Roasted Shrimp Orzo Salad with Dill Vinaigrette Dressing

Hi everyone!

Glad you’re Cookin’ with me today!

My family and friends know that I’m constantly looking to find recipes where I can reinvent them with a creative “yumminess” to raise them up a notch!

I hope you have tried my Succulent Roasted Shrimp and enjoyed it! But wait until you put this shrimp in a pasta salad using orzo! Add some black olives, feta cheese, cucumbers and grape tomatoes and you have a summertime Greek salad. The recipe for this dish feeds a large family, or cam be used as a side dish to compliment your barbecue in the summertime, or on a buffet table in place of a mayonnaise-based pasta salad. And, if you are running short on time, you can certainly just buy the shrimp already cooked for this salad.

So, what is “Orzo” you ask? Read on and you’ll find out!

My family and friends LOVE when I do this dish, and they rave over it every time I serve it. It’s a great dish to make when you have a gathering and need to compliment your main course with a pasta salad, and not just the normal pasta salad we all grew up with….you know, the Rotelle (curly) pasta, Good Seasons Italian dressing, diced carrots, onion, and peppers. Absolutely a staple in my family! But this salad raises the level of a pasta salad from a 3 to a 10! It’s a permanent addition to my entertaining list! I just double it when I have a larger crowd and it fills a large aluminum pan (20” L x 12” W x 3” D), serving 12 – 15 easily!

The original recipe calls for “Orzo” pasta, which is a short grain pasta shaped like a long grain rice. I like Barilla’s orzo as it just the right length, cooks up firm and provides substance for this dish. But if you do not have orzo in the house or prefer a different pasta, bow ties, penne, cut spaghetti or fusilli can all be substituted. Just follow the directions on the pasta box making sure you cook el dente (slightly chewy) so that the pasta does not become mushy.

For roasting the shrimp, I have favorite cooking pans which are the deep-dish aluminum pans that come in 2 sizes: the 9×12 and 12×20. I use these pans for EVERYTHING! I get them at Costco for a great price, and you can recycle them or wash and reuse them when they are easily rinsed out. I end up serving in them many times when I throw a dinner together for family and friends. It took me a long time to realize I didn’t have to have things perfect when entertaining, so disposable pans are great!

Along that note, I used to get myself pretty worked up when I entertained. Everything had to be perfect. The house had to be straightened up, cleaned to spit spot shape, and I’d be cooking and baking for days ahead. On the morning of, I would send my husband, John, out to get beer, ice, and soda so I could set up the bar. I would have made a trip to the liquor store a few days ahead. I had the boys cleaning the tables by the pool, or if winter, setting up the dining room and sunroom for quests. I would be barking orders usually at the last minute because nothing got done the way I wanted it to. “Bring your shoes up to your bedroom! Put your schoolbag on the hook in the basement stairway! Don’t just use a wet paper towel to clean that glass table but use Windex and make sure it doesn’t streak!” Most of you Moms and Dads get the idea! Well I now realize why they scattered every time something needed to get done! I went between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a million times that day!

But one day, and I’m not exactly sure when, my attitude started to shift. I just remember realizing that the most important thing was that family and friends gathered together to share good food, drink, and heartfelt conversation. So, what if you’re cutting up vegetables when your guests start to arrive or even setting the buffet table up! Ask them to help! They actually feel much better when they can contribute!

If you love to entertain, or just want to have friends and family over, whether planned or impromptu, there are a few things I am thrilled to share that just makes entertaining easier. Like making sure you have certain items always in stock (cocktail napkins, solo cups, clear plastic wine cups, dinner paper plates, case of club soda, lemons, and limes, etc.). And I’ll show you how to stage a few areas in your home with necessities so that if anyone stops by unannounced, you’ve got it covered! And, there are certain foods to keep in stock either in your fridge or your pantry to quickly assemble for an appetizer, meal, or dessert!

My family refers to me with a saying called “Don’t Be Silly”. To them, it means when they walk in the kitchen and they see the large aluminum pans out, they immediately ask, “Who’s coming over?” and when I answer, they reply with “Don’t Be Silly”! Well, to me, that means “The More the Merrier” or Go Big or Go Home”, or we’ll have lots of food and drink, and lots of leftovers, too!

