This is an oldie but a goodie that I found years ago when I read one of my now favorite books Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It is a super simple, healthy and delicious dinner.  Perfect for a warm summer night…particularly late summer when you’re just starting to get sick of zucchini.  If you eat seasonally like we do, in the early summer it’s hard to imagine you’ll ever get sick of zucchini since it’s been so long since you’ve had it…but it can happen!

So if it happens to you whip up this dish,  because as the name of it suggests, the zucchini kind of disappears within the orzo and it helps you use up lots of zucchini if you’re lucky enough to have one of those neighbors who keeps bringing you baskets- full!  It’s also a great dish if you’re trying to sneak some veggies into the kids as I know you parents often need to do.

The original recipe can be found here, but I’ve also copied it below with a few very minor adjustments (including the addition of grilled shrimp).

1 lb pkg Orzo pasta – cooked according to directions
1 TBS olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large zucchini, shredded
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
24-36 medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)


Wrap shredded zucchini in multiple paper towels and squeeze tightly to remove excess moisture. Heat olive oil in a large pan and sauté onion in olive oil until soft.  Add minced garlic and shredded zucchini and continue to saute for another 5-7 minutes.

Optional: While the onion & zucchini are cooking, sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper and cook on a hot well-oiled grill pan (or skewer and cook on a grill directly) for 1-2 minutes on each side until pink, cooked through and a bit crispy with grill marks. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mix together cooked orzo, onion mixture, herbs and parmesan cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Top each serving with ~6 grilled shrimp, pour yourself a nice glass of white wine and enjoy!  This is also great served cold or room temperature…so perfect for casual summer parties.