This Cajun grilled shrimp and orzo salad recipe is bursting with summer flavors and makes a light but satisfying meal!
This post is sponsored by Tony Chachere’s – thank you for supporting the brands that keep Salt & Lavender cooking! I only work with brands whose products I love. All opinions are my own.
Nothing says summer like this shrimp and orzo salad! Grilling both the shrimp and corn adds an irresistible smokiness. The sweetness of the corn and Tony's French dressing really brings out those smoky flavors. The tangy shrimp marinade, lemon zest, scallions, and spinach add freshness to this salad. The touch of Creole spice rounds it all out.
Tony Chachere's is a family-owned company based in Louisiana that specializes in Creole products including everything from their Creole seasonings to marinades, dinner mixes, sandwich sauces, roux and gravy mixes, a Bloody Mary mix, and now their salad dressings.
I was first introduced to Tony's in 2018, and I have enjoyed incorporating their products into my cooking ever since. Their Original Creole Seasoning always has a spot on my counter. I thought about adding it to this recipe, but the seafood marinade and French dressing provide more than enough flavor for one dish! 😉
Tony's products used in this recipe:
- Tony Chachere's Creole-Style Seafood Marinade is a blend of lemon, pepper, garlic, and Creole seasoning.
- Tony Chachere's Creole-Style French Salad Dressing is sweet and peppery.
Tony's Creole-style dressings are available at Publix, Albertsons, Winn-Dixie, Rouses, H-E-B, Tom Thumb, Brookshire’s Grocer, SuperValu, and many more stores as well as online at tonychachere.com.
Recipe notes & tips:
- Don't have orzo? No problem! Swap with whatever pasta you have in your pantry.
- I used 31/40 size shrimp - you can definitely use large ones if you like (you will need to adjust cooking time a bit).
- You can swap the spinach with arugula if you want a more peppery taste.
- I don't recommend marinating the shrimp for much longer than 15-30 minutes because the acid can break down the shrimp and make them mushy.
- I used my Microplane zester/grater to quickly zest the lemon.
Other Cajun-inspired recipes to try:
- Cajun Panzanella Salad
- Cajun Pasta Salad
- Cajun Remoulade Sauce Recipe
- Creamy Cajun Chicken
- Cajun Chicken and Gnocchi Bake
Will you make this tasty grilled shrimp and orzo salad? Questions? Let me know in the comments below!
Cajun Grilled Shrimp and Orzo Salad
- 3/4 cup uncooked orzo (or another pasta you have on hand)
- 1 pound raw shrimp (thawed & peeled, leave tails on) I used 31/40 size
- 1/2 cup Tony Chachere's Creole-Style Seafood Marinade
- 3 cobs corn husked
- 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach chopped roughly
- 3 tablespoons scallions chopped
- Zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup Tony Chachere's Creole-Style French Salad Dressing or more, to taste
- Prep the shrimp. If they're frozen, run them under cool water until thawed. Peel them if they're not already peeled, but leave the tails on. Pat them dry and add them to a bowl along with the seafood marinade. Let them marinate for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the orzo al dente according to package directions. Once it's done, rinse it with cool water (let it drain thoroughly). Add it to a large salad bowl once cool.
- Preheat your BBQ/grill/grill pan to high heat. I used a gas BBQ with the lid closed, but timing will depend on your specific grill.
- For the corn: remove the husks and silks and coat the corn with olive or vegetable oil. Cook for 10-12 minutes, rotating every few minutes until it's cooked though and you see char marks.
- For the shrimp: thread shrimp onto skewers (if using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them first), then grill them over medium-high heat (turn the heat down after doing the corn) for 2-3 minutes/side. I like mine a little extra charred, so I grilled them for 3 minutes/side, but be sure not to overcook them or they will turn rubbery.
- Prep the remaining ingredients (chop the spinach and scallions and zest the lemon) and add them to the salad bowl while the corn and shrimp cool for a few minutes.
- Cut the corn off the cobs and add it to the salad bowl. Toss with the dressing. You can either remove the shrimp from the skewers and serve them on top of the salad or place a skewer on top of each bowl/plate once served.
- Serves 4-6 depending on whether it's served with anything else or as a side.
- You can definitely use larger shrimp than I did if you choose.
- Tony's seafood seasoning and French dressing are perfectly seasoned, so I did not find it necessary to add any extra salt & pepper to this recipe.
Any substitute for the Tony Chachere's Creole-Style Seafood Marinade?
Hi! Italian salad dressing actually tastes quite similar in my opinion (but Tony's marinade is also a bit more spicy). Unfortunately since it's a specialized product, I can't really recommend anything that's exactly the same. You could even just marinate it in a bit of lemon juice and olive oil, and the recipe will still be delicious.
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
You know my love for Tony's products Natasha! And this salad looks fantastic! Can't wait to give it a try!
Thanks so much, Mary Ann! 🙂 XO