June 12, 2021

Grilled Shrimp and Orzo Salad

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!

Delicious and Healthy Orzo Salad with Grilled Shrimp

When it comes to an easy dinner  salads are one of my favorite options. I love a hearty lettuce based salad like my chicken, bacon, and avocado chopped salad or a quick pasta version like this Greek pasta salad.

The recipes are simple, do not require a ton of ingredients, and help me get a healthy meal on the table without a lot of clean up.

This Grilled Shrimp and Orzo Salad is a quick and easy recipe that will take you around thirty minutes to make. You can serve this dish for an easy lunch or dinner. I know you’ll love this recipe!

ingredients for grilled shrimp and orzo salad

Ingredients You Will Need

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.

Optional Additions

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: 

  • arugula
  • chopped spinach
  • chopped romaine lettuce
  • pepperoncini peppers
  • olives
  • marinated or grilled artichoke hearts
  • fresh or roasted bell peppers

grilled shrimp on three skewers

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!

ingredients for vineagrette dressing

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.

grilled shrimp skewers on top of orzo salad

More Delicious Recipes

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas

Italian Pasta Salad

The Best Greek Salad

Chicken Bacon Avocado Chopped Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

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!

If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings / #allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.

Print

Grilled Shrimp and Orzo Salad

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
/
Scale:
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

For the Shrimp

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • zest of half a lemon
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • salt + pepper, to taste

For the Orzo Salad

  • 1 cup dry orzo (6 oz) – 2 cups cooked
  • 1 cup rainbow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup quartered English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (plus more for garnish)
  • 6 oz feta cheese, cubed or crumbled

Method

  1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water.
  2. Pat the shrimp dry and then add to a bowl. Add the lemon zest, salt, pepper, and olive oil to the shrimp and toss until well combined. While the shrimp marinates, make the orzo salad.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook using the package directions until al dente. Drain, rinse with cool water, set aside, and let cool.
  4. While the orzo is cooling, make the vinaigrette. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
  5. To a large mixing bowl, add the cooked orzo, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, dill, and feta cheese. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the orzo salad and toss until well combined.
  6. Now cook the shrimp. If using wooden skewers, thread the marinated shrimp onto the soaked skewers.
  7. Heat your grill to medium-high heat (375-450 degrees).
  8. Grill the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side on direct heat until done. The shrimp will be done when it is opaque and pink around the edges.
  9. Serve the shrimp over the orzo salad and enjoy!

Keywords: orzo salad, grilled shrimp, grilled shrimp and orzo salad

Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: Casey Colodny / THE MINDFUL HAPA

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Recipe rating

    11 comments
  1. Looks like a delicious summer recipe! If I do not have a grill, what would you recommend for cooking the shrimp? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Rachel! If you don’t have a grill, no worries! You can cook the shrimp on a grill pan or in a skillet for 2-3 minutes and follow the recipe as written. Thanks for your question! I hope you love it!

  2. My husband saw me preparing this and goes, “Ehh, what are you making?” He ended up eating two bowls of this and taking again the next day for lunch! He told me I need to leave a review on this one. We ran out of orzo and made half of it with bow-tie pasta which was also delicious. Finally got to use some dill from the garden. We did the shrimp in the air fryer since it was raining. It came out really good! Even my 2 year old loved this. Thanks!

    • Yay! So happy to hear that everyone loved the recipe, Gabrielle! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This recipe was so delicious and easy! I loved the lemon and dill flavors as it added an extra freshness level. It was also great leftover and chilled so I’d definitely recommend making a double batch!

    • I’m so glad you loved the recipe, Katie! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  4. one of my new favorite pasta salads, the orzo combined with the shrimp provides the perfect combo of textures! the addition of the briney feta on top just made the best flavor combo. Love love love!

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