Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Orzo and Asparagus

After years of intense self-doubt, I’m beginning to believe that I might actually stand a chance to survive in the wilderness—provided that the wilderness comes equipped with a Dutch oven, cooktop, and all of the ingredients to make One Pot Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Asparagus.

One Pot Lemon Shrimp Pasta recipe - An easy, delicious, and healthy one pot meal that the whole family will love – even the orzo gets cooked right in the pot! @wellplated

I readily admit to being a girly girl. As much as I want believe that somewhere inside of me, deep down, lies a woman who hikes the Appalachian trail, can build and light a fire with one match, and drives a Subaru, none of these are true.

I drive a Honda, own 12 different tubes of lipgloss, and once brought a rolling suitcase on a camping trip.

Although I haven’t had much experience “roughing it” in the traditional sense, for the last two months, the situation in my kitchen has demanded an Eagle Scout level of resourcefulness. Our stovetop burners ceased to function at the end of January, and now in April, they still do not work.

To make a long, somewhat painful story short, after we placed the order for a replacement, the model we selected unexpectedly went on back order. We are currently in limbo waiting for the new delivery date. After a few weeks of surviving on slow cooker recipes alone, I caved and bought a small electric burner to feed us until the new stove is delivered, whenever that may be.

Although I can now boil water and sauté again (at last!), because we only have one single burner, I can’t do both at the same time. For this reason, true one-pot meals like this Lemon Shrimp Pasta have been dinner lifesavers.

Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Orzo and Asparagus – love this healthy one-pot meal! So easy and perfect for busy weeknights. Even the orzo gets cooked right in the pot! @wellplated

The pasta, asparagus, and shrimp all are made in one handy pot. I used whole wheat orzo pasta, which is quick cooking and offers more fiber and nutrients than white pasta. It’s a small change that makes the Lemon Shrimp Pasta healthier, for no additional effort. I love the way the orzo noodles cling to the shrimp and their creamy, almost risotto-like texture.

Fresh lemon zest and juice make the shrimp pasta bright and zippy, asparagus gives it a spring feel, and the juicy shrimp are a refreshing change from standard weeknight chicken. I purchased peel-and-eat shrimp that were on sale, but if you prefer not to splurge for fresh shrimp, frozen shrimp are often more affordable and will work nicely in this Lemon Shrimp Pasta recipe too. (Frozen shrimp are also perfect for this Garlic Shrimp Pasta!)

Tried it and loved it! One Pot Lemon Shrimp Pasta – so easy and delicious. Even the orzo gets cooked right in the pot! @wellplated

For your next busy weeknight, when dinnertime survival is on the line, try this fast, yummy Lemon Shrimp Pasta. Creamy, cheesy, and packed with splendid flavor, it’s my idea of “roughing it!”

One Pot Lemon Shrimp Pasta recipe - An easy, delicious, and healthy one pot meal that the whole family will love – even the orzo gets cooked right in the pot! @wellplated
4.72 from 7 votes
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Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Orzo and Asparagus

Yield: 4 -6 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
A bright and zippy one-pot Lemon Shrimp Pasta that's perfect for busy weeknights. Simple and delicious—even the orzo gets cooked right in the pot!


  • 1 1/4 pounds  large raw shrimp — 31 to 35 count, peeled and deveined (use fresh or frozen, thawed shrimp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion — diced
  • 3 cloves garlic — minced
  • 1 pound asparagus — trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta — I like DeLallo
  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large lemon — zest and juice (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese — divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley — plus additional for serving
  • Lemon wedges — for serving


  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the shrimp in a small bowl, sprinkle with pepper and salt, and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then stir in the orzo. Increase the heat to medium high and cook the orzo until it's lightly browned and smells toasty, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth and 1/2 cup water. Bring the liquid to a boil. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan so that you loosen any stuck pasta. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer, and let cook 5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan again. Add the asparagus, recover, then continue cooking until the pasta is just becoming tender, about 10 minutes. The pasta will look a little liquidy. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, parsley, and the seasoned shrimp. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over the top.
  4. Bake the pasta, uncovered, just until the shrimp are cooked through, about 8 - 10 minutes. The shrimp will be pink, fairly firm, and opaque—do not over cook. Sprinkle with additional chopped parsley and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve immediately.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy Shrimp Recipe, Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Orzo and Asparagus

