The easiest way to elevate your weeknight dinners, this Mediterranean-inspired Shrimp Orzo Bake recipe is quick to make and bursting with flavor! Plump shrimp combine with warm spices, fresh herbs, tangy olives, tender orzo, and creamy Feta cheese. Baked in minutes, this shrimp orzo recipe is perfect for weeknight meals, fancy date nights, and every occasion in between.
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However, with the weather warming up, we wanted to make it a little bit lighter. Enter this shrimp orzo bake.
It’s still hearty and delicious but is made with simple, nutritious ingredients for a meal that will fill you up without weighing you down. In addition, it:
- Bakes in 15 minutes or less.
- Is loaded with protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
- Make enough to feed the family.
- Is satisfying served on its own and pairs wonderfully with all your favorite sides.
What Is Orzo, Anyway?
Although it looks like rice, orzo is actually a type of pasta made from semolina flour. A common ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, it can be cooked on its own and served as a side or added to soups, bakes, salads, and more.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Like many Mediterranean recipes, this shrimp orzo bake uses simple ingredients and warm spices to create a bold flavor that will knock your socks off. Here’s what you need:
- Shrimp – We recommend using large, thawed shrimp. If you use frozen or small varieties, the baking time will differ and could result in tough, overcooked shrimp.
- Olive Oil – This helps the seasonings cling to the shrimp, locking in lots of flavor and helping them cook.
- Vegetables – Grape tomatoes (which are technically fruit, but we’re categorizing them as veggies for this recipe) and red onions add a pop of tangy flavor along with extra nutrients and texture.
- Olives – We love Kalamata olives! However, we know they’re a divisive ingredient. So, feel free to omit them completely if you aren’t a fan.
- Lime Juice – This helps cook the shrimp and cuts through some of the heaviness of the fats for a well-rounded flavor.
- Garlic – Whole, fresh cloves will yield the best taste.
- Seasonings – Salt, pepper, sumac, oregano, and crushed red pepper create a savory taste with just a hint of spice.
- Orzo – Prepare your orzo according to the package instructions.
- Herbs – Fresh parsley and fresh cilantro contribute a bright, refreshing flavor.
- Feta Cheese – You can never go wrong with feta! We recommend using full-fat cheese for the best flavor and creamiest texture, but any variety will work.
Combine, Bake, Enjoy! How to Make This Shrimp Orzo Bake
This shrimp and orzo recipe looks like it comes from a 5-star restaurant, but it’s super simple to make!
- Toss and Bake. In a greased 9×13 baking dish, combine the shrimp, olive oil, tomatoes, olives, onion, lime juice, garlic, and spices. Toss to coat the shrimp and veggies. Then, bake in a preheated oven until the shrimp are fully cooked and opaque.
- Prepare the Orzo. While the shrimp are baking, prepare the orzo to al dente according to the package instructions. Drain, and set aside.
- Combine the Ingredients. Add the cooked orzo to the baking dish with the shrimp, and gently mix to combine. Sprinkle the fresh herbs on top along with the feta cheese. Toss to distribute, and enjoy!
The simplicity of this shrimp orzo bake means it’s extremely versatile. Feel free to experiment with different flavors and ingredients to make it your own!
- Different Protein. If you’re not a fan of shrimp, chicken works well, too. We recommend cutting it into bite-sized pieces before baking to help speed up the cooking process and ensure it cooks evenly.
- Extra Veggies. Include any vegetables you have on hand like mushrooms, zucchini, or bell peppers. We recommend sprinkling the vegetables with a higher water content with salt to draw out excess moisture before adding them to the dish.
- Swap Out the Cheese. Any mild cheese you like best scan be used in this recipe. For example, Mozzarella, Parmesan, and goat cheese all taste great!
This shrimp orzo bake is a filling dish all on its own. However, it also pairs amazingly with side dishes and appetizers like:
How to Store and Reheat
This shrimp and orzo bake is best enjoyed right away while it’s still hot adn fresh. However, if you have leftovers, they can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place the dish back in the oven at around 300 degrees or in a skillet on the stove over medium heat. We don’t recommend microwaving leftovers as the shrimp is likely to become rubbery.
More Easy Orzo Recipes
Looking for more ways to use orzo? Try out the recipes below!
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- One Pot Mediterranean Orzo Pasta
- Creamy Parmesan Spinach Orzo Pasta
- Egyptian Orzo Pasta
Shrimp Orzo Bake Recipe
- 32 ounces shrimp tail off and thawed
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes quartered
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives sliced
- 1/3 cup red onion choped
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 12 ounces orzo pasta cooked
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In 9×13 baking dish, combine the thawed shrimp, olive oil, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, red onion, lime juice, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, sumac, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Toss everything together until the shrimp and vegetables are evenly coated with the seasonings.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked through and opaque.
- While the shrimp are baking, cook the orzo according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the orzo, and set it aside.
- Once the shrimp is cooked, remove the baking dish from the oven, and add the cooked orzo to the dish. Gently mix everything together to combine.
- Sprinkle the chopped parsley, chopped cilantro, and crumbled feta cheese on top. Toss lightly to distribute the herbs and feta, and enjoy warm.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.