Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes with Parmesan Orzo Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes with Parmesan Orzo

16 reviews / 4.9 average

Shrimp laced with buttery garlic and thyme and a burst tomato sauce served on a creamy Parmesan orzo.

Juicy, succulent shrimp laced with garlic, butter, and thyme, tucked into a silky burst tomato sauce, and piled high on creamy, luscious Parmesan orzo. WHAT A DREAMBOAT DINNER. I love this recipe!

In This Post: Everything You Need For Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes

How To Make This Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes (with Pictures)

Step 1: Blister and Smash the Tomatoes

Get the tomatoes hot and blistery; then give ’em a gentle smash with the back of a spoon or a small plate. It’s… very fun.

Tomatoes in a pan being smashed with a wooden spoon

Step 2: Cook the Shrimp

Make a little clearing right in the center of the tomatoes where you can add your shrimp to cook for a couple of minutes. Salt it up!

Raw shrimp being added to a pan with tomatoes

Step 3: Get the Garlic and Butter Going In There

Throw in a bunch of freshly sliced garlic and a knob of butter. Stir it up a few times until it’s dreamy.

Butter and garlic being added to a pan with shrimp and tomatoes

Step 4: Make a Creamy Orzo

Put a lid on the shrimp and make a quick creamy orzo – butter, Parmesan, cream, lemon, and salt.

Creamy orzo in a pan with a wooden spoon

Step 5: Put It All Together

Piping hot orzo goes on the plate first, and then we pull our shrimp and tomatoes back out to pile on top.

Ozro, shrimp, and tomatoes in blue bowl

Lindsay’s Notes

This recipe is in heavy rotation at the moment – and it never fails to make me feel like I’m eating at a fancy restaurant and/or generally have my life together. Is my laundry all over my table? Yes. Have I been using dry shampoo for the last 4 days? Yes. But am I also eating a kind of fancy and beautiful dinner? YES! Three cheers for doable “fancy” recipes. 10/10 recommend.

Creamy orzo with the twang of Parmesan, sweet burst tomatoes gently bubbled into a sauce, and a pile of jumbo, delicate, buttery, garlic-laced shrimp. Pass me a glass of wine and I am living my best life.

As far as family approval goes, Bjork and I love the whole big, beautiful thing – no thyme for him (a true crime and I don’t want to spend any more time talking about it), and lots of thyme, salt, and pepp for me. The girls are hit and miss with the shrimp and tomatoes, but you better believe they love the creamy Parmesan orzo which is, of course, just mac and cheese in disguise. They’ll usually eat a few of the fresh little tomatoes on the side, too. Winning for everybody!

Orzo, shrimp, and tomatoes in a bowl.

Watch How To Make This Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes

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A picture of Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes with Parmesan Orzo

Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes with Parmesan Orzo

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 23 servings 1x


Shrimp laced with buttery garlic and thyme and a burst tomato sauce served on a creamy Parmesan orzo.


Units Scale

Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes:

  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. shrimp – I use jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails off
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Creamy Orzo:

  • 8 ounces uncooked orzo
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • lemon juice (optional)


  1. Cook the Orzo: Cook according to package directions. Drain, toss with a bit of oil, and set aside.
  2. Soften the Tomatoes: Add the tomatoes and olive oil to a pan over medium high heat so they can soften and get a bit blistered on the outside. I usually cover the pan to avoid extra splatters.
  3. Smash the Tomatoes: Once they’re soft (5 minutes or so), give them a gentle smash with the back of a spoon or applying even pressure with a plate or similar flat object. You want the tomatoes to be partially burst / smashed so they release some juices.
  4. Cook the Shrimp: Make a little clearing in the center of the tomatoes and add your shrimp right in; season them with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Give it Some Flava-Flave: Add the garlic, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pan and stir to mix it all together. Let it get saucy and bubbly; then remove from heat and cover with a lid.
  6. Make the orzo: Mix the orzo with butter, half and half, Parmesan, and lemon. Stir to combine; warm it up over the heat if necessary.
  7. Pile it up: Serve immediately so the orzo doesn’t get too starchy and sticky! Pile it on a plate with a big scoop of steamy shrimp and tomatoes. Top with thyme. So good!


This amount usually makes enough for just Bjork and I to finish the shrimp, with plenty of orzo for us and the girls. If you wanted to serve 4 adults, I would use 2 pounds of shrimp!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: shrimp and orzo, orzo recipe, shrimp and tomatoes

Frequently Asked Questions For Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes

What can I use instead of shrimp?

Chicken would be delicious! I would probably pan-fry the chicken first, then take it out and set aside while you build your tomato sauce, then add the chicken back in at the end.

How long do the leftovers last?

You can definitely eat this meal as leftovers for 1, maybe 2 days after you make it, but it’s one of those meals that really shines when it’s made fresh.

Can you make this vegetarian / meatless?

Use zucchini in place of the shrimp! Or, similarly, this recipe is great.

How do you make this gluten-free and/or dairy-free?

