Orzo Risotto with Shrimp, Peas & Bacon

Rice-shaped orzo is cooked like risotto in this easy, one-pot pasta dish.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 5 slices (5 oz) bacon, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups orzo
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Heaping ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1¼ teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning, such as Emeril's Essence
  • 2 pounds extra-large (21/25) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup frozen green peas (no need to thaw)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


  1. Melt one tablespoon of the butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Do not brown. Stir in the orzo and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, salt, pepper, and Cajun/Creole seasoning and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring once midway through, until the orzo is nearly tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir the shrimp and peas into the orzo (it will be quite creamy/brothy at this point; that's normal). Cover and cook over low heat until the shrimp are opaque throughout and the orzo is tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Off the heat, stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, the lemon juice, and chives. Right before serving, stir in the crispy bacon. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, then spoon into bowls and serve.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 639
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Saturated fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50 g
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 49 g
  • Sodium: 1,868 mg
  • Cholesterol: 322 mg