Though this recipe has a few elements, orzo, veggie and sausage mix-ins, and shrimp, it is really easy to make and tasty. It is spicy, filling and has a beautiful presentation when it is prepared. This is a great weeknight dinner because it takes little time and is sure to please crowds. You can make this dish as spicy or as mild as you like by adjusting the amount of chili that is added to the orzo. You can even garnish with chili if you like an extra kick or use extra spicy chorizo sausage. This dish reminds me a lot of Spanish paella because of the sausage and seafood additions though it is not made with rice like paella traditionally is. This dish also does not have that extra crispy rice bottom that paella does, though who is to say you can't achieve that with a few additional minutes on the stove. Try this today if you're looking for a fun way to eat orzo! It is one of my favourite pastas because of its shape and I can guarantee you'll love this preparation.
Spicy Shrimp Orzo 10 Steps
In a bowl, add your shrimp, 1 clove of minced garlic, lemon zest, half a teaspoon of salt, mix well and let marinate until ready to pan sear.
In a skillet on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add your orzo. Toast until a few pieces of orzo start to brown. Add 1 clove of minced garlic, sauté for about 30 seconds and add chicken stock and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to orzo and cook until al dente. (Add more chicken stock to the saucepan if necessary if the pasta absorbs all of the liquid during the cooking process.)
While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in another pan or skillet over medium high heat. Remove chorizo from casing and add to pan sautéing until it is browned.
When chorizo is cooked, add onions to pan and sauté until they begin to soften. Add 1 clove of minced garlic and add your green bell peppers and sliced hot peppers to the same pan and sauté. Add your crushed tomato, mix together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remember that chorizo has salt so depending on the sausage you use you may need more or less salt to taste. Remove from pan and set aside.
When your orzo is ready, most of the stock should be absorbed but there should be a bit of liquid in the pan with the orzo. Remember while orzo is cooking your want to check on it to make sure you add more liquid (water or stock) as necessary as stock is absorbed but you don't want your orzo to be swimming in liquid.
Pan sear your marinated shrimp, do not cook fully, you just want it to get some colour and set aside. If you are garnishing with sliced lemons I also toss them in the pan for a quick sear on each side to give them some colour.
Take your chorizo veggie tomato mixture, and mix it into your orzo in the skillet the orzo was cooked in, until well combined and mixture is evenly distributed. Arrange your pan seared shrimp onto your orzo and add about 1/4 cup of chicken stock if there is no liquid in your orzo.
Garnish with finely chopped parsley and sliced lemons if you would like. Cover your orzo and pan seared shrimp with a lid to steam up the shrimp so it finishes cooking and to thoroughly heat your orzo.
You can leave orzo on the stove for about 5-7 minutes at low to medium heat. Most of the liquid in orzo should be absorbed, shrimp should be done and your orzo will be ready to eat.