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.
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.
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!)
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!”
Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Orzo and Asparagus
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 5)) — Calories: 413, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 121mg, Sodium: 782mg, Carbohydrates: 49g, Fiber: 11g
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