You'll love this simple and healthy shrimp and rice recipe, prepared Mediterranean-style with peas, chopped veggies, and a few spices.

Add your favorite salad and call it dinner!

Mediterranean-style shrimp fried rice

I can't count the number of times a bag of frozen shrimp came to my rescue for dinner! From shrimp soup, to grilled skewers, a bright shrimp pasta, and even a twist on paella--so many options.

This one pan shrimp and rice recipe is another way to use shrimp in a satisfying dinner that's perfect any night of the week.

I think of it as a healthier, Mediterranean take on "shrimp fried rice," using chopped veggies, garlic, and fresh parsley.

It takes just over 30 minutes start-to-finish. And in the few minutes the pan of shrimp rice is cooking, make your favorite salad to complete the dinner.

ingredients. rice, shrimp, red onions, spices, red bell peppers, peas and parsley

Ingredients & Prep

  • Rice- I used 2 cups of Basmati rice. Basmati rice is long-grained and very aromatic with a light nutty flavor. You can use a different long grain rice or brown rice (tips & notes below)
  • Extra virgin olive oil- About 3 tablespoon to saute the veggies and coat the rice. (I used Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil)
  • Chopped vegetables & herbs- 1 cup each chopped red onion and chopped red bell pepper. 2 minced garlic cloves. And a packed ½ cup chopped fresh parsley (chop the stems too, they add a ton of flavor). Together, chopped vegetables and spices (listed below) are sauteed in extra virgin olive oil to begin the flavoring process for this shrimp and rice dish.
  • Frozen peas- 1 cup frozen peas. Simply give the frozen peas a quick rinse so they separate. Don't worry about thawing them all the way through, they have enough time to cook.
  • Spices- A combination of warm and fragrant Eastern Mediterranean spices including 1 teaspoon ground coriander, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon sweet paprika, and a hint of ground turmeric. And I use about 1 teaspoon of Aleppo-style pepper which is not spicy but does offer a bit of a kick with sweet undertones. (Find all the spices I use at our online shop here). If you must substitute the Aleppo pepper, you can try another mild chile powder + a very small amount of cayenne or red pepper flakes.
  • Shrimp- about 1 pound of large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined. If you are using frozen shrimp, be sure to thaw it properly before using in this recipe. For quick thawing, take the shrimp out of its package, put it in a bowl of cold water and place it in your sink. Allow a very small drizzle of cold water from your faucet to run into the bow (it should take no longer than 15 minutes to thaw).
  • Water- 2 ½ cups water

In this lighter Mediterranean version of "shrimp fried rice" it is important to cook the rice properly and to infuse it with good flavor from the start.

The perfect cooked rice is soft and fluffy and the grains should not be chewy nor too sticky, they should be separated.

shrimp and rice in a blue pan. Garnished with parsley

Important tips for this shrimp and rice recipe

  1. Rinse and soak the rice. The first thing I do with any rice recipe is to rinse the rice well. This helps get rid of excess starch which is what tends to make rice too sticky. Soaking the rice for a few minutes (until it's easy enough to break one grain of rice between your thumb and index fingers) helps it cook quickly and evenly. That's because when you soak the rice, you're kick-starting the water absorption process before the rice hits the pan. White Basmati rice does not need to soak for too long, 20 minutes should do the trick. Bonus, when you shorten the rice cooking time, you're also preserving its aromatic flavor.
  2. Flavor the rice from the very start. To build flavor right from the start, saute chopped vegetables (onions, bell peppers, garlic) along with chopped parsley (yes include stems for more flavor) and spices. This is really where all the flavor for this shrimp and rice recipe is. Allow the vegetables to cook in extra virgin olive oil until softened a bit, then add the spices and cook some more so the spices will release their flavor. And remember, when you add the rice, salt it well with kosher salt before adding the water.
  3. Cover the rice well while cooking. Use a pan with a lid that fits tightly on top (or a large piece of aluminum foil crimped tightly over the the top of the pot). Having a well-sealed top to your pot will trap the steam and allow the rice to cook perfectly, yielding fluffy, separated grains.
  4. Add the shrimp at the very end. Even large shrimp cooks very quickly. That's why in this shrimp rice dish, it's best to add the shrimp once the rice is pretty much cooked. Uncover the pan and add the shrimp, nestling it slightly into the rice. Cover again and let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Shrimp is ready when it turns from grey to opaque pink. For more helpful tips about working with shrimp be sure to check out our Guide to Buying and Cooking Shrimp.