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 5)) — Calories: 413, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 121mg, Sodium: 782mg, Carbohydrates: 49g, Fiber: 11g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…


  1. I love any pasta recipe with lemon and shrimp, so YES TO THIS. Asparagus is also a favorite of mine, thanks so much for sharing Erin! :)  

  2. this looks SO springy and bright, absolutely love it!! perfect for quick & healthy weeknight dinns x

  3. What a beautiful dish!! I just picked up some gluten free orzo and have been dying to use it! Now I know what I’m going to make! :)

  4. This is gorgeous! Orzo is just the best- love the bright springy flavors :)

  5. Ohhh, this is just perfect for Spring! Love the combination of lemon and shrimps. Actually I just love the whole dish!

  6. kentuckylady717l Reply

    It looks  delicious…but I must be the only person in the world who does not like shrimp :) Even my youngest granddaughter loves it……
    Your white bean casserole looked delicious tho…..I love most all beans except black beans……I am cooking white northern beans tomorrow……I love those and make some cornbread…..nothing else…..love this….

  7. shawnna griffin Reply

    hey girl this looks amazing!

  8. This looks SO good — and I like it even more since it only requires one pan. ;-)

  9. My family devoured this and begged for me.  Kid tested and approved!

  10. Great recipe,cooked it lat night, easy-peasy and delicious, thanks!

  11. Awesome. Great weeknight meal. I added a shake of crushed red pepper, but that’s just because I like a bit of spice. Thank you! 

    • I think the crushed red pepper sounds delicious, Amy. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe, and I so appreciate your taking the time to leave this nice review!

  12. Very good! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Easy and super tasty. I wouldn’t change a thing!

  14. I’ve had this recipe saved for a while and finally decided to try it- SO, SO good! I didn’t have asparagus on hand so used green beans and kale and still so delicious. This is a keeper for sure!

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review and rating, Alexandra! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  15. I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! I followed suggestions in the comments to add a little red pepper for added zing. I will be adding this to my regular rotation! Thank you! 

  16. Sounds deelish! Wondering if I can make this work with cauliflower rice instead of orzo. (low carb)

    • Hi Cathy, I haven’t tried that before, but I think it might work with some adjustments! You would want to sauté the shrimp and asparagus with the seasonings, and then mix in the rice at the end instead of adding additional liquid to cook the pasta and baking it. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  17. This is a great base recipe which I tried with some minor substitutions: used regular orzo not whole wheat, tarragon instead of parsley, added crushed red pepper, and I skipped the whole oven step and just cooked everything on the stove to save time. Still turned out great

    • Amanda, your swaps sound delicious too! Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try and reporting back!

  18. Made this tonight, and it was scrumptious! Followed exactly except for using cooked frozen shrimp instead of uncooked. There was still too much liquid after cooking the orzo, so the end dish was a tad more wet than I’d prefer but didn’t compromise the flavorfulness. Next time, I’ll try not adding the half cup of water. I withheld putting the already cooked shrimp in the oven until the last 4 or so minutes. Was also impressed that no extra salt was needed for flavoring. Will definitely add to the rotation!

    • Heidi, I’m happy to hear this recipe is a winner for you! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  19. Can I double this recipe for a crowd, and if so, how does it affect cooking time?  I made original recipe and it was fantastic!  Thanks

    • Hi Sally, I’m so glad to hear you enjoy the recipe! I have not doubled it myself, but I think that should work! The cooking time should be fairly close to the same, though it may take longer for more liquid to come to a boil for the orzo. If you give it a try, I’d love to know how it goes!

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