Grilled smoked shrimp lemon orzo salad is the one easy summer meal you need to add to your bookmarked recipes, as it’s a healthy light salad, sharing smoked shrimp that are quickly grilled to intensify their smoky flavor, and then added to a lemon orzo salad with a fresh vegetable base including fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and crunchy celery pieces, tossed with crumbly textured feta cheese.
The fresh lemon salad with orzo and smoked shrimp brings together the fabulous flavors of summer and offers you a simple alternative pasta salad that isn’t just veggie driven.
The smoked shrimp orzo salad with freshly prepared lemon dressing delivers a big taste and is minimalistic on prep, making it a fantastic summer dish to serve any night of the week or for any simple patio dinner where al fresco options are at the top of your menu!
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Why You’ll Love Lemon Orzo Salad And Smoked Grilled Shrimp
Consider those hazy dog days of summer with massive heat index temperatures and experiencing exhaustion from the day’s work, and you’ll understand why you’ll love this simple orzo and smoked shrimp salad so much!
- Fresh lemon salad with orzo and smoked grilled shrimp an easy-to-assemble healthy meal
- You can and should make it in advance
- For those that need a salad to bring along, this is easily portable
- the shrimp feta orzo salad is made with easy-to-find ingredients
- the shrimp are cooked on the grill and the orzo is prepared in a pot
- fast to prepare and a very al fresco take on dining in
Equipment Needed To Make Lemon Orzo Salad and Smoked Grilled Shrimp
I’ll start with what you don’t need, a smoker!
For this lemon orzo salad and smoked grilled shrimp salad recipe, we’ll go old school on the smoking portion and grill the shrimp and I’ll share the details.
Ingredients For Smoked Shrimp Lemon Orzo Salad
Get ready because there is NOTHING out of the ordinary in the lemon orzo salad and smoked grilled shrimp salad and that alone should make you smile!
- cooked deveined shrimp with or without the tail
- olive oil is used as the healthy fat as part of the pre-marinating before grilling and to ensure that the shrimp don’t stick to the foil
- coconut aminos are the perfect sauce to add before grilling for a boost of flavor without a lot of sodium
- Smoke flavor – truly the item that takes this lemon orzo salad with grilled shrimp to the next level
- smoked paprika seasoning for an additional smoky flavor
- orzo pasta (I love this brand, but you can use any)
- fresh spinach mixed up with garlic which is then wilted and really amps the taste volume
- cucumber chunks (these will need to be peeled and then chopped into bite-size pieces
- tomato bites are perfect because they are bite-size perfection and don’t have to be cut or cubed and if anyone does not prefer tomatoes, they can kick them to their plate curb!
- celery brings in the best crunch and you’ll want at least one against the soft texture of the orzo-cooked pasta and shrimp
- feta cheese brings the tangy and lightly salty flavor with it in addition to being a fabulous crumbly cheese to top off the salad.
- fresh lemon brings the flavors altogether and when you toss it with a bit of olive oil, your salad orzo shrimp salad comes to life!
How To Make Smoked Shrimp Lemon Orzo Salad
You’ll find that the cooked shrimp make this recipe faster and easier to prepare and taste delish when grilled I’ve been doing this for years and I am addicted to them this way!
If you find an ingredient in my recipe you don’t like, eliminate it, because the truest beauty of this summer shrimp orzo salad is that it’s versatile!
Step 1: Prep the Orzo
Boil just a half-pound of the orzo, adding a tablespoon of salt to the water and a dash of olive oil.
Once the Orzo pasta begins boiling dip a measuring cup or a ladle into the orzo water and remove about 1/4 c of the salted water and reserve for later.
When the Orzo is boiled and tender, drain, rinse, and place in a medium-sized serving bowl, then set it aside.
Step 2 Is The Time For Grill and Shrimp Preparation
Preheat your grill between 350°F and 450°F.
While the grill is preheating you will now prepare the smoked shrimp that will soon become smoked grilled shrimp.
Place your cooked shrimp on a piece of heavy-duty foil and drizzle with olive oil.
Then you’ll want to drizzle the shrimp with both smoked paprika and coconut aminos.
