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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Calories Per Serving: 478 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 ears corn kernels, removed from the cob
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 cup dry orzo pasta
- 1/3 cup dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
- 1/2 cup canned coconut cream or heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan or Asiago cheese
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on or off (about 24 shrimp)
- 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
- 1 uncooked Andouille sausage links, meat removed from casings
- 2 bell peppers, sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh basil roughly chopped
- 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!
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.