Chicken & Shrimp Orzo Paella

Colorful bell pepper, tomatoes and parsley embellish this hearty paella that uses orzo pasta in place of rice.

Brandon Barré
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
10 min
35 min


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-grain orzo
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Pinch saffron
  • 2 tsp lemon zest and 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for garnish
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


  1. In a large deep skillet on medium high, heat oil. Season chicken with paprika, oregano, salt and black pepper. Cook chicken, turning frequently, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. To skillet, add onion, garlic and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and onions are translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and orzo, stirring to combine. Add broth and saffron and stir to loosen orzo from bottom of pan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low.
  2. Return chicken to pan along with any accumulated juices. Add lemon zest and juice and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink inside and orzo is tender, about 7 to 9 minutes.
  3. Stir in shrimp and cook just until they turn pink and are opaque throughout, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Divide among serving plates and garnish with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 2 cups paella
  • Calories 303
  • Carbohydrate Content 37 g
  • Cholesterol Content 89 mg
  • Fat Content 7 g
  • Fiber Content 5 g
  • Protein Content 25.5 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 1.5 g
  • Sodium Content 263 mg
  • Sugar Content 4 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 0 g