Spicy Orzo with Shrimp and Peas

I like having some quick, simple recipes on hand that use long-lasting ingredients so when I manage to forget to get a special ingredient for a different recipe or things get super busy and I find myself just wanting something easy and tasty for dinner, I've got something to turn to. And this time around, I'm sharing one of my very favorite options with you. A nearly creamy dish (with no cream) that packs a punch (because chipotles are awesome), this pasta dish that feels a little like a risotto is likely to become a favorite of yours too.

Now, a word about canned chipotles in adobo sauce - they are amazing and always in my house. In fact, I usually open a can and pop it into my food processor. A few pulses later, I have what I lovingly refer to as "death sauce" - a thick paste that's smoky, spicy, and perfect. I add it by teaspoons and tablespoons to all manner of dishes and have even been known to just use it as I would hot sauce just about everywhere. So toss a can or two of the stuff into your cart next time grocery shopping happens.

This dish can really just be served on its own. I might opt for a salad too, but it's hardly necessary and, given the stand-by nature of the dish, there's absolutely nothing wrong with making it and just grabbing a bowl and finding a pretty place to enjoy it. You could even add a little extra death sauce to yours if you like it hot!

Spicy Orzo with Shrimp and Peas

  • 1 tablespoon cooking fat (I used olive oil)
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 2 ¼ cups stock (vegetable, seafood, or chicken is best)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup frozen peas

Heat the cooking fat of your choice in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the shrimp 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove shrimp and set aside.

Add the butter to the skillet. Add the orzo and toast until lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the garlic and chipotle pepper. Cook for 2-3 more minutes or until the garlic is fragrant.

Add the stock and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes until all of the reserved stock is gone and the orzo is light and fluffy.

Add the peas and return the shrimp to the skillet. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the peas and shrimp are warm.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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