Greek Spiced Baked Shrimp & Creamy Orzo

By • July 14, 2010 • 6 Comments

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Author Notes: I have recently begun an obsession with all things Mediterranean. And honestly, if a recipe includes pasta then I definitely want to try it. This is a combination of two recipes I love - Greek spiced baked shrimp and a shrimp dish my mom makes with creamy orzo. I have made this with only goat cheese and only feta and both are excellent. My favorite combination is feta mixed with the creamy orzo and goat cheese crumbled on the top and broiled at the end. I really love goat cheese and when broiled for a few minutes, it gets golden and creamy. The dish comes together quickly - prepare the orzo while the tomato sauce reduces. Then put everything together in your favorite dish and bake! - brooke's kitchenPlum Pie

Food52 Review: This recipe results in a wonderful contrast between the spicy, slightly sweet, acidic tomato layer on top, and the creamy baked orzo on the bottom. The top layer was perfect -- it would be terrific on its own over pasta, with some crumbled goat or feta, and a little fresh basil. It smelled fabulous while cooking, and tasted even better. I probably cooked my orzo longer than I should have (and I reduced the pasta water by half to account for that), so the bottom layer ended up wetter than it should have been -- a little less than al dente, when the ends of the orzo just look like they're starting to get pale and cooked, would probably be better. I'd also recommend cooling the orzo with cold water. Once I get the orzo right, this is definitely a meal I would serve for guests.guineverek

Serves 4

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces orzo (I use whole wheat)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pinch sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese or 2 oz. goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil until warm. Cook diced yellow onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook a few minutes longer.
  3. Add white wine and bring to simmer. Reduce until liquid is almost evaporated, about 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, allspice, and pinch of sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until sauce is thickened, about 20-30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cook orzo (I use whole wheat in an attempt to be "healthier") in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Do not cook completely through as this will bake again in the oven. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
  5. While orzo is cooking, mix greek yogurt, feta, and parmesan cheese. Combine cooked orzo with yogurt cheese mixture. Pour pasta water in 1/4 cup increments to help orzo and cheese/yogurt mixture create a creamy consistency. I usually use all of the pasta water as it needs to be "loose" since it will be baked and thicken.
  6. Transfer orzo to an 8x8 baking dish (You can also use 8x10). Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Mix shrimp into tomato sauce and take off of the heat heat. Place the shrimp/tomato mixture on top of orzo (I usually place the shrimp on top in an even layer then pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top). Finally, crumble goat cheese on top of the tomato sauce.
  7. Bake in oven for approximately 10-15 minutes until orzo is warmed, sauce is barely bubbling, shrimp is cooked and goat cheese is soft and melted. Optional: Broil the top for 2-3 minutes until cheese is golden.
  8. Let dish sit for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with dill or parsley and enjoy!
Jump to Comments (6)

Tags: delicious, Entrees, greek, orzo, quick, shrimp

Comments (6) Questions (1)

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11 months ago Tedmom

I made this recipe for Christmas using only goat cheese (no feta) and regular (not whole wheat) orzo. I did not add any pasta water to the orzo given the comment that it was too watery with the addition of the pasta water. This was the only change I made to the recipe. It was fantastic and well received by my guests.

Stringio

almost 4 years ago guineverek

I finally got around to making this tonight and adored the flavors and the contrast between the spicy.acidic top and the creamy bottom. I found it hard to get the orzo doneness right. I should have cooked mine a bit less as I ended up with a bit of a wet mess, not the lovely piece in your photo. The portions are very generous too, could be less. Looking forward to trying it again!

Brookedowdy

over 3 years ago Plum Pie

I am glad you liked it, guineverek. I used whole wheat orzo cooked al dente so I'm not sure if that might have made it less wet? I would definitely reduce the amount of pasta water (or you may not even need it all) if you are having problems with it coming together. I have actually also baked these separately before and it has worked really well. Or skip the orzo all together and serve with crusty bread. Thanks for you kind comments!

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almost 4 years ago jamie321

this would be good with some chopped fresh spinach cooked into the sauce

Gator_cake

almost 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This sounds delicious. I really love goat cheese, too!

Brookedowdy

almost 4 years ago Plum Pie

Thank you :) I also adore goat cheese!!