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Smoky grilled shrimp, orzo, and fresh arugula tossed with a garlicky lemon dressing makes a delicious light meal or appetizer.

Grilled Shrimp, Orzo, and Arugula Salad

Grilled shrimp, orzo, and arugula salad makes a delicious light meal or appetizer.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword grilled shrimp orzo salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1 cup orzo uncooked
  • 3/4 pound shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 5 ounces arugula
  • Fresh basil torn, to taste

Shrimp basting oil:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • If you're grilling the shrimp on wooden skewers, soak them for at least 10 minutes to prevent burning and splintering.
  • If shrimp are frozen, thaw them under cool running water. Peel if desired (it makes eating them a lot easier).
  • Cook orzo according to package directions. Set aside to cool. When it's cool to the touch, add about a teaspoon of olive oil to it and mix it (I just used my hands).
  • Prepare the shrimp basting oil by adding olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, and cumin to a small bowl, and stirring until combined. Set aside.
  • Pre-heat grill to high heat.
  • Once your skewers have soaked for 10 minutes, thread the shrimp on them (make a C-shape by poking the top and bottom of the shrimp through the skewer).
  • Make the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
  • Grill the shrimp skewers on high heat for approximately 90 seconds per side (this is for medium-size shrimp, adjust time accordingly for smaller/larger shrimp). When you first place the skewers on the grill, immediately baste the top of the shrimp skewers with the basting oil, then when you turn them over, baste them again. I recommend a silicone baster as it will withstand the high temperature.
  • Toss the orzo, basil, arugula, and dressing together. Add shrimp skewers on top or remove the shrimp from the skewers using a fork and toss with the salad. Serve immediately.


  • I used a BBQ to make this recipe. Keep in mind that these directions are only a guideline as every BBQ or grill is different.
  • Serves two as an entree or four as an appetizer/side.