Shrimp and Zucchini Orzo (2024)

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Shrimp and Zucchini Orzo (1)

Shrimp and Zucchini Orzo

I made this super simple shrimp and zucchini orzo recipe on Instagram stories a couple weeks ago and I knew I had to blog it.

A really easy test to see whether or not you guys are interested in a recipe is to test it on social media, see the response, then go from there.

It was very clear to me that this shrimp and zucchini orzo was a winner based on the number of DM’s I got!

I really do love making quick and easy recipes such as this shrimp and zucchini orzo because it makes dinnertime so much easier.

Shrimp cooks in about 3-5 minutes, zucchini takes about 7-10 minutes and orzo, because of its short-grained nature, takes about 10-12 minutes to cook.

Adding all those factors together, this shrimp and zucchini orzo comes together in about 30ish minutes.

Now that is definitely something we can all get behind, amiright?

Shrimp and Zucchini Orzo (2)

Quick tip to ensure this shrimp and zucchini orzo recipe is a fast dinner

Dice your zucchini into smaller cubes in relatively the same size so they don’t take too long to cook (and so you aren’t waiting for the larger pieces to cook while the smaller pieces are done and getting mushy).

Can I use frozen shrimp?

Fresh is best but if you are in a pinch, frozen works fine too!

I would thaw the frozen shrimp by putting it in a large fine mesh sieve and putting it into a large bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes then removing it immediately from the bowl of water.

If you don’t, the shrimp tends to soak up the water and it’ll leave you with shrimp bloated with water and dilute the flavor of the shrimp.

Shrimp and Zucchini Orzo (3)

Can I use a different pasta other than orzo?

You definitely could. I recommend a similar short pasta so cooking time is cut down.

Pastina or ditalini would be good alternatives.

I don’t like spicy

You don’t have to add the spicy garlic sauce or just add less

Shrimp and Zucchini Orzo (4)

Can I add more vegetables to this?

Of course!

I used a mixture of yellow and green squash but other vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers would be a great addition.

What additional side dishes would be good to serve with shrimp and zucchini orzo?

I always say you can always serve more vegetables because they’re the most versatile especially roasting them, but you can always serve a side salad too.

Shrimp and Zucchini Orzo (5)

Substituting another protein

If you can’t have shrimp or don’t like shrimp, you can use chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts, cubed.

Shrimp and Zucchini Orzo (6)

Other shrimp and zucchini recipes:

Zucchini chips

Zucchini turkey meatballs

Shrimp rolls

Garlic butter shrimp and quinoa

Summer garden crustless zucchini pie

5 from 1 vote

Shrimp and Zucchini Orzo

By: Julie Chiou

A quick and easy weeknight dinner that features shrimp, zucchini, and orzo! These ingredients are perfect together!

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes minutes

Servings: 2


  • 1 cup (150 g) orzo
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) salted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (20 g) finely chopped shallot
  • 1 cup (124 g) cubed zucchini
  • 1 pound (454 g) large fresh shrimp, (peeled and deveined)
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil then follow instructions on pasta box. Once done cooking, drain, add the orzo back into the pot then add 1 tablespoon of butter and garlic powder to the warm orzo, stir, cover, and keep warm.

  • In the meantime, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

  • Once butter and oil are hot, add garlic, shallots, and zucchini. Cook until zucchini is softened.

  • Add the shrimp and cook until shrimp is no longer translucent and cooked through. Add the sambal oelek, season with salt and pepper, toss to coat, then remove from heat.

  • Serve over a bed of orzo and enjoy!


Serving: 1Serving, Calories: 610kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 60g, Fat: 24g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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