30 Minute Creamy Shrimp & Lemon Orzo


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I like to eat fresh, comforting foods that aren’t packed full of calories or have me unbuttoning my jeans after dinner! Cooking Light is really good about sharing healthy meals that still have a homey, comfort-food vibe. This 30 Minute Creamy Shrimp & Lemon Orzo reminds me of a classic Italian risotto without all the time and perfection the signature dish demands. It’s contentment in a bowl with a bright, cheery face for the spring and summer! There are less than 500 calories per serving so no need to feel guilty! Let me show you how to make it: 

Creamy One Pot Lemon Orzo

Start by cleaning 1 pound of medium to large shrimp. In case you are new to cooking, here are some helpful tips on how to peel and devein shrimp before eating.

Now, pull out your Dutch Oven or large pot. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add in 1 medium onion diced into small pieces and 3 tablespoons of minced garlic. As that begins to cook, sprinkle in a teaspoon of dried chives. Cook the onion until it is tender and translucent, probably about 5 minutes.

Creamy One Pot Lemon Orzo

Pour in one cup of dried orzo and stir it around so that it is thoroughly coated. Add in 1/3 cup of white wine and bring it to a boil. Let it cook about 2 minutes until most of the liquid evaporates. It is important when cooking with wine to choose one that you would normally drink. The white cooking wine off the shelf is the least flavorful option but if you want the wine flavor without opening a whole bottle you can choose this option. I normally cook with riesling because it is a middle-of-the-road white wine that is neither too sweet or too dry. And if you don’t want any wine at all, simply skip this step.

Creamy One Pot Lemon Orzo

Now add in 2 cups of chicken stock (or broth) and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt  and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the orzo has soaked up a lot of the liquid. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of stock and zest one lemon.

Creamy One Pot Lemon Orzo

Stir in 1 cup of frozen peas and the shrimp you peeled earlier. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp turns pink. Continue to stir the mixture until the shrimp is done and then remove it from the heat.

Creamy One Pot Lemon Orzo

Stir in 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 oz of reduced-fat cream cheese.

Creamy One Pot Lemon Orzo

This is my favorite part because the orzo gets nice and creamy and the zest of the lemon hits my nose with a bright, citrusy aroma! Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to cool off as well as absorb any remaining liquid.

Creamy One Pot Lemon Orzo

Now scoop out the orzo into bowls and sprinkle with fresh chives. I love this creamy shrimp and lemon orzo because it is reminiscent of a slow-cooked risotto without all the time and perfection a risotto demands.

Creamy One Pot Lemon Orzo

It is also an easy 30 minute, one pot dinner that won’t make a million dishes in my sink! The kids love the creamy flavor, my husband loves the leftovers, and I love that it is healthy. Any dish that has me full without feeling guilty is a must-have!

Give it a whirl and share with your friends! For more tasty 30 minute dinner ideas or one pot wonders, check out my Recipe Index or follow my boards on Pinterest. Happy cooking y’all!

30 Minute Creamy Shrimp & Lemon Orzo

Heidi Davison
This 30 minute creamy shrimp and lemon orzo is reminiscent of a slow-cooked risotto without all the time a risotto demands. The flavors are bright and cheery!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Entree
Cuisine Seafood
Servings 4 -5
Calories 421 kcal


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1/3 cup white wine such as riesling
  • 3.5 cups chicken stock divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 small package frozen peas
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup orzo
  • Optional: fresh chopped chives for topping


  • Heat oil in Dutch oven and saute onions and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle in dried chives and orzo. Stir to coat.
  • Add wine and bring to a boil. Cook about 2 minutes or until most liquid evaporates.
  • Add 2 cups of stock and salt to pot. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and let simmer 15 minutes until orzo is cooked.
  • Stir in remaining stock, peas, lemon zest, and shrimp.
  • Cook 5 minutes or until shrimp turns pink.
  • Remove pot from heat and stir in lemon juice, pepper, and cream cheese.
  • Divide among bowls and top with fresh chives.


This 30 minute creamy shrimp and lemon orzo is the perfect one-pot easy dinner option. The Italian rice/pasta is reminiscent of risotto but a lot faster and healthier to make. This version is made with shrimp and peas but it would be simple to leave out the shrimp for a vegetarian dish. You can even substitute the peas for another vegetable like asparagus. However it's made, this lemon orzo is delicious and a new family favorite!
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  • I can’t help but wonder if everyone else got a different recipe to follow than I did. It was SOUP!!! There was waaaaay too much liquid. I had to add the rest of the box of orzo to even begin to suck up all the liquid.

    3.5 cups of broth, divided. You’re supposed to use 2 cups in the beginning and all is well. But add the rest… another 1.5 cups is way too much!!

    This recipe is trash!

    • Oh man, I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you! I triple checked the recipe (because I have totally made mistakes before!), but I did write it correctly. What I’m thinking is that maybe your orzo needed a longer amount of time to soak up the initial 2 cups or a longer simmering time on higher heat with the second 1.5 cups. It is a very creamy mixture, but shouldn’t be soupy.

  • Deb Vinton says:

    How do I share this recipe? Looks great but o not see a way to share.

    • There should be social media icons right above this comment section. You can pin it, share on fb, or email it to yourself.

  • Six thumbs up!!! This was a quick, one pot (can we say HALLELUJAH), delicious dinner. Thank you, Heidi.

    • I’m so glad to hear! It’s great when you can make the whole family happy!

  • you left out the amount of orzo needed in the recipe

    • So sorry, Dottie! I have fixed it now. You’ll need 1 cup of dried orzo for the recipe.

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