• Florida's Adventure Coast

Florida Shrimp Orzo Salad

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Florida Shrimp and Orzo Salad is the perfect summer salad – light, tasty and perfect for a picnic dinner or lunch.  The salad incorporates many fresh Florida ingredients, but the main star is the Key West Gulf shrimp, my favorite. This is another fantastic recipe which comes from the creative chef, Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hr 0 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 6 servings


  • Kosher salt 

  • Good olive oil

  • 3/4 pound orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta)

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 pounds (16 to 18 count) Florida Key West Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts

  • 1 cup chopped fresh dill

  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced

  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (optional, in my opinion)

  • 3/4 pound good feta cheese diced


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Fill a large pot with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and a splash of oil, and bring the water to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s cooked al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Meanwhile, place the shrimp on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread out in a single layer. Roast for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. Don’t overcook!

Add the shrimp to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate overnight. If refrigerated, taste again for seasonings and bring back to room temperature before serving.

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