One Pan Creamed Corn Orzo with Shrimp

5 from 4 votes
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One Pan Creamed Corn Orzo with Cajun Shrimp celebrates summer produce in an easy weeknight dinner. This one-skillet meal is kid-friendly and ready in under 40 minutes.

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Creamed Corn Shrimp Orzo in a skillet topped with fresh basil leaves.

Why You’ll Love this Creamed Corn Orzo

This one pan wonder features fresh corn imbued with poblano pepper, garlic, and fresh herbs.

In place of half and half, canned coconut milk helps the dish achieve top-notch creaminess. And to finish, cajun-spiced shrimp lends a kick of heat to cut through the sweetness of the corn.

This recipe is easy enough for weeknight dinners, yet impressive enough to entertain.

Plus, it comes together in under 40 minutes and only requires ONE PAN (thus, less DISHES). I think we can all agree that duo is worth celebrating.

If you love flavorful shrimp recipes like this, also check out this Creamy Coconut Shrimp, Lemon Pepper Shrimp, and Coconut Curry Shrimp.

Recipe Ingredients

Recipe ingredients in separate bowls on a wooden board with labels.
  • Shrimp: Look for peeled and deveined shrimp for convenience. If you’re not a fan of shrimp, you can also use chicken in this recipe.
  • Onion: You can use yellow or sweet onion, or chopped shallots.
  • Poblano Pepper: I love the earthy, pleasantly bitter notes of poblano pepper, which are rendered slightly sweet after cooking.
  • Cajun Seasoning: Use any Creole or Cajun seasoning you like or have on hand! [Pro tip: most cajun seasonings are salted (pretty heavily!), however if yours is not, add 1/2 tsp. salt to the shrimp.]
  • Orzo: Orzo may look like rice, however it’s actually a petite-sized pasta! It’s quick-cooking and super adaptable.
  • Broth: Use chicken, vegetable, or bone broth.
  • Coconut Milk: Most creamed corn recipes call for half-and-half, however I prefer using coconut milk here. If you’re trying to limit saturated fat or calories, use lite coconut milk.
  • Corn: Fresh is best! You need about 3 ears of corn total, which should render 2 1/2 cups of kernels.
  • Basil: For a bright, fresh finish.
  • Oil + Butter: I love using a mix of butter and olive oil for richness.
Teal bowl filled with a single serving of creamed corn shrimp orzo.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Sauté Shrimp. Toss shrimp in olive oil and Cajun seasoning, and empty into a large skillet over medium-high. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes total, turning to cook both sides. Transfer shrimp to a plate.

Shrimp being sautéed in a skillet, followed by aromatics being added and sautéed.

Step 2: Sauté Aromatics. Add butter and olive oil to pan, along with onions and poblano pepper; sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft. Next, add corn and garlic; cook 3 more minutes.

Step 3: Add Orzo to pan, and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes to lightly toast grains.

Orzo, broth, and coconut milk being added to skillet.

Step 4: Boil Orzo. Add broth, coconut milk, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and gently simmer until orzo is tender.

Orzo being cooked until tender in a white pan.

Step 5: Add shrimp to pan, garnish with fresh basil, and serve!

Recipe FAQs

What is the Difference Between Creamed Corn and Regular Corn?

Traditionally, creamed corn is made by simmering sweet corn in a mix of butter and milk (or cream) until plump and creamy.

In this version, however, we’re using a mix of coconut milk and vegetable broth for a lighter, yet equally flavorful, dish. Using fresh corn is key for both flavor and texture, however if you’re making this out of season, frozen corn will do the job.

Is Corn Healthy?

Sweet corn is high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that promote healthy vision. Additionally, it has nearly 3 grams of fiber per serving and only 6 grams of natural sugar.

Is Orzo Healthier than Rice?

Orzo is lower in fiber and certain B vitamins than brown rice, however if you can find whole-grain orzo, it will help even out the playing field.

Orzo may look similar to rice, however it’s actually a type of short-cut pasta. Because of its petite size, orzo cooks in lightning speed, which makes it a great alternative to rice for a fast weeknight dinner.

Additionally, this type of grain seems to be a universal favorite among adults and kiddos.

How to Store and Reheat:

  • Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat: Rewarm individual portions in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds to promote even heating.
  • Freeze: Transfer leftovers to a freezer-safe storage bag or container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before rewarming in the oven or microwave.
Large white skillet filled with creamed corn shrimp orzo.

More One Pan Dinner Recipes to Try:

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

5 from 4 votes

One Pan Creamed Corn Orzo with Shrimp

One Pan Creamed Corn Orzo with Shrimp celebrates summer produce in an easy weeknight dinner. This one-skillet meal is kid-friendly and ready in under 40 minutes.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Large, high-sided skillet

Ingredients  

  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • 1 Tbsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning*
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 small yellow or sweet onion, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3 ears of shucked corn)
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/4 cups (8 oz.) dry orzo
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk (regular or lite)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt + 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • Fresh basil for garnish (optional)
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Instructions 

  • Place shrimp in a large bowl. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and Cajun or Creole seasoning; toss well to coat.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp; cook 3 to 5 minutes, turning to sear both sides, until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Reduce heat to medium.
  • Add remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 2 Tbsp. butter to pan. Add onion and poblano pepper; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until soft. Add corn and garlic; cook 3 more minutes.
    Add orzo to pan and stir to coat. Cook for 2 minutes in order to lightly toast grains. Add broth, coconut milk, salt, and black pepper to skillet; increase heat and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in fresh thyme and 1 Tbsp. of fresh lemon juice. Nestle shrimp back into skillet, and squeeze remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice overtop. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.

Notes

  • Most Cajun/Creole seasonings are salted, however if yours does not contain salt, add 1/2 tsp. kosher salt to shrimp.
  • Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat: Rewarm individual portions in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds to promote even heating.
  • Freeze: Transfer leftovers to a freezer-safe storage bag or container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before rewarming in the oven or microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 1003mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. Josie says:

    5 stars
    Perfect pantry meal. My substations were frozen corn, red pepper flakes instead of poblano, shallot instead of onion. Also threw in a couple of big handfuls of baby spinach at the end. Easy and delicious.

  2. Beth says:

    5 stars
    Turns out I didn’t have coconut milk on hand as I normally do, so I improvised and used some heavy cream and half and half and more veg broth to make up the difference and it still came out wonderfully. Even my very picky two year old had a few bites!

  3. Christina says:

    5 stars
    Loved this! So delicious!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      SO glad you enjoyed it, Christina! Thank you for leaving a rating and review!

  4. Ashley says:

    Looking forward to trying! Any suggestions for coconut milk substitute?

  5. Karen Allen says:

    5 stars
    Jamie – this recipe is hands-down my favorite to make at home. I LOVE it. I even made it for family over the holidays, and then again when visiting friends out of town, plus many times at home since I discovered it. Truly delicious and comes out perfectly every time. I have never followed a blogger before but I will be exploring your recipe archive and look forward to seeing what else you create.

  6. Kristin says:

    Hi Jamie – this recipe looks delicious! Do you have an orzo substitute for us non-gluten eaters?

    1. dishingouthealth says:

      Hi Kristin! I would use either short-grained brown rice or quinoa. Enjoy!