Garlic Butter Prawn Orzo
This orzo is loaded with juicy prawns and wrapped in a silky garlic butter sauce. It’s also all made in one pot!
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so simple to make. It doesn’t require a long list of ingredients and the method couldn’t be more straightforward! Follow me…
I like using king prawns for this recipe, just so they stand out in the dish. In terms of preparing them, here’s two important steps:
- Dry – I always pat my prawns dry before I fry them. This will remove excess moisture and allow them to fry more efficiently without steaming. This in turn will allow them to develop more flavour in the pan.
- Season – Give them a good seasoning of salt and pepper, but don’t leave them sat around otherwise the salt will begin to ‘cook’ the prawns and turn them rubbery.
How do I know when the prawns are cooked?
They’ll turn from translucent to opaque and start curling up. Generally speaking you to avoid them curling up into a tight ‘O’ shape, as this usually means they’re overcooked. They won’t take long at all, especially since they’re being added back into the sauce at the end to warm through. I find just a minute on each side to develop flavour does the trick.
Process shots: dry prawns (photo 1), coat in oil and seasoning (photo 2), add to pan (photo 3), fry then remove (photo 4).
One Pot Garlic Butter Orzo
After you’ve fried the prawns there will likely be some flavour stuck to the pan. You can use your wooden spoon to gently scrape this off when you melt in the butter. Don’t waste that bonus flavour!
Why cook the orzo in the same pot?
I like to cook the orzo in the sauce for a few different reasons:
- Starch – The orzo will release its starch, which helps turn the sauce a little creamy.
- Flavour – The orzo will soak in all the gorgeous garlic/buttery flavours as it cooks.
- Ease – Less washing up!
You want the orzo to still be a touch hard and for there still to be a slight excess of sauce before finishing with the parsley, parmesan and extra butter. By the time everything has been stirred through at the end you should reach the perfect consistency of sauce and texture of orzo. The consistency is very easy to adjust by slowly stirring in more stock.
Process shots: fry garlic in butter (photo 1), add orzo (photo 2), stir (photo 3), add stock (photo 4), stir/simmer (photo 5), stir in parsley, parmesan, prawns and butter (photo 6).
Garlic Butter Prawn Orzo FAQ
Can I use frozen prawns?
You sure can, you’ll just need to thaw them in the fridge beforehand.
How garlicky is this recipe?
I use 4 cloves of garlic and it’s a good level of garlicky. I wouldn’t use any less, but if you absolutely love garlic you could increase the amount up to 6 cloves.
Why do you use unsalted butter?
Using unsalted butter just gives you a little more control over the saltiness of the dish. Because there’s such a large amount of stock, and a fair amount butter too, using unsalted butter just prevents the dish turning out too salty no matter what your preference is.
Serving Garlic Butter Prawn Orzo
To serve, I like to finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. This is important to brighten up the dish and cut through the richness of the stock/butter. Plus prawns, garlic, parsley and butter all LOVE lemon! Alongside the lemon I usually finish with a pinch more parsley and parmesan too.
For another delicious prawn pasta recipe check out my Creamy Prawn Linguine!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this garlic butter prawn orzo shall we?!
How to make Garlic Butter Prawn Orzo (Full Recipe & Video)
Garlic Butter Prawn Orzo
- Large Deep Pan & Tongs
- Wooden Spoon
- Small Bowl & Kitchen Roll (for prawns)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Fine Cheese Grater
- 500g / 1lb Raw Peeled King Prawns/Shrimp (see notes)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 4 tbsp / 60g Unsalted Butter
- 4 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
- 400g / 2 cups Uncooked Orzo
- 1 – 1.125 litres / 4 – 4.5 cups Chicken Stock, plus more as needed
- 3 tbsp finely diced Fresh Parsley, plus more to serve if desired
- 20g / 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more to serve if desired
- 1 Lemon, quartered to serve
- Pat the prawns dry to remove excess moisture (this will help them caramelise in the pan more efficiently). Combine in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Place a large deep pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot add in half of the prawns. Quickly spread them out and leave them to fry for 1 minute. Use tongs to flip them over then leave for a further minute. Remove them from the pan and repeat with the second batch. Ensure they don’t completely curl to an ‘O’ shape as this means they’re overcooked. They’ll carry on cooking as they rest and when added back to the orzo. Just focus on getting a bit of colour on both sides.
- Lower the heat to medium and melt in 3 tbsp of butter (save the final tbsp for later). Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds or so, just before it starts to brown. Stir in the orzo, then pour in 1 litre/4 cups of the stock. Give it a good stir then bring it to a simmer. Turn the heat down slightly and simmer until the orzo is al dente and the sauce has thickened to a risotto-style consistency, stirring occasionally. If the sauce dries out before the orzo has cooked, just stir in more stock a splash at a time. If you run out of stock just use boiling water.
- Stir in the parsley, parmesan and cooked prawns (alongside any resting juices). Stir in the final tbsp of butter until it blends through the orzo, then check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
- Serve individual portions with more parsley & parmesan if desired, alongside a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.
b) Orzo Consistency – You want the orzo to still be a touch hard and there still to be a slight excess of sauce before adding in the prawns/parmesan/butter etc. By the time everything has been stirred through you should reach the perfect consistency of sauce and texture of orzo. The consistency is very easy to adjust by slowly stirring in more stock.
c) Garlic – I typically go for 4 quite large cloves and find the final result garlicky enough. I have gone up to 6 cloves before, so feel free to add a couple more if you love garlic!
d) Lemon – This is essential to finish the dish. It brightens up the flavours and cuts through the richness of the butter/stock. Plus prawns love lemon! As does garlic, parsley and butter.
e) Calories – Whole recipe divided by 4 without extra parmesan.
For another delicious prawn recipe check out my Spicy Prawn Noodles!
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