Lemon Feta Orzo
on May 09, 2023, Updated May 30, 2023
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My lemon feta orzo will blow you away. I served this dish to my mom and she said it’s one of the best recipes I have ever made. Although this is not a traditional Greek dish, it uses ingredients that are prominent in Greek cuisine, such as dill, olive oil, feta, and lemon juice; the flavors bring me back home! Of course, as with all simple dishes, it’s important to use the best quality ingredients you can find and afford. A rich, buttery olive oil, super fresh dill, feta purchased in brine (and never pre-crumbled), and fresh juice from plump lemons will make all the difference in this creamy, light, and bright Mediterranean pasta dish. Orzo is the perfect pasta shape here because it cooks quickly and, when combined with this simple dressing, it soaks up all the flavors and creates a silky, smooth texture that slides right off the spoon.
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This recipe is perfect topped with any protein, such as grilled chicken, kebabs, or shrimp (as featured above). I reserved a few tablespoons of my incredible dressing and tossed it with shrimp before throwing them on the grill. This recipe is perfect for meal prep and can be made the night before. Every bite transports me to my childhood in Crete so I hope it makes it to your table too.
Lemon Feta Orzo
- 1 cup (8 ounces) orzo
- ¼ cup olive oil
- juice and zest of 1 large lemon, (about 1/4 cup juice)
- ¼ cup finely chopped dill
- 2 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- feta, measured with your heart, (good quality feta sold in brine; not pre-crumbled please)
- 10 jumbo tiger shrimp (optional)
- Cook the orzo in salted water until al dente. Note: the water should be as salty as the sea as it's your only chance to flavor the orzo. Salt the water after it comes to a boil, stir, and add in the orzo.
- In the meantime, work on the dressing by adding olive oil, lemon juice and zest, dill, mustard, salt, and pepper to a glass measuring cup. Stir until fully combined. If you're making shrimp, reserve a few tablespoons of this dressing to coat the shrimp.
- Add the cooked orzo to a large bowl, and, while still warm, pour the dressing on top and stir. Crumble in some feta (measure with your heart) and stir again.
- For the shrimp: I thawed peeled and deveined jumbo black tiger shrimp and patted them dry. I added some of the reserved dressing and tossed them into that dressing.
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat. The pan should be hot before adding in the shrimp.
- Add the shrimp making sure to space them apart. Cook on each side for 1 to 2 minutes. You do not want to overcook them so be sure to take them off the heat as soon as they turn pink and curl up.
- Toss the shrimp in with the lemon orzo and enjoy!