One pot harissa shrimp and feta orzo comes together in just 30 minutes and makes for a fantastic weeknight dinner. Serve with a simple side salad and you have the building blocks for an easy meal. I never met a noodle I didn’t like. And yes, orzo is actually a type of short-cut pasta, even though it looks a lot like a grain. Because of its petite size, orzo is super quick-cooking and great on its own or as a side.
Here, we bolster this blank-canvas noodle with a Harissa-imbued tomato sauce, lots of aromatics, spinach, and fresh basil. A light shower of feta adds a salty, tangy top note. You could also use crumbled goat cheese or even halloumi.One of the standout ingredients in this dish is harissa—a North African spice paste that looks like a mix between tomato paste and tomato sauce. It has a slightly smoky spiciness with bright acidity and earthy undertones, and is a great shortcut ingredient to achieving big flavor.
Harissa and shrimp are a fantastic marriage since the quick-cooking crustacean can take on any flavor profile you throw its way. Plus, it’s an excellent source of protein and holds up well when reheated. Cooking the shrimp right in the orzo mixture helps lock in moisture and keep it ultra succulent. And did I mention this recipe only requires ONE PAN? Let’s do the math: less dishes = more evening downtime = more time to catch up on This is Us or Shameless (two way opposite ends of the spectrum there, but they’re the only two shows I’m watching at the moment).
Besides Shark Tank. And Chopped. Which are two of the BEST shows to watch while you’re procrastinating. Truly, they’ll help you put things off for hours. This is the perfect weeknight dinner because it requires very little legwork and can be on the table in just 30 minutes. It’s hearty without feeling heavy, rich yet virtuous, and packs over one serving of veggies into each serving.
So. Much. Yes.
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup chopped shallots
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups dry orzo
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. mild harissa paste (such as Mina brand)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 lb. raw peeled and deveined shrimp
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Heat oil in a large sauté pan with a fitted lid over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt; cook 3 minutes. Add orzo; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Stir in tomatoes, harissa, and broth; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until orzo is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Remove lid, increase heat to medium, and stir in spinach and shrimp. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shrimp is cooked through. Top with feta and fresh basil. Drizzle each serving with extra olive oil, if desired.