Lemon Dill Shrimp and Orzo Salad – This fresh, easy shrimp orzo salad is perfect for warm weather. The lemon-dill dressing is divine! (Gluten free, dairy free)
Who are your favorite celebrity chefs?
I’m a huge fan of Tyler Florence (eating at his Wayfare Tavern was one of my favorite restaurant experiences ever), and Ina Garten. I love following along with Ina and her husband Jeffrey. She posts old pictures of them on her Instagram sometimes and I just think she’s as darling as all get out. Hers was one of the first cooking shows I LOVED watching, and I’ve read each of her cookbooks cover to cover. Love her.
Alllll the way back in 2010(!!!) I posted this salad, which was a riff on one of hers from her Barefoot Contessa cookbook. It looked so fresh and fabulous. My only hangup? 1 CUP of fresh dill AND 1 CUP of parsley in the salad. That’s a lot of herbs, my friend. It looked and sounded like too much for my family. So, I played with the recipe.
Instead of a whole cup of dill and parsley, I used a few judicious tablespoons of fresh dill, skipped the parsley, and I’ve got to tell you, there was plenty of flavor going on. I adjusted a few other things, leaving some things out and adding some things in. I think I ended up with exactly what I was hoping for in this recipe. Here’s what I put in mine…
What’s In Lemon Dill Shrimp Orzo Salad:
SHRIMP. I based this recipe off of one from Ina Garten years ago, and I love her tip for roasting shrimp. It only takes 5-6 minutes, and they’re SO tender and delicious. It *does* mean turning on the oven, so if you want to skip that in the summer, It’s also delicious with grilled shrimp and pan-fried shrimp. Do what sounds best to you!
ORZO. You can make this recipe gluten free, or not based on your dietary needs. I make my lemon dill shrimp orzo salad gluten free with this corn & rice based orzo (Amazon, Sprouts, Walmart, Vitacost). It works great! I’ve served it at potlucks and parties and no one has noticed a difference.
GRAPE OR CHERRY TOMATOES. I love using multicolor grape or cherry tomatoes for my shrimp orzo salad. The colors are so vibrant and fresh! I can find them for a similar price to regular baby tomatoes at Target, Sprouts, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, etc. That said, red work GREAT and look great, too, if they better fit your budget.
CUCUMBER. Fresh and delicious, some diced cucumber adds a flash of green and a nice crunch to the salad. Love them here! My favorite are English or Persian cucumbers, which have thinner skin. If you buy regular ones, you may want to peel them first if the skin is tough.
RED OR GREEN ONION. A small amount of finely minced red onion is so pretty here. If that’s too strong for you, or you don’t care for red onions, you can swap in some thinly sliced green onion here. (I like it both ways, but my kids don’t love red onions.)
LEMON DILL DRESSING. Made from fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and fresh dill, this dressing MAKES this shrimp orzo salad.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS. The base recipe (using the ingredients above) is my go-to, but you can also add all kinds of extras to this salad: roasted or fresh bell peppers, thinly sliced spinach (stirred into the warm pasta to wilt), grilled or cooked corn (great in the summer!), feta, or anything else that sounds good!
Tips & Tricks for This Lemon Dill Shrimp Orzo Salad:
FLAVOR BOOST – Want to kick this salad up a notch? Try using a bit of flavored olive oil in place of the regular olive oil. This Meyer Lemon olive oil is one of my favorites! I use it on my shrimp, then use regular olive oil for the salad.
HOW LONG WILL THIS KEEP? Shrimp needs to be eaten more quickly than, say, chicken, so I suggest you eat your shrimp orzo salad within 2-3 days.
CAN I MAKE LEMON DILL SHRIMP ORZO SALAD IN ADVANCE? Yep! Do know that the orzo will continue to absorb dressing as time goes on, so you may need to refresh it with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil before serving if you make it in advance.
USE YOUR LEFTOVER DILL. If you don’t want to waste leftover dill, you can try these olive oil & herb bombs (I use dill ones for breakfast potatoes!). Or, you can toss it into ranch dressing, or creamy avocado ranch (my fave!).
NOT A DILL FAN? You can try fresh basil for a Mediterranean vibe or use 1/2 tsp oregano instead for a Greek twist.
More Fresh Salads to Love:
- Cilantro Shrimp & Avocado Salad (Gluten free, paleo friendly)
- Taco Pasta Salad (Gluten Free & vegan)
- Thai Chopped Salad with Peanut or Cashew Drizzle (Gluten free, paleo friendly)
- Rainbow Fruit Salad with Citrus Mint Dressing (Gluten free & vegan)
- My Big Fat Greek Quinoa Salad (Gluten free, vegan)
This fresh, easy shrimp orzo salad is perfect for warm weather. The lemon-dill dressing is divine! (Gluten free, dairy free)
- 12oz (about 2 cups) uncooked orzo (I use gluten free)
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and tails removed
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp pepper, divided
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups diced English cucumber
- 1/4 cup finely minced red onion (or 1–2 green onions, sliced)
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, minced
- 1/2 c fresh lemon juice (3–4 lemons’ worth)
- 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt to the water and add in the orzo. Cook according to package directions, about 10-12 minutes, or until tender but still somewhat holding its shape (not mushy). Drain.
- Meanwhile, toss shrimp with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Roast shrimp at 450 degrees for 4-6 minutes or until pink and opaque.
- Add cooked, drained orzo to a large bowl. Add tomatoes, cucumber, onion, dill, and cooked shrimp to the bowl.
- Add lemon juice, remaining 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and garlic (if using) to the bowl. Stir to combine.
- Taste and add additional salt, pepper, lemon juice, or dill, as desired.
- Serve room temperature or chill and serve cold. (Note: orzo will continue to absorb the dressing, so you may want to “refresh” it with a little more lemon juice and/or olive oil before serving if chilled).
Nutrition facts calculated using 6 (2 cup) main dish servings. If desired, this can easily stretch to 8 (1.5 cup) servings.
- Category: Main dish, Salad
- Method: Stovetop, Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: shrimp orzo salad, lemon shrimp orzo salad, lemon dill shrimp orzo salad, pasta salad, gluten free pasta salad, gluten free orzo, gluten free shrimp orzo salad, orzo, shrimp, dairy free, gluten free
Originally posted July, 2010. Recipe, photos, post, and video updated April 2019.