Follow that with a few quick drips of liquid smoke and you are all set to make smoked grilled shrimp for your lemon orzo pasta salad combination.
Grill the shrimp just for about 1 minute each and make sure to put slits in the foil to get the grill heat to the shrimp faster.
Once you’ve cooked them, remove the smoked grilled shrimp from the grill and pull off the shrimp tail, then set it aside.
Step 3: Prepare the Spinach for The Lemon Orzo Salad
If you hate spinach, skip this step and you can eliminate reserving the water from the cooking pasta referenced above in Step 1.
For those that love sautéing spinach with garlic, this is your jam!
Simply reuse the pot you boiled the Orzo in, add in the Orzo reserved water and a tablespoon of olive oil, and minced garlic.
Return the pot to the stove and cover, using medium-high heat, steam the spinach rapidly, stirring about 3 minutes into s
Once the spinach is shrunk, stir, and add it to the orzo salad you are preparing.
Step 4: Chopped Fresh Veggies Need To Be Added To The Orzo Salad
Rather than using slices of tomatoes, I use Cherub tomatoes or other bite-size tomatoes.
First, tomatoes go bad quickly and their texture changes, and second, if you have someone dining with you that hates tomatoes these suckers are easy to pick out and no seeds have ‘contaminated’ (lol) their fresh orzo pasta salad smoky shrimp!
You’ll now add the chopped cucumber, and celery pieces as well as the miniature tomatoes (cherub tomatoes, grape tomatoes, any kind of small bite-size tomato works here)
Then mix those together and make sure to incorporate the spinach.
Step 5: Finish The Grilled Lemon Orzo Salad with Smoked Shrimp
You’ll now add the shrimp to the top of the salad, and follow with fresh crumbles of feta cheese, as well as juicing a fresh lemon and adding then a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Serve in bowls with a spoon and a fork and enjoy each bite!
Additional Cooking Methods and Tips For The Smoked Shrimp Portion of the Lemon Orzo Salad
- *IF you prefer there are 2 alternative ways to prepare the smoked shrimp.
- you can place the shrimp in a bowl and add the olive oil, coconut aminos, and the liquid smoke to the bowl, add the smoked paprika, and then cover and marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours. (kind of like a liquid rub)
- prepare the shrimp right on the foil, drizzle with olive oil, aminos, smoked paprika, and liquid smoke, and then grill
- place the shrimp on the foil and drizzle with olive oil, and smoked paprika and grill OR place the shrimp in a bowl, and toss with olive oil then directly on the grill without oil, and once you’ve grilled them, toss in a bowl with a few drops of liquid smoke and coconut aminos and cover to allow the shrimp to absorb the liquids.
- you can even use raw shrimp ( grilling time will differ) and you can see raw shrimp, shells are on the shrimp in my basquette before grilling in the image.
- once you’ve cooked the shrimp, portion them per bowl, but don’t toss them in and toss the salad, instead, toss them into individual bowl servings and store the extra shrimp separately, which I’ll further define below.
Popular Substitutions For Orzo Salad With Smoked Grilled Shrimp and Feta
- Use bay scallops instead of shrimp, and with bay scallops, you won’t have to cut them into pieces as they are already bite-size but you will want to definitely use foil on the grill so they don’t fall through your grates!
- change the Orzo to Pastina, Tubetini, or mini Farfalle.
- try Gorgonzola, Parmesan shavings, blue cheese, or fresh mozzarella in the salad
- Use fresh peach chunks and balsamic instead of lemon and olive oil
How To Reheat & Store Grilled Smoked Shrimp Lemon Orzo Salad
Here come the tips and tricks to storing this summer-perfect, bbq take-along salad made with fresh veggies and seafood!
The best way to store the Orzo Salad With Grilled Smoked Grilled Shrimp and Feta is in the refrigerator.
However, you have 2 ways to do this and I highly suggest using the latter.
First, you can toss all the shrimp in and then refrigerate any leftovers.
Second, you might consider portioning the shrimps per bowl and not tossing them into a large serving bowl to mix just in case there would be leftovers.
