One Pot Harissa Shrimp and Feta Orzo

5 from 38 votes
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One Pot Harissa Shrimp and Feta Orzo comes together in one pot in just 30 minutes. Enjoy this easy shrimp orzo recipe with a side salad and crusty bread for the ultimate weeknight dinner.Shrimp and orzo in a white skillet topped with lemon wedges and feta

Why You’ll Love this Harissa Shrimp Orzo Recipe:

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.

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. 

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.

Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions: Recipe ingredients laid out on a board with blue labels

  • Shrimp: Look for shrimp that are already peeled and deveined (or at least deveined and easy peel). Also, many are surprised to find out that the best shrimp are often in the freezer case. Usually what’s behind the seafood case was previously frozen anyway, so you can often get a better deal by purchasing frozen, and thawing on your own.
  • Orzo: You can find regular and whole-wheat orzo in the pasta aisle. Just like any other pasta shape, dry orzo will keep for a WHILE in the pantry, so don’t worry about it going to waste. 
  • Tomatoes: I prefer using fire-roasted diced tomatoes, however you can also use plain. 
  • Harissa: Harissa is 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.
  • Aromatics: Do NOT skimp on the fresh garlic here, as it really creates the aromatic backbone of the dish. I also love adding sautéed shallots for extra bite. 
  • Spinach: Fresh baby spinach wilts into strands of vegetal goodness in the this orzo dish. You can also use finely chopped kale, which will just take a few more minutes to soften. 
  • Feta: A final sprinkling of feta adds rich salty dimension to the dish. Alternatively, you can use some freshly grated Parmesan here. 

A spoon pulling out a spoonful of harissa shrimp orzo

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Sauté the Shrimp

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large pan with a fitted lid over medium-high. Once hot, add half the shrimp and cook 2 minutes per side, until cooked through. Repeat with remaining half of shrimp. Transfer cooked shrimp to a plate, season with 1/4 tsp. salt, and reduce heat to medium.Shrimp sautéing in a skillet

Step 2. Sauté Shallots, Garlic, and Chili Flakes

Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to pan, along with shallots, garlic, and chili flakes. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until softened.Shallots, garlic, and chili flakes sautéing in a skillet

Step 3: Toast Orzo

Add orzo; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden.Dry orzo pasta toasting in a white skillet

Step 4: Simmer Mixture

Stir in tomatoes, harissa, and broth; increase heat to bring mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until orzo is cooked through, about 15 minutes.Tomatoes and broth being added to orzo mixture in a pan

Step 5: Add Spinach

Remove lid and add spinach, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper; stir continuously until spinach wilts down. Add shrimp back to pot and continue to cook, uncovered, 3 more minutes to rewarm shrimp. Sprinkle feta overtop and dig in! Spinach being mixed into a pan of cooked orzo pasta

Which Shrimp Should I Buy?

Here are some of my shrimp purchasing tips:

  • Buy Frozen. Since I live in a landlocked state without access to freshly caught shrimp, I prefer to buy shrimp frozen. Since it’s flash-frozen promptly after being caught, it is often better quality (for a better price) than what’s sitting in the seafood case.
    • Buying frozen also gives you greater control over the defrosting process, since you can cook them immediately afterwards. 
  • Look for raw (not precooked) shrimp that is deveined and peeled. Deveining shrimp is a tedious, rather unsettling task, if you ask me! Also, for reference, raw shrimp is always gray-ish white, while cooked shrimp is pink. 

How to Store and Reheat:

  • Store: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and this shrimp orzo recipe will last up to 4 days refrigerated.
  • Reheat: Reheat individual portions in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until warmed through. Alternatively, reheat in a skillet with a splash of water or broth to rehydrate the noodles. 

Finished skillet of shrimp orzo in a white skillet topped with fresh parsley and feta

More Easy Shrimp Recipes to Try:

Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti Squash

One Pot Moroccan Quinoa

One Pan Lemon Pepper Shrimp

If you give this shrimp orzo recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.

5 from 38 votes

One Pot Harissa Shrimp and Feta Orzo

One pot harissa shrimp and feta orzo comes together in right under 30 minutes and makes for a delightful weeknight dinner. Serve with a simple side salad and you have the building blocks for an easy meal.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Equipment

  • Large skillet with fitted lid

Ingredients  

  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. raw peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ cups dry orzo pasta
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. mild harissa paste such as Mina brand
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 to 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 lemon, divided
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish
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Instructions 

  • Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large pan with a fitted lid over medium-high. Once hot, add half the shrimp and cook 2 minutes per side, until cooked through. Repeat with remaining half of shrimp. Transfer cooked shrimp to a plate, season with 1/4 tsp. salt and black pepper, and reduce heat to medium. 
  • Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to pan, along with shallots, garlic, and chili flakes. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until softened. Add orzo; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden.
  • Stir in tomatoes, harissa, broth, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt; increase heat to bring mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until orzo is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove lid and add spinach; stir continuously until spinach wilts down. Add shrimp back to pot and continue to cook, uncovered, 1 to 2 more minutes to rewarm shrimp. Sprinkle with feta and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon overtop. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
    Slice remaining half of lemon into wedges and serve with orzo.

Video

Notes

  • Store: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and this shrimp orzo recipe will last up to 4 days refrigerated.
  • Reheat: Reheat individual portions in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until warmed through. Alternatively, reheat in a skillet with a splash of water or broth to rehydrate the noodles. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 496kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 980mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g

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




43 Comments

  1. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious & so easy! We loved it & I will definitely make it again.

  2. Christine says:

    5 stars
    I made some modifications that I thought could be of use to others. First, I made this with 6 ounces of Trader Joe’s red lentil pasta instead of orzo and used 2 cups of broth. It cooked up perfectly and I anticipate any pasta could be used based on this. I also learned too late that my harissa had gone bad, so I subbed in a healthy amount of Trader Joe’s aglio olio seasoning, which worked. Finally, I used frozen spinach instead of fresh. I LOVED how this recipe came together in one pan. It’s a keeper!

  3. Donna says:

    5 stars
    This dish was so delicious, my friend was so impressed with my cooking. I said it wasn’t my recipe, I followed the instructions as written. Making again for my family.

  4. Stacey says:

    Could you make this with a different fish (or chicken) or make it vegetarian? Curious.

  5. Tara says:

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for kids and adults, universal hit! Highly recommend.

    1. Annie says:

      5 stars
      One of our favorites – have made it multiple times now and it is always delicious!

  6. Veronique says:

    Hi! I would love to try the recipe but I am one that tries to make it look just like in the picture… Your recipe says to sprinkle the juice of half a lemon and serve the other half as wedges, but your photo has these gorgeous looking seared lemon slices. Hence my question: how do you get these lemon slices charred like this?

  7. Jessica says:

    5 stars
    So delicious and I think it feeds way more than 4 servings.

  8. Jen says:

    5 stars
    I made this for the first time tonight and it was so delicious! The perfect balance of spice, tang and herbs. I make your recipes all the time because they are so flavorful, healthy and easy. Thanks for helping me make restaurant worthy meals at home!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Jen – woohoo! So glad it was a hit. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review!