This tasty one pot shrimp and squash orzo is made with butternut squash, shrimp, orzo, feta and a squeeze of lemon juice. It is packed with flavor, cooks in a single pot, and has the creamiest sauce...with no cream added.
One pan meals are such dinner superheroes. From chicken curry to zucchini noodle pad thai, I love how they make cooking so easy and clean up even easier! This one pot shrimp and squash orzo cooks up in a single pan, and you are going to be blown away by the flavor.
Shrimp, squash, orzo and feta cheese might sound like a kind of strange mixture of ingredients, but trust me on this one...they work so incredibly well together!
As the orzo and butternut squash cook, they release starches that help thicken the sauce. Sprinkle with feta and a squeeze of lemon, and you're in for a real treat!
Why you'll ♡ one pot shrimp and squash orzo
- it cooks up in one pot
- it's creamy and rich, with no cream actually used
- it's perfect for fall
Which type of squash?
This recipe has been tested with three different types of squash, and my top two picks are acorn squash and butternut squash. If using acorn squash, you do not need to peel it, but know that it won't look as pretty as with butternut squash. I do not recommend using kabocha squash as the texture was just not right and the flavors were overpowering.
Whichever type of squash you choose, make sure to cut them into small ½ inch cubes, and try to cut them as evenly as possible so they cook through at the same time.
Use the right pan
This recipe serves 4-6, and you will need a large covered pan (12 inches in diameter) to fit the full batch. If you don't have a pan this size, you can use a pot, but I recommend stirring frequently while cooking so that the heat gets distributed evenly while cooking so that your orzo cooks through fully.
Make sure that each time you stir the pot that you replace the lid.
Notes on the liquid
While cooking, if you find the pan getting dry at any point, feel free to add ¼ to ½ cup of additional liquid. All pans cook slightly differently, so use your best judgment while cooking.
- this recipe was tested using orzo, which is small, rice-shaped pasta. I do not recommend swapping with a different type of pasta as that could potentially alter the cook time and liquid required
- the recipe calls for uncooked large shrimp. If you swap for jumbo, colossal or any other size, you will need to alter the cook time
- this recipe is best served fresh, but you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days (I personally have a 2-day rule with shrimp)
- while the recipe calls for sherry, you could swap for white wine if you don't have any
- I find fresh butternut squash to have the best flavor, but in a pinch you could swap for frozen, cubed butternut squash. Thaw completely before cooking
More one pot meals:
- 19 Healthy One Pot Pasta Recipes
- One Pan Gnocchi with Sundried Tomatoes and White Beans
- Chili Lime Sweet Potato and Chicken Skillet
- Hearty Lentil Soup
- Easy Red Lentil Dal
One Pot Shrimp and Squash Orzo
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-5 cups squash (cut into ½ inch cubes (see note *))
- 1 small red onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- ⅓ cup sherry (white wine should work fine)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 8 oz uncooked orzo (1 ⅓ cups)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 oz large shrimp (thawed, tails removed)
- ⅓ cup feta cheese (crumbled)
- 2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
- lemon wedges
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large (12-inch) pan with a cover.
- Add the squash and onion to the pan, and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
- Add ½ cup water to the pan and cover. Cook for another 5 minutes until a fork goes into squash easily. There should be no water left at this point.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds-1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add the sherry to the pan and scrape up all brown bits from the pan.
- Add the chicken stock, salt and orzo. Cover and cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until orzo is al dente, roughly 10-12 minutes. If pasta seems to be getting dry, add additional liquid as needed (Up to 1 extra cup chicken stock).
- Stir in the shrimp, cover and cook for 5 more minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through. You will want to stir it every minute or so to prevent the orzo from sticking to the pan.
- Sprinkle with feta and parsley and serve with lemon wedges.