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Our shrimp orzo salad features a delightful combination of feta cheese, dill, orzo, shrimp, cucumbers, kalamata olives, and artichoke hearts. This light and refreshing dish is perfect for the spring and summer months. With the tangy red wine vinegar dressing, it offers a burst of flavors that will make it your go-to choice for main or side dishes. The incorporation of lemon juice, feta cheese, and dill adds a delightful twist, making this pasta salad ideal for potlucks or holiday gatherings.
Prepare yourself for the ultimate Greek pasta salad experience. This recipe combines chilled shrimp with a medley of vegetables and a mouthwatering dressing that will leave your taste buds tingling. Feel free to swap the shrimp with prawns, chicken, or even tuna if you prefer. The versatility of this salad allows you to customize it to your liking and create a sensational dish that will impress everyone.
Table of Contents
- Uncooked orzo: Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta that serves as the base ingredient for the salad.
- Artichoke heart pieces: These are drained from a can and add a tangy flavor to the salad.
- Cooked shrimp: Adds protein to the salad. Ensure the shrimp is cooked and cooled before adding it.
- Cucumber: Peeled and diced for a refreshing crunch.
- Pitted kalamata olives: Sliced to bring a briny, Mediterranean taste.
- Feta cheese: A crumbly, salty cheese that adds creaminess and tanginess.
- Lemon juice: Squeezed from a fresh lemon, it adds a bright, citrusy flavor to the salad.
- Virgin olive oil: This high-quality oil adds richness and depth of flavor to the dressing.
- Red wine vinegar: It provides a tangy and slightly acidic taste, balancing the flavors in the salad.
- Fresh dill: Dill brings a refreshing and herbaceous note to the dressing, enhancing the overall taste.
- Minced garlic: Garlic adds a savory and aromatic element to the dressing, enhancing the complexity of flavors.
Feel free to adjust the ingredients according to your preferences and taste. Additional options for enhancing the salad’s flavors include adding herbs like parsley or dill, as well as seasonings such as salt, pepper, or olive oil.
HOW TO MAKE
To prepare the delectable orzo shrimp salad, start by cooking the orzo according to the instructions provided on the box. Once it’s cooked to perfection, drain the orzo and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Next, add the diced cucumber, artichoke hearts, sliced olives, cooked shrimp, crumbled feta cheese, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice to the bowl with the orzo. Gently combine all the ingredients, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the salad.
In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, chopped dill, salt, and pepper, creating a flavorful dressing. Pour this dressing over the pasta mixture in the large bowl, and carefully toss everything together until the salad is thoroughly coated in the dressing.
You can savor the shrimp orzo salad immediately, allowing the flavors to mingle on your taste buds, or refrigerate it for a refreshing meal later on. The chilled salad will continue to develop its taste as it rests in the refrigerator. Whether you choose to serve it right away or enjoy it at a later time, this salad promises a delightful combination of textures and flavors.
Tips and Tricks
- Cook the orzo al dente: Follow the instructions on the box and make sure not to overcook the orzo. It should have a slight bite to it for the best texture in the salad.
- Properly drain and cool the orzo: After cooking the orzo, drain it well and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process. This will help prevent the orzo from becoming mushy and sticking together.
- Use fresh and high-quality ingredients: Opt for fresh shrimp, crisp cucumbers, flavorful artichoke hearts, and quality feta cheese. Using fresh ingredients will enhance the overall taste of the salad.
- Season the salad components individually: Before mixing all the ingredients together, season the orzo, shrimp, and vegetables separately. This allows the flavors to distribute evenly throughout the salad.
- Adjust the dressing to taste: The dressing quantities provided are a guideline, but feel free to adjust them according to your preference. Start with smaller amounts of each ingredient, taste, and add more if needed. Remember, it’s easier to add more dressing than to remove excess.
- Let the salad chill: If time allows, refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving. Chilling allows the flavors to meld together and creates a refreshing, cold dish.
- Garnish for presentation: Consider adding a garnish, such as fresh dill sprigs or lemon wedges, on top of the salad for an appealing presentation.
- Customize the recipe: Feel free to customize the salad by adding or substituting ingredients. You can include additional vegetables like cherry tomatoes or bell peppers, or swap the shrimp with other proteins like grilled chicken or canned tuna.
Remember, cooking is an opportunity for creativity, so feel free to experiment and adjust the recipe to suit your taste preferences.
Yes, you can make the shrimp orzo salad ahead of time. It is best to store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container or tightly covered with plastic wrap. The salad can typically be stored for up to 2-3 days before the quality starts to decline. Just remember to give it a gentle toss before serving to redistribute the dressing and refresh the flavors.
It is not recommended to freeze the shrimp orzo salad. Freezing can significantly affect the texture and quality of the ingredients, especially the cucumber and shrimp, which may become watery and lose their desired texture. It’s best to enjoy the salad fresh or store it in the refrigerator for a few days
Absolutely! The shrimp orzo salad is quite versatile, and you can customize it according to your preferences. You can add additional vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, or red onions. You can also swap the shrimp with other proteins like grilled chicken, cooked tuna, or even leave it out for a vegetarian version. Feel free to experiment and make the salad your own.
The shrimp orzo salad is typically served chilled or at room temperature. However, if you prefer a warm salad, you can briefly heat it in a skillet or microwave. Keep in mind that the texture and flavors may slightly change when warmed, but it can still be enjoyable according to your preference.
Are Shrimp and Prawns Interchangeable?
Yup! Shrimp and prawn are often used interchangeably but there are definite differences between the two.
- Most shrimp live in saltwater and most prawns live in freshwater
- Shrimp are generally smaller in size than prawns
- Shrimp and prawns have different flavors and textures
To learn more about the similarities and differences, check out the article “The Difference Between Shrimp and Prawns”.
To store the shrimp orzo salad, follow these storage instructions:
- Refrigeration: If you have leftovers or want to prepare the salad ahead of time, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator. Transfer the salad to an airtight container or cover the mixing bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Make sure the container is well-sealed to prevent air exposure.
- Timing: The shrimp orzo salad can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. After this time, the quality and freshness may start to decline.
- Separation: If you stored the salad with the dressing already mixed in, you may notice some separation or moisture accumulation over time. Before serving the refrigerated salad, give it a gentle toss to redistribute the dressing and refresh the flavors.
Note: The texture of the salad may change slightly after refrigeration, as the orzo and other ingredients may absorb some of the dressing. You can adjust the flavors by adding a little extra dressing or lemon juice if desired.
More Summer Recipes
- The Juicy Lucy
- Easy Philly Cheesesteak Recipe
- Muffuletta Style Summer Sandwich
- Tuna Pasta Recipe
- Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe
- Spring Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
- Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
Shrimp Orzo Salad
- 1 cup cooked orzo
- 14 ounces artichoke heart pieces drained
- 8 ounces cooked shrimp
- 1 cucumber peeled and diced
- 20 pitted kalamata olives sliced
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1 medium lemon juiced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Blend the orzo and vegtables. Place the orzo into a mixing bowl. Add cucumber, artichoke hearts, olives, shrimp, feta cheese, and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Make the dressing. In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, dill, salt, and pepper. Blend well.
- Combine. Pour dressing over pasta and mix.
- Serve. Serve right away or refrigerate for later use.