Shrimp can hold in the fridge for about 3 days without getting funky, after that it becomes questionable eats!
So store the shrimp separately from the leftover lemon orzo and fresh veggie pasta salad and you can keep the lemon orzo salad for up to a week without the shrimp in it!
How Long Will the Smoked Shrimp Lemon Orzo Salad Last In The Fridge?
I never store mine for more than 3 days total, seafood is funky that way, but there are also hardly any leftovers, so that makes it easy.
Plus if you just read above, I keep the shrimp separate from the fresh pasta salad with orzo pasta.
Can I Freeze the Orzo Salad With Grilled Smoked Grilled Shrimp and Feta?
NO. Cucumbers are not freezer-friendly they get squashy and nasty if I am being honest!
Grilling Tip For Those That Prefer To Use A Reusable Item Instead of Disposable Foil For Grilling Shrimp
One of the largest struggles when grilling in my opinion is food falling through the grates.
Our current grill has a different setup so I don’t get as worried about food slipping through, but when we clean it, there are particles of food that are between the grates and I don’t want that on MY food.
The simple, reusable, durable, stainless steel item we alternate with foil is called a Basquettes for grilling and it makes the smoked shrimp portion of the smoked shrimp lemon orzo salad fabulous!
In short, there are multifunctional variations of the basquettes, which allows you to be closer or further away from the heat, which means that if you want something more charred or less, you change the distance of the shrimp by adding a layer of the Basquettes.
While you might see the Basquettes here as stacked, you can actually use these as you see without the legs which then keeps the food above the grates so you can literally SMOKE your shrimp as I am doing without charring or ruining them!
Plus you won’t have to slit the foil and get spattered as the grease or water will drop away below the shrimp, making it healthier and safer to grill! You gotta love this!
Lemon Orzo Salad And Smoked Grilled Shrimp FAQs
Can I Use Pastina Or Tubetini Instead of Orzo Pasta For the Lemon Orzo Salad?
Yes, you can use any tiny cut pasta even mini farfalle (bow ties) do not use anything bigger than those, as it begins to change the balance of the salad and the size of the prepared ingredients.
Can I Freeze The Smoked Shrimp Lemon Orzo Salad If I Have Some Left?
The fresh veggies in this particular orzo salad with smoked grilled shrimp and feta do not take kindly to freezing and will not be the same upon removal from the freezer.
Would I be Able to Use Scallops or Salmon Crumbles instead of shrimp?
Yes! You could virtually grill and smoke any of those different kinds of seafood to create a comparable smoked shrimp essence, so choose your favorite seafood and enjoy, make sure the pieces are bite-size when you add them to the salad, and change your recipe card name from lemon orzo salad and smoked grilled shrimp salad to smoked salmon or scallops!
Can I Fry The Smoked Shrimp Instead of Grilling Them?
Yes, you can, but you will also need to use more oil and you might want to use one of the alternate methods of seasoning the smoked shrimp that I suggested in the recipe notes.
Can I Serve The Fresh Lemon Salad With Orzo and Smoked Shrimp Instead of Mixing a Full Pasta Salad?
Yes! In fact, if you read my discussion points about storage, you will find a great suggestion there as to how to go about serving the lemon orzo salad and smoked grilled shrimp salad.
If I Don’t Like Lemon Can I Change The Dressing On The Fresh Lemon Salad With Orzo and Smoked Seafood Salad?
Absolutely Yes! There are so many wonderful dressing choices that you can choose whatever you prefer, and omit the lemon and olive oil mixture suggested. Do be mindful of the smoke flavor when attempting to pair a new dressing, and you might consider a chipotle dressing of some sort.
Can I Omit Feta Cheese Or Replace It In the Orzo Salad With Smoked Grilled Shrimp and Feta?
Yes! Consider other cheeses such as blue cheese or even gorgonzola!
Other Smoked Recipes You Will Love
- Red White & Blue Smoked Deviled Eggs
- Smoke-flavored Hummus
- Smoked Gouda Asparagus
- Smoked Skin On Potato Salad
Make Sure To Come Back and Tell Me How Your Smoked Shrimp And Lemon Orzo Salad Turned Out
I can’t wait to hear about all the things you did differently to your lemon orzo salad and smoked grilled shrimp salad of some kind!
