Creamy Shrimp, Corn and Zucchini Orzo

A creamy parmesan orzo pasta with shrimp, corn, zucchini, bacon and basil.

Simple ingredients that come together with flavorful results. Salty, savory, succulent and so comforting.

Creamed corn was my inspiration. The old-fashioned favorite that you seem to either love or hate. I’m in the group that loves it. As long as it’s homemade.

Sometimes I do tricky things with vegetables so people won’t turn up their noses when I place dinner on the table. In this case I shredded the zucchini so it mimics the shape of orzo. The green pieces kind of look like herbs.

No one so much as muttered the word zucchini. I’m sure the crispy, crumbled bacon was a distraction.

Mission accomplished.

Creamy Shrimp, Corn and Zucchini Orzo

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Creamy Shrimp, Corn and Zucchini Orzo

A creamy parmesan orzo with shrimp, corn, zucchini, bacon and basil.


2 cups shredded zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 cup orzo pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 + 1/2 cups corn
3/4 cup heavy cream plus 1 tablespoon
1 rounded teaspoon flour
1 cup whole milk
1 pound medium-sized raw shrimp, cleaned and tails removed
1/3 cup shredded parmesan, plus more for serving
2 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh basil
6 slices bacon, cooked crispy


  1. An hour or two ahead of time drain excess water from the zucchini by adding it to a colander and tossing with 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt. Alternately you can put in the center of a clean kitchen towel and wring the excess water out.
  2. Heat oil over medium-low heat in a large frying pan and add shallots and zucchini. Cook, stirring often 5-6 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Meanwhile cook 1 cup orzo in plenty of salted boiling water according to package directions.
  4. Add butter and corn to frying pan and cook 6-7 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and be generous with the black pepper.
  5. Add heavy cream and milk. Whisk the flour with remaining tablespoon of heavy cream and stir in.
  6. Then add shrimp and cook, stirring often until shrimp start to curl up. Mix in parmesan and basil. Remove from heat. You can serve over top of the orzo or mix it right in.
  7. Garnish with crumbled bacon and serve with extra parmesan.

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