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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Saffron Orzo With Grilled Chicken And Shrimp

When you can't decide what to grill, why not grill everything? This recipe has a beautiful presentation and a definite "wow" factor when serving to guests.

Flavorful saffron-scented orzo gets topped with a variety of grilled chicken, shrimp, and summer vegetables. The best part is you can really choose all of your favorite things and make it your own. The secret to this recipe is the marinade - it gives every little bit of this dish tons of flavor.

Saffron Orzo With Grilled Meat And Veggies


Main Course

Prep Time

30 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Saffron Orzo With Grilled Meat And Veggies


    For The Marinade:

  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 5 lemons)
  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked salt (or kosher salt)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • For The Grill:

  • 3 skinless (boneless chicken breasts)
  • 4 boneless (skinless chicken thighs)
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp (shelled and deveined)
  • 2 ears corn (husked and cut into thirds)
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms (wiped clean)
  • 1 red bell pepper (halved and cored)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (halved and cored)
  • 1 orange bell pepper (halved and cored)
  • Saffron Orzo (recipe follows)
  • For The Saffron Orzo:

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 pound dried orzo
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the marinade ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, combine half the marinade with the chicken breasts, chicken thighs, and shrimp. Toss to combine. Cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour. If marinating for longer than 1 hour, make sure to refrigerate.
  3. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush the corn with reserved unused marinade and wrap in foil. Toss the mushrooms with 1/4 cup of the reserved unused marinade. Grill the chicken breasts and thighs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 7 minutes a side. Grill the corn inside the foil, for about 5 minutes a side. Grill the peppers for about 5 minutes a side. Grill the shrimp and the mushrooms, about 2 minutes a side. Brush the grilled peppers with the last of the reserved unused marinade. Slice the peppers and mushrooms before serving, if desired.
  4. Arrange grilled meats and vegetables over the saffron orzo on a large platter and serve immediately.
  5. Saffron Orzo: In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, bringing the stock to a simmer. Add the saffron, stir, and allow the saffron to bloom, about 5 minutes. Return the heat to medium and the stock to a boil, then add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain orzo and transfer to a large bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and parsley. Toss to combine.



per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
47 grams
41 grams
55 grams
Saturated Fat
8 grams
Trans Fat
1 grams
150 milligrams
692 milligrams
3 grams
6 grams

1 comment

  • Author's avatar image
    Cindy Dacey

    Loved reading this recipe, but didn’t realize it contains soooo many calories

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