Use gluten free orzo, dairy-free butter (or olive oil), and something else creamy in place of the half and half and Parmesan – a knob of dairy-free cream cheese would be good!

Another option would be to skip the creamy orzo and serve this with quinoa or another gluten-free, dairy-free option.

My Favorite Shrimp Recipes

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Loved it! The sauce was delicious. I served it over some jasmine rice. The fresh thyme was a nice addition at the end.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      This was absolutely delicious. So simple and quick. I only added oregano when cooking the shrimp. Will definitely be making this again!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This made me so happy! I followed the recipe exactly, and it was easy to make and the payoff was huge. It’s fancy, yet it’s comfort food. So good!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Shrimp is one of the most healthiest sources of protein. I love eating Shrimp because it’s healthy, aids in weight loss, light on the metabolism, and not loaded with much sodium and carbs.

    The cheesy looking rice also makes a great addition to the Garlic Shrimp if you personally asked me. With a great looking dish like this, this entree could pass off as a nice meal served by a fancy restaurant. 🙂

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh, how I adore the combination of succulent shrimp, vibrant tomatoes, and the cheesy goodness of Parmesan orzo! This recipe from Pinch of Yum is a true winner in my book. The flavors are simply irresistible, and I couldn’t resist sharing my thoughts.

    Firstly, let’s talk about the star of the dish: the garlic shrimp. The recipe perfectly balances the flavors, allowing the garlic to infuse the shrimp while maintaining their natural sweetness. Sautéing them to perfection creates a delightful texture that pairs beautifully with the juicy burst of flavor from the cherry tomatoes.

    Speaking of tomatoes, I appreciate how they add a refreshing touch to the dish. Their bright color and tangy taste complement the richness of the shrimp and the creamy Parmesan orzo. They provide a burst of freshness that elevates the entire dish, making it a perfect summer delight.

    Now, let’s not forget about the Parmesan orzo. The creamy, cheesy goodness takes this recipe to a whole new level. The orzo absorbs the flavors from the garlic shrimp and tomatoes, creating a harmonious blend of tastes. The Parmesan adds a savory note that ties everything together, making it incredibly satisfying and comforting.

    I also appreciate how this recipe strikes a balance between being flavorful and relatively quick and easy to prepare. It’s perfect for those busy weeknights when you want something delicious but don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen. The step-by-step instructions provided by Pinch of Yum are clear and concise, ensuring that even novice cooks can achieve excellent results.

    Overall, I highly recommend trying this Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes on Parmesan Orzo recipe. It’s a delightful combination of flavors, textures, and simplicity. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or treating yourself to a special meal, this dish will surely impress. Kudos to Pinch of Yum for yet another fantastic recipe.

    Keep up the good work in your food blogging, Lindsay! 🙂

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This recipe was delicious! Somehow though, my orzo seemed to become soupy with the addition of the half and half.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This was delicious exactly as is! Quick, easy, and oh so good! Beautiful flavors!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This is delicious. I made it with zucchini as you suggested instead of shrimp as I had some I needed to use. Love it! Thank you

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    C’était délicieux! The shrimp were so good, and my kids like them too. I somehow didn’t get the orzo right, but maybe next time will be better. Maybe I missed something… but cooking while taking care of a 3 year-old, a 23-months old and a baby, it’s something! Anyway, we’ll definitely do it again! Merci – Karine (from Québec)

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh. My. Gosh!

    So delicious, so simple, and really makes you feel like you are winning at life when you whip this up in the time it takes to rewatch an episode of Schitt’s Creek 👌🏻

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Just made this dish and it was SOOOO good! We added a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes for some spice, but other than that, you don’t need to stray from the recipe much. Our orzo was a little soupy too (after reading another review), but after a little more Parmesan and more time on the stove, it ended up being the perfect consistency. A really good combination and another recipe to save for later!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This is a 5 star recipe! It’s absolutely delicious. We are simply loving it.
    Thank you for sharing this keeper of recipe. All of your recipes are so yum!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This was delightful! So quick and easy to pull together. I was immensely surprised at how great of an impact the addition of thyme brought in the end. A fancy dish for sure that I’ll make over and over again! Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this with a can of diced tomatoes rather than fresh (because that’s what I had) but otherwise exactly as written. So yummy! I could eat a bowl of just the pasta but the tartness of the tomatoes against that creaminess was really nice.

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes with Parmesan Orzo recipe is a culinary delight! The combination of flavors must be sensational. Excited to try it out – thanks for sharing this mouthwatering recipe!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I tried out this recipe tonight, and it turned out fantastic! I appreciate the sweetness from the tomatoes. So creamy and cheesy. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This was a 10/10 meal for me. Came together in no time and the flavors had me feeling like a queen! I added a blob of Italian Bomba from Trader Joe’s for some heat, and some frozen corn for extra veg. This is one of my new favorite SOS meals. Can’t wait to make it again!

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    A++ recipe. I didn’t even have half and half or parmesan and it still turned out delicious even without those ingredients.