Old Bay Shrimp Orzo with Avocado

Ever since making my Lemon Shrimp Orzo Bowls, I have become unabashedly obsessed with the combination of orzo and shrimp. Over the course of the summer, I have taken on a new taste tester and table settler, my boyfriend, Adam. With his voracious appetite and ability to scarf down basically anything, I constantly find myself searching for healthy recipes that we can both enjoy.

Last weekend, I came up with the idea for this recipe after tasting Flying Dog Brewery's Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale. Instantly inspired, I decided then and there that I needed to develop a recipe using Old Bay. 

The result? Old Bay Shrimp Orzo Salad. Packed to the brim with juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs, ripened avocado and seasoned Old Bay Shrimp, this recipe has become a new favorite for Adam and I. What's great about this dish is that it makes a huge quantity and is perfect for "second dinner" as Adam refers to it. In addition, it works as a wonderful side dish and is easy to throw on a salad and pack for lunch! 

Old Bay Shrimp Orzo

Old Bay Shrimp Orzo Salad 

Serves 6
Total Time: 20 Minutes

      1 1/2 cups of orzo, dry
      1 pound of precooked shrimp, defrosted (wild-caught is best) 
      3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
      3 Teaspoons of Old Bay, divided
      1 Cup of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
      1 Cup of golden tomatoes, sliced in half
      5 Scallions, chopped (white and green parts) 
      1 Cup Parsley, chopped
      Juice of 3 lemons
      1/2 Teaspoon salt
      Pepper to taste
      1/4 Cup reduced-fat feta cheese
      Top with fresh avocado 

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

2.) Cook the orzo in a large pot, following the cooking instructions on box.

3.) Place the defrosted shrimp onto a sheet pan. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of Old Bay. Using your hands, mix the shrimp on the pan until they are fully seasoned. Bake for 5-6 minutes. Do not overcook. 

4.) As the shrimp and orzo cook, chop the tomatoes, scallions and parsley. Remove the shrimp from the oven and drain the orzo using a colander. 

5.) Place the drained orzo back into the pot and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of Old Bay, salt and pepper. Mix well and add the tomatoes, scallions and parsley. Finally, add the feta cheese and mix until blended. 

6.) Set the dish aside for a few minutes to blend before serving and top with generous amounts of ripened avocado. 

Nutritional Information: (1 serving without avocado) 
352 calories, 9g fat, 44g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g sugar, 24g protein