One skillet lemon pepper shrimp and orzo comes together in right around 30 minutes and is sure to become a family favorite. Life has been a total whirlwind since getting back from Italy a little over a week ago. I knew taking 10 days off work and basic adult obligations would have some side effects (poor me, right?), however is it crazy to say that I feel like I already need another vacation?
Amidst the craziness of life and, therefore, minimal brain capacity allotted to weeknight dinners, I’ve been all about big flavor with minimal cleanup lately.
One-Pot Shrimp Dinner:
Quick-cooking orzo, plump shrimp, spinach, lots of zippy black pepper, and grated lemon for that extra zesty flair, this meal is firing on all cylinders. The starchy grains make it creamy, while the double dose of lemon adds layers of brightness. And because it comes together in one skillet (which, as a result, lends to quick cleanup), this meal is fantastic for weeknight dinners. To round it out, whip up a simple Italian salad to serve on the side.
What Is Orzo?
In short, orzo is a type of short-cut pasta that looks a lot like a grain. 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. If you happen to find whole-grain orzo, even better for slipping in some extra nutrients.
What Are Meyer Lemons?
A hybrid citrus fruit, Meyer lemons are sweeter and more perfumy than most other varieties. And while they’re moderately acidic, Meyer lemons don’t have the same puckering level of tang as regular lemons. However, if you have trouble finding a Meyer lemons, conventional lemons (for example, Eureka or Lisbon lemons) will work just fine.
Need More One-Pot Dinner Recipes?
Great, because I’ve got you covered. These recipes are nutritious, quick-cooking, and, most importantly, make for fast and efficient cleanup.
- 1 Tbsp. organic unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1 Meyer lemon, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ cup finely chopped shallots
- 1¼ cups dry orzo
- 3 cups lower sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
- Heat butter and 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp; cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Season with ¼ tsp. each of the salt and black pepper. Transfer to a plate. Add Meyer lemon slices and sear until golden on each side, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to pan and reduce heat to medium. Add shallots and garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and aromatic. Add orzo, stir to coat; cook 1 minute. Add broth and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until orzo is al dente and most liquid is absorbed. Stir in spinach and remaining ½ tsp. salt and ¾ tsp. black pepper. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring often, until spinach is wilted.
- Add shrimp back to pan and stir in zest and juice of lemon. Garnish with seared Meyer lemon slices.