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One Pot Creamy Orzo with Shrimp

This One Pot Creamy Orzo with Shrimp is a very straight forward recipe, so let’s just get straight to the point. The best way to make orzo is to think of it as a risotto. Now, let’s dive in;)

Think of the techniques used in risotto: you start by lightly toasting the rice in fat, then you slowly add small amounts of liquid a little bit at a time, stirring constantly as it is absorbed. Such rigidity is required so the rice is able to release the starch that binds all the ingredients into a lush sauce. Now let’s take all that information and turn it into an approachable weeknight dinner: creamy orzo.

This creamy one-pot orzo offers all the comforts of the classic meal that blends starchy rice and Parmesan cheese. But I wanted to take it up a notch and make it even creamier, so I added my favorite cream cheese: mascarpone. A thing of beauty!!

The liquid

Instead of water, we’re using chicken broth. Of course homemade is always better, but not always possible. In order to produce a better result, I recommend using a high-quality, low-sodium store-bought broth.

A few more tips: a wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan is pretty much essential. The heavy bottom allows heat to be distributed evenly and keeps the orzo from sticking. Keep adding small amounts of liquid, stirring frequently, until the it reaches the desired consistency.

Although risotto calls for low-moisture cheeses, such as Parmesan or pecorino, and not creamy cheeses, this is not a risotto! So instead of finishing it with butter, we’re adding mascarponi for a decadent, creamy dish.

So I guess other than adding chicken broth one ladleful at a time, cooking slowly, stirring often, all you have to do is saute the shrimp!

One Pot Creamy Orzo with Shrimp

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1/2 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • basil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Prepare the ingredients: grate the zucchini, finely chop the shallot, and season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium high. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and opaque – about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a separate plate.
  3. Add the remaining olive oil to the same pot. Add the shallot and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the grated zucchini and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until tender. Add the orzo and cook until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add in the broth little by little, stirring frequently, until orzo is al dente. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the parmesan and mascarpone cheese.
  5. Serve with sautéed shrimp and fresh basil.

Tips & Tricks:  

If you make this Sheet-Pan One Pot Creamy Orzo with Shrimp please be sure to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you and I love responding to every comment. And don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see your photos!

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