Bringing together all the flavor with this Spicy Southern Style Shrimp with Lemon Basil Orzo. Golden seared shrimp in a creamy, spicy sauce that’s truly so delicious. This shrimp is made all in one skillet with fresh herbs, bell peppers, and a squeeze of lemon. It’s simple and quick cooking, yet roll your eyes back GOOD. Serve this skillet shrimp over a simple lemony basil orzo for a quick and easy summer dinner. This dish makes great use of those delicious herbs and garden bell peppers. It’s the 25-minute dinner that everyone will love!
There are two things I really love about summer shrimp recipes. One, shrimp cooks up in no time at all, so it usually makes for a quick and simple summer dinner. And two, shrimp can really take on so many flavor profiles. From spicy Mexican, to herby Italian, and in today’s case a little spicy southern flare.
I’m not sure what brought on the inspiration for this recipe, other than the fact that I knew I had a bag of shrimp in the freezer and needed a quick weeknight dinner. Sometimes the best inspiration really does comes from the ingredients you have on hand.
I remembered this creamy chicken lazone I shared last year. I LOVED that sauce so much. So I kind of based this recipe off of that. I used it for this shrimp with a few new additions and it turned out just delicious.
I love to give you guys simple and complete meals…all in one’s. Because in reality, when I develop recipes, I develop them as I would want to make them. And personally, I don’t want a recipe just for shrimp in a cream sauce. So we’re making a quick basil orzo to serve alongside the shrimp.
Start with the orzo since the shrimp cooks so fast. Simply boil it off and toss it together with olive oil, lots of fresh basil, lemon, and a pinch of salt. Nothing fancy, but I find it to be a nice switch up from say rice, which is often served with shrimp.
While the orzo cooks, make the shrimp
I tossed the shrimp with a mix of spices that’s essentially a homemade cajun seasoning blend. It’s one of my favorite spice mixes to keep on hand for quick meals like this.
Once the shrimp is tossed in the spices, just sear it in a skillet, then add a small pat of butter. Pull the shrimp out of the pan then toss in lots of bell peppers. Add a splash of wine, then some milk to create a creamy sauce. You can use any milk…nut milk, whole milk, or in my case goat milk…all will work.
Finish the sauce off with a small amount of parmesan cheese, then simply slide the shrimp right back in.
Now serve it up
At this point, the orzo should be finished and you can spoon the creamy sauce and shrimp over plates of warm orzo. As with a lot of my summer dishes, I like to top this with plenty of fresh herbs. Today it was basil.
If you’re feeling it, a side of beer bread would go really great with this dinner. It feels very southern and summery to me!
Then if you’re really trying to impress, make a side salad and you’ll have the perfect simple summer dinner. It’s fresh, bright and so delish!
Looking for other simple skillet recipes? Here are a few ideas:
Lastly, if you make this Spicy Southern Style Shrimp with Lemon Basil 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!
Spicy Southern Style Shrimp with Lemon Basil Orzo
Calories Per Serving: 634 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon plus 1-2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 cup milk or heavy creamy
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the orzo to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and add it right back to the hot pot. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup basil, lemon juice, and season with salt.2. Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning.3. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the shrimp and cook on both sides until seared, about 2-3 minutes per side. Add the butter, then remove the shrimp from the pan. 4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, bell peppers, garlic, and thyme. Cook another 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour in the wine. Simmer over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Then add the milk, parmesan, and 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Slide the shrimp into the sauce, simmer 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in a handful of basil.5. Spoon the orzo onto plates, then spoon the shrimp and sauce over the orzo. Top with fresh basil. Enjoy!
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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.