Orzo with Shrimp and Feta is easy to make and bursting with Mediterranean flavor! This one-pot dish combines crumbled feta, oil-cured olives, lemon, and succulent shrimp with orzo and fresh parsley and can be ready in about 30 minutes!

Large pan with orzo and shrimp with feta and black olives.


Orzo with shrimp and feta cheese is a dish I make regularly for my family, especially on busy weeknights.

Shrimp cooks very quickly which makes it an ideal ingredient for weeknight dinners and the flavors of the olives, feta, and lemon complement it perfectly.

Serve this alongside a simple broccoli salad, greek salad, or sauteed spinach with garlic.

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: olive oil, oil-cured olives, red pepper flakes, garlic, lemons, onion, orzo, feta, salt, baking soda, parsley, shrimp, and chicken stock.
  • Shrimp. Look for shrimp that are U26-sized or larger. This means there are roughly 26 shrimp per pound. Buying shrimp that are already peeled and deveined will save you time.
  • Baking soda and salt. This combination serves as a dry brine for the shrimp and helps to keep them plump while cooking.
  • Orzo. This rice-shaped pasta is wonderful in dishes with Mediterranean flavors.
  • Feta. Block feta is better than pre-crumbled feta.
  • Olives. I used pitted oil-cured olives for this recipe but you can also use pitted kalamata olives.
  • Lemons. The juice and zest are used.
  • Stock. Since many ingredients in this dish are salty, it’s best to use a low-sodium chicken, seafood, or vegetable stock.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Place 1 1/2 pounds of large peeled and deveined shrimp in a medium bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix gently. Set aside for at least 10 minutes before sauteing. Dice 1 medium onion, and mince 6 cloves of garlic. Rinse 1/2 cup of oil-cured pitted olives and give them a rough chop. Zest 1 tablespoon of lemon and juice 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mince 1/2 cup of flat-leaf parsley and crumble 1 cup worth of feta cheese. (Photo #1)
Orzo with shrimp and feta recipe process shot collage group one showing mixing shrimp in bowl and searing shrimp in a pan.
  1. Heat a large pan to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once shimmering, add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until almost cooked through, then place the shrimp on a plate and tent with foil. (Photo #2)
  2. To the same pan, add 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and once shimmering, add the onions and a pinch of salt. (Photo #3)
Recipe collage two showing sauteing of onions and adding garlic to the pan.
  1. Once the onions are soft and translucent (about 5-7 minutes) add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. (Photo #4)
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups of orzo and mix well to coat with the olive oil. Toast the orzo for 3 minutes, then add 3 1/2 cups of low-sodium chicken stock. (Photo #5)
Recipe collage three showing sauteing orzo in the pan and covering pan with a lid.
  1. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pan, turn the heat down to low, and cook until the orzo is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. (Photo #6)
  2. Uncover the pan and add the olives, lemon juice, lemon zest, and the cooked shrimp. (Photo #7)
Recipe collage four showing mixing cooked shrimp into orzo and adding feta along with seasoning with salt and pepper.
  1. Remove the pan from the heat and add the parsley and crumbled feta. If the orzo is dry, add a touch more chicken stock and olive oil, if needed. Taste test and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve the shrimp and feta orzo immediately and enjoy! (Photo #8)

Top tips

  • Brine the shrimp. The first few steps of the recipe include instructions to brine the shrimp. If you’re in a rush, you can skip this step, but in my decades of cooking I’ve found that taking the extra 10 minutes to brine them makes for more succulent and plump shrimp.
  • Sodium. There are several salty ingredients in this recipe, such as the olives, and feta. For this reason, you’re better off waiting until the end of the dish to make any adjustments to salt. I also recommend using homemade chicken stock which has no salt, or reduced-sodium chicken base.
  • Roll your lemons and slice if you like. Apply pressure to the lemons as you roll them on a flat surface to yield maximum juice. This works like a charm! If you want a showstopper, simply thinly slice a lemon and mix it into the orzo before serving.

White plate with orzo topped with shrimp and parsley.

More Mediterranean-inspired recipes

If you enjoy the flavors in this orzo with shrimp and feta, I think you’ll love these other Mediterranean recipes!

If you’ve enjoyed this Orzo with Shrimp and Feta Recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

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Orzo with Shrimp and Feta

5 from 11 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Orzo with shrimp and feta is a simple but delicious one-pot dish that combines olives, feta, and succulent shrimp with orzo and fresh lemon zest and juice. It's perfect for weeknights and so easy to make!

Ingredients 

For the shrimp

  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp u26 or larger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided

For the orzo

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup oil-cured black olives pitted, rinsed, and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup feta crumbled
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

For the shrimp

  • Place the shrimp, baking soda, red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt into a bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic and set aside for at least 10 minutes before sauteing.
  • Heat a large pan to medium heat and add the remaining olive oil. Once shimmering, add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until almost cooked through. Place the shrimp onto a plate and cover with foil.

For the orzo

  • Add the extra virgin olive oil to the same pan and turn the heat to medium. Once the oil is shimmering add the onion and a pinch of salt. Once the onions are soft and translucent (about 5-7 minutes) add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add the orzo and mix well to coat with the olive oil. Toast the orzo for 3 minutes then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and turn the heat down to low. Cook until the orzo is tender and most of the liquid has absorbed (about 12-15 minutes).
  • Uncover the pot and mix in the olives, lemon juice, zest, and cooked shrimp. Remove the pan from the heat and add the parsley and feta. If the orzo is too dry add a touch more chicken stock and olive oil if needed. Taste test and adjust salt and pepper if required. Enjoy!

Notes

  • This recipe easily doubles.
  • Oil-cured olives are very salty.  Rinsing them through a strainer can help remove some of the salt.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave. Though, I recommend eating all the shrimp on the same day. Shrimp do not reheat too well.

Nutrition

Calories: 707kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.8g | Protein: 49.7g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 8.2g | Cholesterol: 380mg | Sodium: 1407mg | Potassium: 340mg | Fiber: 2.1g | Sugar: 4.4g | Calcium: 283mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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24 Comments

    1. You can use any olives you’d like, they don’t need to be oil-cured. Or if the issue is with olives in general, you can either omit or replace with cherry tomatoes.

  1. Do you think this dish could work as a “room temp” buffet item. I am doing a variety of Italian dishes for a group but would like to have done before quests arrive.