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Orzo salad with shrimp in a white bowl.
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Summer Lemon Orzo Salad

This lemon orzo salad is served with feta, zucchini, and shrimp. Light, delicious, and easy - enjoy it as a cold summer pasta salad!
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword lemon, orzo, pasta, shrimp, zucchini
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • Approx. 18 medium shrimp (thawed, peeled + deveined)
  • 1/2 cup orzo, dry
  • 1 large zucchini (cut into 1/2-inch half-moons)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Lemon Dressing:

Instructions

  • TIP: Zest half a lemon before juicing it. Reserve lemon zest for topping salad.
  • Cook orzo: Bring water to a boil and cook orzo according to package directions (about 5-7 minutes). Drain, return to pot, and stir with a small splash of olive oil to prevent orzo from sticking together.
  • While orzo cooks, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pan at medium-high. Cook zucchini, undisturbed, for about 3-5 minutes or until one side starts to lightly brown. Flip and repeat on the other side. Remove from pan.
  • In the same pan, heat the other 1 Tbsp of olive oil and cook shrimp, 1-2 minutes per side until opaque and pink. Remove from pan.
  • Make dressing: whisk all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, or shake vigorously in a small jar with a lid. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add arugula, cooked orzo, zucchini, shrimp, feta cheese, and lemon zest. Pour dressing overtop and toss together. Season with additional salt + pepper, as needed. Serve + enjoy!

Notes

*RECIPE MODIFICATIONS:
  • If you can't get your hands on orzo, you could swap it with couscous or another type of pasta (use a small shape, like penne or farfalle).
  • In place of arugula, you could use another baby leafy green...like baby spinach, baby kale, or watercress.
  • I love how this one tastes with zucchini, but feel free to add in some additional or alternative veggies! I think this would go well with sautéed tomatoes, asparagus, or broccolini.
  • You can always leave out the shrimp and serve this as a side salad alongside another protein. I've included a bunch of serving ideas for you in the blog post - just scroll up!
  • For a vegan version, you can swap feta with a dairy-free alternative, omit the shrimp and replace it with a protein source like chickpeas, and swap the honey for maple syrup!
  • For a gluten-free version, swap the orzo for a gluten-free pasta (choose a small shape as mentioned above).
 
*LEFTOVERS + MAKING IN ADVANCE:
  • This recipe holds up quite well when made in advance. If you'd like, you can always add the dressing right before serving to prevent any chance of sogginess. Be sure to toss the cooked orzo in a little bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking together!
  • Leftovers of this recipe can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.