I like to eat fresh, comforting foods that aren’t packed full of calories or have me unbuttoning my jeans after dinner! Cooking Light is really good about sharing healthy meals that still have a homey, comfort-food vibe. This 30 Minute Creamy Shrimp & Lemon Orzo reminds me of a classic Italian risotto without all the time and perfection the signature dish demands. It’s contentment in a bowl with a bright, cheery face for the spring and summer! There are less than 500 calories per serving so no need to feel guilty! Let me show you how to make it:
Start by cleaning 1 pound of medium to large shrimp. In case you are new to cooking, here are some helpful tips on how to peel and devein shrimp before eating.
Now, pull out your Dutch Oven or large pot. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add in 1 medium onion diced into small pieces and 3 tablespoons of minced garlic. As that begins to cook, sprinkle in a teaspoon of dried chives. Cook the onion until it is tender and translucent, probably about 5 minutes.
Pour in one cup of dried orzo and stir it around so that it is thoroughly coated. Add in 1/3 cup of white wine and bring it to a boil. Let it cook about 2 minutes until most of the liquid evaporates. It is important when cooking with wine to choose one that you would normally drink. The white cooking wine off the shelf is the least flavorful option but if you want the wine flavor without opening a whole bottle you can choose this option. I normally cook with riesling because it is a middle-of-the-road white wine that is neither too sweet or too dry. And if you don’t want any wine at all, simply skip this step.
Now add in 2 cups of chicken stock (or broth) and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the orzo has soaked up a lot of the liquid. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of stock and zest one lemon.
Stir in 1 cup of frozen peas and the shrimp you peeled earlier. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp turns pink. Continue to stir the mixture until the shrimp is done and then remove it from the heat.
Stir in 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 oz of reduced-fat cream cheese.
This is my favorite part because the orzo gets nice and creamy and the zest of the lemon hits my nose with a bright, citrusy aroma! Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to cool off as well as absorb any remaining liquid.
Now scoop out the orzo into bowls and sprinkle with fresh chives. I love this creamy shrimp and lemon orzo because it is reminiscent of a slow-cooked risotto without all the time and perfection a risotto demands.
It is also an easy 30 minute, one pot dinner that won’t make a million dishes in my sink! The kids love the creamy flavor, my husband loves the leftovers, and I love that it is healthy. Any dish that has me full without feeling guilty is a must-have! Give it a whirl and share with your friends! Happy cooking ya’ll!
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- ⅓ cup white wine, such as riesling
- 3.5 cups chicken stock, divided
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 small package frozen peas
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 oz reduced fat cream cheese
- 1 cup orzo
- Optional: fresh chopped chives for topping
- Heat oil in Dutch oven and saute onions and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle in dried chives and orzo. Stir to coat.
- Add wine and bring to a boil. Cook about 2 minutes or until most liquid evaporates.
- Add 2 cups of stock and salt to pot. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and let simmer 15 minutes until orzo is cooked.
- Stir in remaining stock, peas, lemon zest, and shrimp.
- Cook 5 minutes or until shrimp turns pink.
- Remove pot from heat and stir in lemon juice, pepper, and cream cheese.
- Divide among bowls and top with fresh chives.