- 30-35 Medium-sized cooked deveined shrimp with or without the tail
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos
- A Few Drops of Liquid Smoke (more or less as you prefer)
- 3 Teaspoons of smoked paprika seasoning
- 1/2 Pound ( 1/2 box) Orzo pasta
- 2 c fresh spinach
- 1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1/4 C of Pasta water
- 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Sizesd Cucumber rinsed, peeled, and chunked
- 15 Cherub Tomatoes or Grape Tomatoes
- 3 Stalks of peeled and chopped Celery
- 4 Tablespoons of Feta cheese
- 1 Fresh Ripe Lemon
- 3- 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil (adjust according to the jucinessnes of the lemon and personal taste once tossed)
- Salt and Pepper are Optional
- ORZO PREP
- Boil the orzo, adding a tablespoon of salt to the water and a dash of olive oil.
- Once the Orzo pasta begins boiling dip a measuring cup or a ladle into the orzo water and remove about 1/4 c of the salted water and reserve for later.
- When the Orzo is boiled and tender, drain, rinse, and place in a medium-sized serving bowl, then set it aside.
GRILL PREP AND SHRIMP PREP
- Preheat your grill between 350°F and 450°F.
- While the grill is preheating you will now prepare the smoked shrimp that will soon become smoked grilled shrimp.
- Place your cooked shrimp on a piece of heavy-duty foil and drizzle with olive oil.*(SEE NOTES)
- Then you'll want to drizzle the shrimp with both smoked paprika and coconut aminos.
- Follow that with a few quick drips of liquid smoke and you are all set to make smoked grilled shrimp for your lemon orzo pasta salad combination.
- Grill the shrimp just for about 1 minute each and make sure to put slits in the foil to get the grill heat to the shrimp faster.
- Once you've cooked them, remove the smoked grilled shrimp from the grill and pull off the shrimp tail, then set it aside.
PREPARE THE SPINACH FOR THE LEMON ORZO SALAD
- If you hate spinach, skip this step and you can eliminate reserving the water from the cooking pasta referenced above.
- For those that love steamed spinach with garlic, this is your jam!
- Simply reuse the pot you boiled the Orzo in, add in the Orzo reserved water and a tablespoon of olive oil, and minced garlic.
- Return the pot to the stove and cover, using medium-high heat, steam the spinach rapidly, stirring about 3 minutes into steaming.
- Once the spinach has shrunk, stir, and add it to the orzo salad you are preparing.
PREPPING THE CHOPPED FRESH VEGGIES THAT NEED TO BE ADDED TO THE ORZO SALAD
- You'll now add the chopped cucumber, and celery pieces as well as the miniature tomato bites.
- Then mix those together and make sure to incorporate the spinach.
FINISH THE GRILLEDLEMON ORZO SALAD WITH SMOKED SHRIMP FROM THE GRILL
- You'll now add the shrimp to the top of the salad, and follow with fresh crumbles of feta cheese, as well as juicing a fresh lemon and adding then a few tablespoons of olive oil.
- Serve with fresh grilled toast pieces!
*IF you prefer there are 2 alternative ways to prepare the smoked shrimp.
1. you can place the shrimp in a bowl and add the olive oil, coconut aminos, and the liquid smoke to the bowl, you can also toss on the smoked paprika and then cover and marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours. (kind of like a liquid rub)
2. you can prepare the shrimp right on the foil, drizzle with olive oil, aminos, smoked paprika, and liquid smoke, and then grill
3. you can place the shrimp on the foil and drizzle with olive oil, and smoked paprika and grill OR place the shrimp in a bowl, and toss with olive oil then directly on the grill without oil, and once you've grilled them, toss in a bowl with a few drops of liquid smoke and coconut aminos and cover to allow the shrimp to absorb the liquids.
In-depth Ingredient Overview
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 385mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 8gSugar: 15gProtein: 8g
Nutrition information may be inaccurate based on differing ingredients and portion sizing