Looking for a light lunch recipe? This delicious salad is perfect for pescatarians and anyone interested in eating healthier. Shrimp orzo salad filled with grilled veggies comes together in mere minutes.
A high-protein shrimp orzo salad
I don’t know about you, but when I hear “salad,” I think of crispy greens and fruit or veggies. I don’t think of protein – but this delicious salad is a fantastic source of protein!
In fact, I love to make this recipe when I am craving pasta salad. It’s lower in calories and higher in both protein and fiber. Plus, the chickpea pasta is a wonderful source of potassium, too. Potassium is essential for heart health.
This is also a great salad to make if you are going to be entertaining and need a side dish to make ahead of time. It tastes just as delicious hot and fresh as it does cold and chilled!
Serve this salad alongside your favorite seafood recipes or a hearty soup for a bigger meal, or enjoy the salad simply as-is!
This recipe has two parts: the salad and the dressing. You can use a pre-made lemon vinaigrette, but for the most flavor, I recommend this quick and easy homemade version.
- Jumbo shrimp: You will use 32 ounces of peeled jumbo shrimp. Uncooked, they will weigh about 865kg.
- Zucchini: Cut your zucchini in large spears or thick round slices – whichever shape you like best for grilling.
- Squash: To make this healthier, cut up a yellow squash into thick slices.
- Red onion: Add some potent flavor with 1 small sliced red onion.
- Red Pepper: Cut the red pepper into large pieces so it grills easier.
- Banza Rice: This is what gives the salad the potassium and protein – use 8 ounces of Banza rice or chickpea pasta.
- Tomatoes: Next, include 1/2 pint of Roma tomatoes that you cut in half. You can use beefsteak, cherry, plum, or whatever tomato variety you prefer. You will need to adjust the number of tomatoes based on the size — eyeballing the amount will be just fine!
- Olive oil: 1/2 cup of olive oil serves as the base of the salad dressing.
- Red wine vinegar: Add a slight bite with 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar.
- Lemon Juice: For the best flavor, use 3 tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
- Garlic: 4 cloves of minced garlic (or 3/4 tsp of powder) will add delicious flavor.
- Salt and Pepper: Add a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to enhance all the other flavors in this dressing.
- Fresh Dill: Fresh dill will make every single ingredient in this salad stand out! Add about 3 tablespoons of fresh dill.
Kitchen tools required
Even though this shrimp orzo salad is an easy recipe to create, it does require a hand full of kitchen tools. The following list includes everything you’ll need from start to finish.
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Medium mixing bowl
- Aluminum foil
- Large saucepan
- Large mixing bowl
- Nonstick spray
You’re also going to need these measuring cups: 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup.
How to make shrimp orzo salad with grilled veggies
Whether you have made pasta salad before or not, this is a really quick and easy recipe that anyone can recreate.
First, prepare all of your veggies by chopping them into big chunks or slices. Spray all veggies with non-stick spray.
Then, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Spray it with nonstick spray. Make sure you spray it well because the veggies might stick if you don’t.
For shrimp, spray a large piece of aluminum foil with nonstick spray. Add the shrimp to the foil and then add to the grill. Build up a little side wall/ledge of foil surrounding the shrimp to stay in place.
Next, add all of the veggies directly to the grill. Shut the lid and let the shrimp and veggies cook for 4 minutes.
After 4 minutes, flip all the veggies over and stir the shrimp around, ensuring it cooks evenly. Cook it for another 4 minutes.
Turn off the grill and take the shrimp and veggies off. Let them cool off completely.
Meanwhile, follow directions on the back of the Banza bag to cook and drain ‘rice’.
Now you are ready to add it all together! In a large bowl, add olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to the bottom. Mix it together.
Add in the cooked orzo and sliced tomatoes.
Chop all of the grilled veggies into small bite-size pieces. Add them to a bowl with orzo and tomatoes, then add cooked shrimp and fresh dill. Stir until they are completely mixed together.
Serve the salad warm, or let it cool before serving! Whichever you prefer.
If you’d like to add even more delicious ingredients to your salad, you have plenty of options! Just think of other veggies you like to grill. Here are some more ingredients you can include:
- Bok Choy
Here are some questions people often ask about how to make this delicious shrimp salad with orzo. If you don’t see your question below, please leave it in the comments.
Is orzo a pasta or a rice?
Orzo is actually a pasta that is cut to look like rice. It is usually made from whole grain, semolina, or white flour. That is why I used a healthier chickpea pasta instead.
Is this orzo recipe healthy?
Yes, this orzo and shrimp recipe is really good for you! The shrimp and chickpea pasta are excellent sources of protein. All of the veggies in the salad are packed with antioxidants and vitamins.
How do you sweeten this salad dressing?
This shrimp orzo salad stores quite well! To save leftovers, simply add them to an airtight container and refrigerate them. The salad will stay delicious for about 2-3 days. Some say that the extra time gives it even more flavor, as the different ingredients are able to come together and further complement one another!
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
A hearty salad is always a great idea. Here are some more delicious and filling salad options to try!
- Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado Dressing
- Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad
- Grilled Steak and Peach Salad
- Moroccan Couscous Salad
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 32 oz raw, peeled jumbo shrimp
- 2 large zucchinis
- 2 yellow squash
- 1 red onion
- 2 red peppers
- 16 oz Banza ‘rice’ or 16 oz orzo
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3 tbsp fresh dill
- Prepare all of your veggies by chopping into big chunks or slices. Spray all veggies with non-stick spray.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Spray with nonstick spray.
- For shrimp, spray a large piece of aluminum foil with nonstick spray. Add shrimp to foil and then add to grill. Build up a little side wall/ledge of foil surrounding the shrimp to stay in place.
- Add all veggies directly to the grill. Shut the lid and let the shrimp and veggies cook 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes, flip all the veggies over and stir the shrimp around ensuring it cooks evenly. Cook another 4 minutes.
- Turn off grill and take shrimp and veggies off. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, follow directions on back of Banza bag to cook and drain ‘rice’.
- In a large bowl, add olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to bottom. Mix together.
- Add in cooked orzo and sliced tomatoes.
- Chop all grilled veggies into small bite size pieces. Add to bowl with orzo and tomatoes, then add in cooked shrimp and fresh dill. Stir until completely mixed together.
- Serve warm or let cool before serving! Whichever you prefer.
*alternatively, roasted veggies at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Bake shrimp at 400 for 6-8 minutes.
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