So, when you make the Shrimp Orzo Salad, just “Go Big or Go Home” and double it, because you’ll want to share with lots of friends and family, and also have some left over to enjoy during the week!

Roasted Shrimp Orzo Salad

Let’s Get Cookin’


Roasted Shrimp Orzo Salad with Dill Vinaigrette Dressing

This is a way to turn up my Succulent Roasted Shrimp up a notch! I promise this pasta salad dish will be your unique signature dish you make for all your parties and take everywhere you go!
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time5 minutes
Course: Dressing, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: All
Keyword: Dijon mustard, Dill, Feta Cheese, Fresh, Oilve Oil, Olives, Orzo, Pasta, Red Onion, Seasoning, Shrimp, Tomato, White Wine vinegar
Servings: 6 people


Roasted Shrimp Orzo Salad

  • 1 Pound Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined 30 - 40 count per pound works best
  • 1 Pound Orzo Pasta I like Barilla pasta brand
  • 1 Medium Red Pepper, cut in 2-inch small strips
  • 1 Medium Orange Pepper, cut in 2-inch small strips
  • 1 Medium Yellow Pepper, cut in 2-inch small strips
  • 1/2 Medium English Cucumber, peeled and cut in ½-inch by ½ inch squares
  • 1/4 Cup Red Onion, diced
  • 1 10 ounce container Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 Cup Black, Extra-Large Pitted Olives, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 Cup Feta Cheese (in crumbles)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Snipped Dill, roughly chopped

Dill Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 3 tbsp White Wine Vinegar You can substitute Red Wine
  • 1 tbsp Dijon-style Mustard I like Grey Poupon brand
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh Ground Mustard
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil You can substitute Avocado Oil
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Snipped Dill


Roasted Shrimp Orzo Salad

  • 1. Cook the shrimp according to my Roasted Shrimp Recipe and set aside in the large aluminum pan.
  • 2. Bring about 5 quarts of water to a boil. Add the orzo to the water stirring it so no clumps occur.
  • 3. Add 1 Tablespoons of salt. to the water. (Remember adding salt to pasta while it boils enhances the flavor.)
  • 4. Cook according to the pasta directions and taste your pasta a couple minutes ahead of when the directions say its ready to make so you’re sure it doesn’t get overcooked but is al dente (slightly firm to the bite).
  • 5. Pour the cooked pasta into a strainer and lightly rinse with cool water. Normally you don’t really rinse your pasta because you want your pasta to absorb whatever sauce you are coating it with but in this case, for a cold dish, you’ll want to give it a quick rinse. Shake all the water from the pasta and coat with 1/4 cup of my Blended Oil Seasoning. Mix and gently toss. Leave in the strainer.
  • 6. Cut up the vegetables according to the recipe and add to the pan of roasted shrimp. Add the pasta and add 1 cup of feta cheese and gently toss all together. I love to use kitchen gloves so I can use my hands to stir the pasta salad. It blends it so much better.
  • 7. Make the Dill Vinaigrette Dressing according to my instructions. Pour the dressing on the orzo salad but reserve 1/8 cup for serving. Gently toss with your gloved hands or a large serving spoon.
  • 8. You can serve this salad room temperature once finished but refrigerating for a 2 hours or overnight lets the dressing absorb into the ingredients and heightens the flavor.
  • 10. When ready to serve, toss with the remaining salad dressing and place into a serving bowl of your choosing. Top with some fresh snipped dill to decorate!

Dill Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1. Use a 16 oz glass jar with a lid, such as a mason jar, or use a 2-cup measuring cup to combine the ingredients. Put in the first two ingredients and whisk together or shake vigorously if using a jar with a lid.  
  • 2. Combine the remaining ingredients and only 1 TBSP of the dill together into the jar or measuring cup. Whisk or shake vigorously.
  • 3. Save the remaining TBSP of Fresh Dill for additional garnish and sprinkle on the salad right before serving.


Roasted Shrimp Orzo Salad


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