Home Food Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes with Parmesan Orzo Recipe

Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes with Parmesan Orzo Recipe

Shrimp laced with buttery garlic and thyme and a burst tomato sauce served on a creamy Parmesan orzo.

Juicy, succulent shrimp laced with garlic, butter, and thyme, tucked into a silky burst tomato sauce, and piled high on creamy, luscious Parmesan orzo. WHAT A DREAMBOAT DINNER. I love this recipe!

In This Post:

How To Make This Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes (with Pictures)

Step 1: Blister and Smash the Tomatoes

Get the tomatoes hot and blistery; then give ’em a gentle smash with the back of a spoon or a small plate. It’s… very fun.

Tomatoes in a pan being smashed with a wooden spoon

Step 2: Cook the Shrimp

Make a little clearing right in the center of the tomatoes where you can add your shrimp to cook for a couple of minutes. Salt it up!

Raw shrimp being added to a pan with tomatoes

Step 3: Get the Garlic and Butter Going In There

Throw in a bunch of freshly sliced garlic and a knob of butter. Stir it up a few times until it’s dreamy.

Butter and garlic being added to a pan with shrimp and tomatoes

Step 4: Make a Creamy Orzo

Put a lid on the shrimp and make a quick creamy orzo – butter, Parmesan, cream, lemon, and salt.

Creamy orzo in a pan with a wooden spoon

Step 5: Put It All Together

Piping hot orzo goes on the plate first, and then we pull our shrimp and tomatoes back out to pile on top.

Ozro, shrimp, and tomatoes in blue bowl

Lindsay’s Notes

This recipe is in heavy rotation at the moment – and it never fails to make me feel like I’m eating at a fancy restaurant and/or generally have my life together. Is my laundry all over my table? Yes. Have I been using dry shampoo for the last 4 days? Yes. But am I also eating a kind of fancy and beautiful dinner? YES! Three cheers for doable “fancy” recipes. 10/10 recommend.

Creamy orzo with the twang of Parmesan, sweet burst tomatoes gently bubbled into a sauce, and a pile of jumbo, delicate, buttery, garlic-laced shrimp. Pass me a glass of wine and I am living my best life.

As far as family approval goes, Bjork and I love the whole big, beautiful thing – no thyme for him (a true crime and I don’t want to spend any more time talking about it), and lots of thyme, salt, and pepp for me. The girls are hit and miss with the shrimp and tomatoes, but you better believe they love the creamy Parmesan orzo which is, of course, just mac and cheese in disguise. They’ll usually eat a few of the fresh little tomatoes on the side, too. Winning for everybody!


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Shrimp laced with buttery garlic and thyme and a burst tomato sauce served on a creamy Parmesan orzo.

Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes:

Creamy Orzo:

  1. Cook the Orzo: Cook according to package directions. Drain, toss with a bit of oil, and set aside.
  2. Soften the Tomatoes: Add the tomatoes and olive oil to a pan over medium high heat so they can soften and get a bit blistered on the outside. I usually cover the pan to avoid extra splatters.
  3. Smash the Tomatoes: Once they’re soft (5 minutes or so), give them a gentle smash with the back of a spoon or applying even pressure with a plate or similar flat object. You want the tomatoes to be partially burst / smashed so they release some juices.
  4. Cook the Shrimp: Make a little clearing in the center of the tomatoes and add your shrimp right in; season them with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Give it Some Flava-Flave: Add the garlic, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pan and stir to mix it all together. Let it get saucy and bubbly; then remove from heat and cover with a lid.
  6. Make the orzo: Mix the orzo with butter, half and half, Parmesan, and lemon. Stir to combine; warm it up over the heat if necessary.
  7. Pile it up: Serve immediately so the orzo doesn’t get too starchy and sticky! Pile it on a plate with a big scoop of steamy shrimp and tomatoes. Top with thyme. So good!


This amount usually makes enough for just Bjork and I to finish the shrimp, with plenty of orzo for us and the girls. If you wanted to serve 4 adults, I would use 2 pounds of shrimp!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: shrimp and orzo, orzo recipe, shrimp and tomatoes

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Frequently Asked Questions For Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes

What can I use instead of shrimp?

Chicken would be delicious! I would probably pan-fry the chicken first, then take it out and set aside while you build your tomato sauce, then add the chicken back in at the end.

How long do the leftovers last?

You can definitely eat this meal as leftovers for 1, maybe 2 days after you make it, but it’s one of those meals that really shines when it’s made fresh.

Can you make this vegetarian / meatless?

Use zucchini in place of the shrimp! Or, similarly, this recipe is great.

How do you make this gluten-free and/or dairy-free?

Use gluten free orzo, dairy-free butter (or olive oil), and something else creamy in place of the half and half and Parmesan – a knob of dairy-free cream cheese would be good!

Another option would be to skip the creamy orzo and serve this with quinoa or another gluten-free, dairy-free option.

My Favorite Shrimp Recipes