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bowl of cajun orzo with shrimp

One Pot Creamy Cajun Orzo with Shrimp

  • Author: Mansee Muzumdar
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cajun

Description

This creamy orzo with shrimp is a flavorful, slightly spicy, one pot wonder. Use your favorite store-bought cajun seasoning or make your own to balance the spice level to your own tastes. With just a few ingredients you'll have a creamy, comforting, easy meal on the table.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled 
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning, divided
  • 1 tablespoon salt, divided* (see note below)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 3 cups water (or the stock of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions

  1. Toss 1lb shrimp with 1 tablespoon flour, 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning and 1 teaspoon salt. 
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and spread out in as even of a layer as possible. Let cook for 2 minutes, then toss and cook for an additional minute until shrimp is just cooked through. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. 
  3. Reduce heat to medium, and add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to pot along with 1 medium diced onion, 3 diced celery stalks and 1 diced green bell pepper. Saute for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have cooked down and are soft and browned. You want to give it time to really develop flavor, so don't rush this!
  4. Add 5 sliced garlic cloves and 1 diced red bell pepper and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add 1 cup orzo and cook for a few minutes to toast pasta.
  5. Add 3 cups water (or stock) and remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover, add 1/2 cup heavy cream and continue simmering for an additional 5 minutes. 
  6. Turn off heat, add reserved shrimp and 1 cup frozen peas and stir to combine. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

  • I like to make my own cajun seasoning using this recipe, but I leave out the salt so I can control the saltiness of the dish but still get all the spice from the seasoning! Feel free to use your favorite store-bought cajun seasoning for this, but reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe so your end result isn't too salty. Depending on the seasoning you use, I suggest leaving out the salt when you cook the shrimp and maybe reducing to 1 1/2 teaspoons when you add in the water.
  • Check out my suggestions for variations (chicken, vegetarian, etc.) within the post!
  • Leftovers are delicious. If you'd like, add a little bit of water, stock or cream when you heat it up to keep things creamy.