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Mary Lahr Schier

Greek Orzo and Shrimp


This flavorful one-pot dinner takes less than 45 minutes to assemble and cook.

Serve it with a big green salad and finish the meal off with a plate of fresh seasonal fruit for a hearty, delicious, and nutritious Mediterranean diet meal.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sumac (ground dried berries from the sumac shrub) or za’tar* (a blend of herbs such as dried oregano, thyme, and/or marjoram, along with toasted sesame seeds).
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and patted dry
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • ½ cup feta cheese, plus ¼ cup more for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley


  • Zest and juice the lemon and set the juice aside. (You should have about 2 Tbsp of juice.) Mix the lemon zest, salt, pepper and sumac or za’tar.
  • Sprinkle the spice mix on the shrimp, mix, and set aside as you prepare the rest of the dish.
  • Place a large sauce pan or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the olive oil. Stir in the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir 1 minute.
  • When the onions and garlic are soft, add the orzo and sauté in the oil for a few minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and cook for 5-7 minutes until the pasta is plump and has absorbed most of the water. (It should have some bite, as you aren't done cooking yet.)
  • Add the olives, ½ cup feta cheese, and lemon juice. Stir together and let the cheese melt a bit. Then nestle the shrimp in the pasta, spreading it around the pan.
  • Cover the pan and let the shrimp cook for 3-5 minutes until it's pink and cooked through. Most of the liquid should be absorbed. Sprinkle with parsley and extra feta and serve.

*If your grocery doesn't carry za’tar or sumac, use lemon pepper instead.

Mary Lahr Schier is an Eagan, Minnesota-based freelance writer.