This delicious Grilled Shrimp and Orzo Salad is the perfect recipe for those warmer spring and summer months or all year round. It comes together in only 30 minutes, is made with just a few simple ingredients, and is so easy to make. This is sure to be a family favorite!
Shrimp: for this recipe, you’ll need a pound of large shrimp. You can find pre-peeled and deveined shrimp at the seafood counter of your local grocery store.
Lemon Zest: fragrant lemon zest is used on both the shrimp and in the salad vinaigrette. It adds the perfect amount of acidity and freshness to the dish.
Dry Orzo: if you have never had orzo before this is a great first recipe to try! Orzo is a form of short cut pasta that looks similar to a grain of rice. This recipe calls for one cup of dry or two cups of cooked orzo. You can find orzo in the pasta aisle of your local grocery store. If needed, you can keep this recipe gluten free by using a gluten-free orzo.
Veggies and Herbs: this recipe uses a combination of English cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red onions, and plenty of fresh dill.
Feta Cheese: the feta cheese as a delicious salty and creamy flavor to the salad.
Vinaigrette: this lemony vinaigrette pulls everything together and is absolutely delicious. The simple combination of fresh lemon juice, zest, olive oil, and garlic creates a light but flavorful dressing.
The veggies and herbs in this salad are a great starting point but, as always, feel free to get creative and add in even more your favorite veggies to make this salad your own.
Here are a few of my favorite optional additions:
chopped romaine lettuce
marinated or grilled artichoke hearts
fresh or roasted bell peppers
Simple and Delicious Grilled Shrimp
The orzo salad is paired with a simple and delicious grilled shrimp that packs a punch of flavor and protein. Making the shrimp starts with a quick marinade and then it is placed on wooden skewers for grilling. The flavor of the marinade is amplified by the hot grilled pairs perfectly with the salad.
If you do not have access to a grill, do not worry! You can easily cook the shrimp inside on a grill pan or in a skillet.
How to Make Orzo Salad with Feta
Step One: If you are using them, start by soaking your wooden wooden skewers in water for at least 15 minutes. This will help to prevent them from burning when you place the shrimp on the hot grill.
Step Two: Pat the peeled and deveined shrimp dry with paper towels and then add it to a bowl. Next, add the lemon zest, salt, pepper, and olive oil to the shrimp and stir everything until the shrimp are well coated in the seasonings. While the shrimp marinates, it’s time to make the orzo salad.
Step Three: First, start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook using the package directions until al dente. Drain the orzo, rinse with cool water to remove any excess starch, and set aside.
Step Four: Next, make the vinaigrette. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
Step Five: Now, assemble the salad! Add the cooked orzo, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, dill, and feta cheese to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the orzo salad and toss until well combined.
Step Six: Next, it’s time to cook the shrimp. If using wooden skewers, thread the marinated shrimp onto the soaked skewers. Heat your grill to medium-high heat (375-450 degrees). Grill the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side on direct heat until done and then remove. The shrimp will be done when it is opaque and pink around the edges.
Step Seven: Serve the shrimp over the orzo salad and enjoy!
Can I Make This Salad in Advance?
Yes! This salad recipe is a great one to make in advance. Here are a few of my favorite tips for preparing this salad ahead of time:
Cook the orzo in advance. Drain, rinse with cool water, and then store in an air-tight container until you are ready to use.
Chop your veggies in advance. You can prep all of the veggies for this salad ahead of time. Once you are done chopping, store them in an air-tight container until you are ready to assemble the salad.
Make the vinaigrette in advance. You can easily whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and then store them in an air-tight jar with a tight lid. When it is time to assemble the salad, just give the jar a shake to ensure that everything is well combined before drizzling the dressing over the salad.
What to Serve with Orzo Salad
The pairing of the grilled shrimp and orzo salad is delicious but you could also serve the orzo salad with several different proteins or even on it’s own! Try serving it with grilled salmon or scallops, chicken breast, or grilled veggies. The salad is also a great option to bring to a potluck or BBQ.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Results
Do not overcook your shrimp. Shrimp is a quick cooking protein and only needs two to three minutes of cook time before it is ready to eat. Once it has turned translucent, the shrimp should be ready to eat!
Adjust the seasoning of the salad to fit your tastebuds. Add a bit of extra salt or pepper if you feel like it’s needed.
Do not forget to rinse your orzo with cool water before making the salad. Rinsing the orzo will help to remove any excess starch and prevent the orzo from sticking together.
How to Store
Store the grilled shrimp and orzo salad in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to three days. I would not recommend freezing the leftovers of this recipe.
I hope you give this Grilled Shrimp and Orzo Salad a try! This is so easy to make and perfect side dish, lunch, or dinner for the summer!
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