One-Pot Lemon Orzo with Shrimp and Fennel

updated Dec 10, 2020
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One-Pot Lemon Orzo with Shrimp and Fennel

A comforting one-pot orzo dinner with bright lemon, sweet fennel, and tender shrimp.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

This cozy one-pot meal starts with an ingredient everyone can agree on: pasta! Tiny rice-shaped orzo pasta cooks quickly, soaking up tart citrus, anise-flavored fennel, and savory broth. Much like making risotto, constant stirring coaxes the starches from the orzo into the broth, creating a rich and creamy sauce. Add plump shrimp until they curl and turn pink, and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Don’t forget to top each hearty bowl with a sprinkle of green fennel fronds.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Fennel Is What You’ve Been Missing

Have you been curious about the tear-shaped vegetable with delicate dill-like fronds? Here, fennel adds a mild anise flavor to this bright and lemony pot of orzo. The entire vegetable is edible, from the crunchy bulb to the feathery fronds. Cut the green stalks and fronds to remove it from the white base, reserving it for garnishing the orzo. The diced fennel bulb cooks until crisp-tender with the orzo, infusing the entire dish with its light licorice flavor.

One-Pot Lemon Orzo with Shrimp and Fennel

A comforting one-pot orzo dinner with bright lemon, sweet fennel, and tender shrimp.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    large raw shrimp

  • 1/2

    medium fennel bulb

  • 1

    large lemon

  • 1 pound

    dried orzo pasta

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups

    (32 ounces) vegetable broth

  • 1/2 cup

    water

Instructions

  1. Thaw 1 pound raw large shrimp if frozen, then peel and devein. Dice 1/2 fennel bulb (about 1 cup), and reserve the fronds. Finely grate the zest of 1 large lemon, and reserve the zested lemon.

  2. Combine the fennel, 1 pound dried orzo pasta, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 4 cups vegetable broth, and 1/2 cup water in a 3 1/2-quart straight sided skillet or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring frequently so the orzo doesn't stick, for 8 minutes.

  3. Add the shrimp and lemon zest, and cook until the orzo is al dente and the shrimp are cooked through and opaque, about 2 minutes more. Halve the lemon, squeeze 2 tablespoons juice into the orzo and stir to combine. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.