimp. Most major brands are already deveined. However, if unsure, give it a quick check. If they are not, gently rinse them in cold water until slightly defrosted and then remove the vein.

This mouthwatering shrimp dish can also be prepared with prawns if you can’t get your hands on shrimps.

Finally, if you happen to use frozen shrimp or prawns for this dish, bear in mind these will be unshelled and thus you will not be able to prepare the mouth-watering stock. However, you can use store bought shrimp stock or you can use home made shrimp broth that you have previously prepared.

What are the secrets to this shrimp with orzo pasta recipe?

The secret to this shrimp with orzo pasta is its stock! To prepare it, get a large pan, pour in the water and add the shrimp shells and heads. Over medium heat, bring to a boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Once the shell fish stock is ready, strain it and set aside. It’s now ready to use in your recipe.

How long can I store shrimp stock?

You can refrigerate shrimp or prawn stock in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also freeze shrimp stock for 2 months.

Shrimp with pasta

What to be careful when preparing shrimp with orzo pasta

When preparing this delicious dish make sure you do not overcook the shrimps or prawns as they will turn rubbery, so make sure to cook it exactly as much time as I’ve put in the recipe below!

What goes well with shrimp orzo

This Greek style shrimp orzo goes very well with some crusty bread. Of course, it would go amiss without a colourful Feta cheese salad and is best served with a few lemon wedges or lemon juice. Finally, if you like prawns, try out my prawn saganaki!

Reheat shrimp with orzo pasta

This delicious dish can be reheated and enjoyed the next day!

Shrimp with orzo pasta

Shrimp with orzo pasta

Rating: 3.8/5
( 5 voted )
Serves: 4-5 Prep Time: Cooking Time:


Ingredients (shrimp with orzo)

  • 500gr shrimps or prawns (17.6 oz)
  • 400gr orzo pasta (14.1 oz)
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes (200gr canned tomatoes or cherry tomatoes)
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil (3.3 tablespoons olive oil)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4-5 sprigs parsley or dill

Ingredients (shrimp with pasta)

  • 500gr shrimps or prawns (17.6 oz)
  • 500gr pasta. (17.6 oz)
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1 large tomato (100gr canned tomatoes or cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil (3.3 tablespoons olive oil)
  • 1- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4-5 sprigs parsley or dill

Shrimp (shellfish) stock

  • 700ml water
  • shrimp shells and heads


Shrimp (shellfish) stock

  1. To prepare the shrimp stock, in a pan pour 700ml water and add the shrimp heads and shells. Boil over medium heat for 20 minutes. Strain the stock and set it aside.

Shrimp with orzo

  1. Finely slice the onion and sauté it over a hot pan for 2-3 minutes. Continue by adding the tomato paste and cook for a further 1 minute. Add the chopped (or canned) tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the shell fish stock in the tomato sauce, stir and add the orzo. Make sure there is enough shell fish stock to cover the orzo so that it can cook properly. Cook the orzo for 10 minutes.
  3. Finally add the prepared shrimp with the herbs and cook for a further 5-7 minutes. At this point, the orzo would have absorbed all the delicious shellfish stock.

Shrimp with pasta

  1. Sauté the finely sliced onion for 2-3 minutes. Carry on by sautéing the garlic for a few seconds. Continue by adding the tomato paste and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. At this point add the chopped or canned tomatoes and season. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Continue by adding the shell fish stock to the tomato sauce. Stir and add the pasta. Cook the pasta for 10 minutes. Make sure there is enough shell fish stock for the pasta. If not, simply add a bit more water.
  3. Add the prepared shrimps with herbs and cook for a further 5 minutes. The pasta should now have absorbed all the delicious juices from the shellfish stock and the tomato sauce.


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Debbie 23 June, 2022 - 12:36 pm

This looks delicious. Can’t wait to try!! Our shrimp is sold with shell on but no head. Will that make a difference in the stock?

Nancy 24 July, 2022 - 11:21 am

Dear Debbie, sorry for late reply. It is usually the head of the shrimps that adds that extra taste in the stock. You can still make the stock with the shells but it won’t taste as nice. Can you get hold of fresh shrimp?


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