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Creamy Lemon Orzo with Peas and Shrimp

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Yield

Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

We apply the risotto cooking method to pasta instead of rice for an easy, comforting main dish.Toasting the orzo in oil coats the grains so they will absorb the stock slowly and release their starches into the sauce. This happens quickly—just 15 minutes compared to the 20 to 30 minute preparation of most risottos. Cream cheese adds body and a luxurious creaminess. Shrimp and peas are a delicious duo, but you could substitute any combination like mushrooms and asparagus, chicken sausage and spinach, or parboiled butternut squash and pecans.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 3 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson), divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ounce 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Nutrition Information

  • calories 421
  • fat 7.2 g
  • satfat 1.9 g
  • monofat 2.8 g
  • polyfat 0.6 g
  • protein 30 g
  • carbohydrate 57 g
  • fiber 5 g
  • cholesterol 148 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 592 mg
  • calcium 115 mg
  • sugars 8 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion, thyme, and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender and translucent, stirring frequently. Add orzo; cook 2 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring to coat. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.

  2. Add 2 cups stock and salt to pan; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups stock, peas, rind, and shrimp; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove pan from heat; stir in juice, pepper, and cream cheese. Divide shrimp mixture evenly among 4 shallow bowls; sprinkle with chives.