Summertime Watermelon and Shrimp Orzo

Summertime Watermelon and Shrimp Orzo

I am so thrilled that I had the opportunity to work with the Georgia Watermelon Association and create a delicious recipe using one of their watermelons. Nothing says summertime quite like watermelon. Pair it with fresh herbs and local seafood and it’s a match made in heaven!


FIRST, let’s talk briefly about why Georgia Watermelon should be a part of your meal plan:

  1. They are delicious. Enough said. 
  2. They are a serious #ballinonabudget crowd pleaser! One goes a LONG way in feeding the multitudes at a summer cookout.
  3. Watermelon are 92% water (crazy!) so they are perfect for hydrating on these hot summer days. 



Since I have declared this “the summer of orzo,” I wanted to incorporate the watermelon into a pasta I already love, and add some fresh shrimp to make it the hit of your next potluck. 





you will need:

  • 2 limes (and a microplane or grater for zesting)
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) + 1/3 c EVOO
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/3 c chopped mint (fresh is best here!)
  • 1/3 c chopped basil (again, fresh)
  • 1.5 c diced feta
  • 4 c cubed watermelon (approx 1” cubes)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • reduced balsamic or balsamic glaze for drizzling (approx. 2 tbs)
  • S&P

to make:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit 
  2. Cut watermelon and lay the cubes on a double lined paper towel; cover with another paper towel (this is to drain excess water) *DON’T SKIP THIS STEP*
  3. Cook the orzo according to package directions, drain, then set aside to cool
  4. While the pasta cooks, toss the shrimp in: 2 tbs EVOO, juice from 1 lime, zest from the lime, 1/2 tsp & 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin
  5. Once well-coated, lay the shrimp out in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet. Roast for 8 mins or until light pink and opaque. Once cooked, set aside and allow too cool.
  6. Come back to the orzo and stir in the orzo dressing (1/3 c EVOO, juice from 1 lime, zest from the lime, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper)
  7. Once the orzo is cooled, mix in the feta, shrimp, fresh mint, basil, and watermelon.
  8. Give one final taste and add extra S&P if needed (watermelon does well with salt!)
  9. Store in the fridge.
  10. Before serving, top with fresh herbs to make it looks pretty and drizzle with balsamic glaze. 


Serves 6-8, but many more if part of a large potluck meal 🙂

Keeps in the fridge for 3 days.


Let me know if you try it, and enjoy all the sweet offerings of summer! Be sure you share your own Georgia Watermelon moments using the hashtag #georgiawatermelon and tag @GAwatermelons on instagram.