This baked shrimp orzo skillet meal combines a lot of my favorite pairings into one hearty dish: pasta and cheese, garlic and shrimp, spinach and artichokes, and–perfect for 2021’s hottest food trend–tomatoes and feta. The result is a toasty, comforting, one pan meal that you might not be able to stop eating straight from the skillet.
Use cast iron, if you have it. As it bakes in the cast iron skillet, which holds its heat well, the orzo on the sides of the pan gets crispy. It’s sort of like the toasted bottom of a paella. Your family will be fighting for the edges!
♥ Related: Spinach & Artichoke Eggplant Rollatini
If shrimp is not your thing, you can omit it all together and the vegetarian version would be very tasty too. You might add some chick peas for added protein. And if you prefer meat to seafood, replace the shrimp with browned Italian sausage. Leftover chicken would work too!
Mediterranean Baked Shrimp Orzo | One Skillet Meal
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 6 oz spinach stems removed and roughly chopped; see note
- 2 tbsp butter divided
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lemon zested
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½ lb orzo pasta
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 oz Jack cheese grated
- 1 oz pecorino cheese grated
- ½ lb shrimp peeled and deveined; see note
- 3-4 canned whole artichokes quartered and then halved (cut into eights); see note
- 6 oz grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 2.5 oz feta cheese crumbled
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a 10-12-inch cast iron skillet (or other oven-proof skillet), heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until spinach has cooked and wilted down to about half the original volume. Remove from the pan.
- Wipe out the skillet and add 1 tbsp of butter to the pan. Keep the heat at medium and add the garlic, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the garlic softens but doesn't start to brown. Add the orzo to the pan and stir to coat with the butter. Add the chicken broth to the pan. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering for about 6 minutes or until the orzo is just slightly underdone. The orzo should be slightly soupy with some moisture left from the stock. Don't drain this; the excess moisture will continue to cook the orzo while it's in the oven.
- While the orzo is cooking, melt the remaining 1 tbsp of butter and mix with the bread crumbs until the bread crumbs are well coated with butter.
- Turn off the heat and add the heavy cream, kosher salt, oregano, jack cheese, pecorino, shrimp, artichokes, and spinach. Stir to combine. Then top with crumbed feta and grape tomatoes. Then sprinkle the buttered bread crumbs evenly over the mixture.
- Bake on the middle of rack of your oven for 20 minutes. Then switch your oven to broil and broil for 2-3 minutes until the bread crumbs are toasted to a golden brown color. Keep a close eye on your skillet while it's broiling. You don't want to burn your breadcrumbs.Let sit for 10 minutes and then serve.
- If you are using baby spinach, you don’t need to remove the stems. If you’d rather use frozen chopped spinach, you don’t need to sauté it. Just defrost and drain well.
- You can use any size shrimp you’d like, but I think 21-25 (meaning 21-25 shrimp per pound) shrimp are a pretty good size for this recipe.
- I like using whole canned artichokes because I think their texture is always better than canned artichokes that are already quartered. Use non-marinated artichokes.
Shop My Favorite Kitchen Tools
- Cast Iron Skillet — the most useful pan in my cabinet.
- Microplane Grater — grate garlic, lemon zest, hard cheese, and ginger with ease.
- Instant Read Thermometer — always cook your meat to the perfect temperature.
- Disher Scoops — portion perfect cookie doughs, batters, and meatballs.
- Instant Pot — the ultimate kitchen workhorse.
- Julienne Peeler — easily shreds carrots for salads and slaws.
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