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Kicking things up today with my Cajun (lemon) Pepper Shrimp with Creamed Corn Orzo! Peppery, spicy, garlicky, and buttery shrimp, pan-seared with bell peppers and served over creamy, corny, and herby orzo pasta. A complete dinner that’s so simple, and mouth-wateringly delicious. Major bonus? This shrimp dinner is made in just about 30 minutes, using simple summertime ingredients. Perfect summer dinner for any night of the week.

overhead photo of Cajun Pepper Shrimp with Creamed Corn Orzo

There are shrimp recipes, but then there is this shrimp recipe. It’s honest to goodness one of the better shrimp dishes I have created. And while it may not be the prettiest recipe I’ve made, it’s so easy, and so very good. It takes maybe 30-minutes from start to finish, uses fresh summer produce, and a good mix of pantry staple ingredients.

Trust me, it’s the best Monday recipe, and great for every other day of the week too.

Cajun Pepper Shrimp in skillet

The funniest thing about this cajun shrimp and orzo? It was created towards the end of a long and pretty exhausting day. As I was making it, I knew for sure that it was a dish I was never going to share with you all. I mean, cajun shrimp? That’s a little boring, and everyone knows how to make cajun shrimp, right?

It wasn’t even the least bit pretty either, so no way was I sharing…

These were my thoughts as I was making the dish. These are often my thoughts when I’m feeling uninspired in the kitchen…aka when my mind goes to negative places. I start talking down to not only myself, but the food too. Sounds weird, but yep, I do it.

Anyway, as I began cooking, something switched inside me, and I challenged myself to step outside the box. What would make the cajun shrimp different…better than all other cajun shrimp recipes? What would make it pleasing to the eye and colorful?

And then I figured it out. I pulled out what I had on hand, got creative, and added color. In turn, I created a shrimp recipe that I love!

And that sums up the way I develop recipes at least half of the time. Always challenging myself to step just slightly off the beaten path. And it almost always works.

Creamed Corn Orzo in skillet

On to the nitty-gritty details…

While this is not a 10 ingredient recipe, don’t let that scare you away. Promise it’s straight forward, quick and easy. Since the orzo takes the longest to cook, start with this. It’s all made in ONE pan and it’s my favorite part.

Why?

Orzo + butter + garlic + corn + all the fresh thyme…just a few of my favorite things.

The corn is first caramelized with a touch of garlic. Then add the orzo and then the liquids to fully cook the orzo. I used a combination of wine and water, but you can certainly use all water if you prefer not to cook with wine.

Once the orzo is al dente, stir in a touch of coconut cream and parmesan cheese. And done. Now you have creamed corn orzo, and yes, it is every bit as delicious as it sounds.

close up side angled photo of Cajun Pepper Shrimp with Creamed Corn Orzo

While the orzo is cooking away, make the shrimp.

It’s a simple mix of andouille sausage, plenty of bell peppers, and shrimp tossed with cajun seasoning. Minimal ingredients, but so much flavor. The sausage, while completely optional, adds a really nice authentic cajun taste (here’s another great recipe using andouille sausage). I think it’s why we loved this shrimp so much. It adds an additional layer of texture and flavor, which is what Cajun cooking is all about, spicy, smoky flavor!

The sweet, herby, and creamy orzo is the perfect balance to the spicy, smoky, and heavily seasoned shrimp. It all feels very southern, which I kind of love. Something about summertime always has me craving southern-inspired foods.

Anyone else?

Excited to keep making this throughout the summer. It will be a great way to use all the fresh herbs and bell peppers growing in the greenhouse, along with the sweet corn from the market. Fresh summer food at its best! Enjoy, and happiest Monday!

overhead close up photo of Cajun Pepper Shrimp with Creamed Corn Orzo

If you make this Cajun Pepper Shrimp with Creamed Corn Orzo, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Cajun Pepper Shrimp with Creamed Corn Orzo.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6 4 people
Calories Per Serving: 890 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. To make the orzo. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter, the corn, 2 tablespoons thyme, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until the corn is golden. Stir in the orzo and cook until toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Add the wine to the skillet and de-glaze the pan. Add the 2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer 8-10 minutes until the orzo is al dente. Stir in the milk and parmesan, cook another few minutes until warmed through.
    2. Meanwhile, make the shrimp. In a medium bowl, toss together the shrimp, cajun seasoning, and a large pinch of pepper. 
    3.  Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the sausage and brown all over, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until the peppers are soft and tender, remove the sausage and peppers from the skillet to a plate.
    4. Return the skillet to high heat and add the olive oil. Add the shrimp and sear on both sides until pink, about 2-3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons butter, the garlic, and 1 tablespoon thyme, toss to coat and cook until the garlic is fragrant and caramelized, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil, lemon juice, and reserved sausage and peppers.
    5. To serve, spoon the orzo onto plates, top with shrimp and peppers. Enjoy!

Notes

Homemade Cajun Seasoning: mix 2 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon black pepper. Makes 3/4 cup. 
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Comments

    1. Thanks so much Leslie!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out nicely for you, thanks for making it! xT

  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! We’ve made it several time and, on occasion, will substitute shrimp for Cajun-seasoned chicken. Delicious either way!

  2. 5 stars
    Creamy, delicious, and oh, so flavorful! You’re right. It did make a great Monday night meal. Although gathering everything from the garden, washing, and prepping took about triple the time, it was still enjoyable. LOL.

    1. 5 stars
      I almost didn’t make this because I was feeling lazy, but the shrimp was defrosted, so I made myself get in the kitchen. I’m sooooo glad I did, because it was one of the most delicious recipes I’ve ever made! Family agreed!
      I doubled the shrimp to 2 lbs, and used Italian sausage because I couldn’t find raw andouille. Will definitely put this in the dinner rotation.

      I do want to point out that the recipe ingredients call for heavy cream or coconut cream, but in step 1 of the instructions it says “Stir in the milk and parmesan.” I assumed you meant cream instead of milk? That’s what I added and it was fantastic.

  3. 5 stars
    What a great recipe. The orzo dish (in Australia orzo is called risoni) was unusual and tasted very good. I added quite a few chilli flakes to the prawn dish. We served it with some toasted garlic naan bread. As you say in the US, this will be on our rotation.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    1. Hi Lynne,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thank you so much for giving it a try! Have a great weekend:) xx

  4. Would this be good at room temperature or cold? I’m looking for a shrimp recipe to take on a no-cook camping trip!

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      I suppose you could serve this at room temp, but I probably wouldn’t recommend serving it cold. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

    1. Hey Wendy,
      Wonderful!! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was a winner! Have a great Wednesday! xx

  5. 5 stars
    This is delicious and comes together quickly. I didn’t have fresh corn so I used frozen. My family loves it!

    1. Hey Catherine,
      Happy Wednesday!! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe and sharing your comment, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! xx

  6. 5 stars
    Another phenomenal recipe from Tiegan!!! The intense Cajun flavor was perfection and the corn orzo was so good I could have eaten that alone!!! You are a Goddess when it comes to mixing flavors and textures and colors and turning us all into mini chefs!! Thank you so much!!

    1. Hey Sharon,
      Perfect!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend:) xx

  7. 5 stars
    Winner, Winner Shrimp for dinner! Delicious recipe, the creamed corn orzo is inspiring and bound for other interesting toppings.

      1. Hello Tieghan~
        This is my favorite recipe to make for dinner guests! However, the guests we invited are gluten free. Any thoughts on a substitute for orzo? Would wild rice work, do you think?
        Thanks, Jennifer