How to make this healthy shrimp and rice

Time needed: 38 minutes

How to make shrimp and rice step-by-step (print-friendly recipe below)

  1. Rinse and soak the rice

    Put 2 cups Basmati rice (or white long grain rice) in a large bowl and rinse with cold water (use your hand to swish the rice around).

    Repeat a few times and drain the rinsing water, then top the rice with cold water again, this time leave it to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. (You should be able to break a grain of rice easily once done soaking, if that's not the case leave it for a bit longer). Drain well.
    Tip: Use the time while the rice is soaking to prep the veggies

  2. Cook vegetables and spices

    In a large, deep pan with a lid (I used this 5-quart pan--affiliate link), heat 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup each chopped red onion and red bell pepper. Add minced garlic, 1 cup peas, and a good amount of chopped fresh parsley (about ½ cup packed).

    Add a good pinch of kosher salt and cook for about 3 minutes to give the veggies a chance to soften a bit, then add the spices (1 teaspoon coriander ¾ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes (or a mild red pepper), ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric). Toss around and cook a couple more minutes so the spices release their flavor.vegetables sauteed in the pan

  3. Add the rice, water and cook

    Add the drained rice. Toss to combine and season with a big pinch of kosher salt.

    Add the water and bring to a boil until the liquid is reduced by about ½. Watch the liquid amount, it should not dry out but it should be just covering the top of the rice. At this point, turn the heat to low, cover the pan well with the lid and leave it alone for 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

    rice and water added to the pan. water is reduced after boiling

  4. Add the shrimp

    When the rice has fully absorbed the water, taste to be sure it's fully cooked (it should not be hard nor chewy). Add the shrimp, nestling it into the rice. Shrimp is added to the rice

  5. Cook shrimp

    Cover again and cook another 3 to 5 minutes or until the shrimp cooks.Shrimp is ready when it turns pink (watch the thickest part of the shrimp, it should no longer be gray).
    shrimp is cooked and turned pink

  6. Garnish and serve

    Sprinkle a bit of fresh parsley and serve! Garnish of parsley is added to this healthy shrimp and rice recipe before serving

Can I use long grain white rice or brown rice in this recipe?

If you don't have basmati rice, you can easily substituent for white long grain rice. You many need to soak the rice for a little bit longer, but once you're able to break a grain of rice very easily, it's ready to cook. Follow the recipe from there.

Brown rice substitution is not as straightforward, but it is still possible.

To use brown rice, soak the rice in plenty of water for at least 90 minutes (test to be sure you can break a grain of rice easily). It's possible to soak brown rice overnight (I haven't personally tried that).

Brown rice generally takes a bit more water to cook and a few extra minutes. If you soak it though, you can add a little bit more water (½ cup or so) and budget a few extra minutes for it to fully cook (at least 15 more minutes).

The first time you make this recipe with brown rice, it may take a bit of tinkering because it is not a straightforward substitution.

Other shrimp recipes to try:

Creamy Shrimp Risotto

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Shrimp Pasta

You may also enjoy 50+ Top Mediterranean diet recipes. For all recipes, visit us here

 

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Mediterranean-style shrimp fried rice

One Pan Shrimp and Rice Recipe


  • Author: Suzy Karadsheh
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

You'll love this simple and healthy shrimp and rice recipe, prepared Mediterranean-style with peas, chopped veggies, and a few spices.

Add your favorite salad and call it dinner!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups Basmati rice, rinsed (see notes)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas, rinsed quickly to separate
  • ½ cup packed chopped fresh parsley, more for later
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ¾ tsp mild chile pepper (I used Aleppo pepper flakes)
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • Scant 1 lb large shrimp, thawed if frozen, peeled and deveined

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice well and place it in a large bowl. Cover with water and let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes or until you can easily break one grain of rice. Drain well.
  2. In a large deep pan (with a lid), heat 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, peas, and parsley. Season with kosher salt. Cook for 3 minutes or so, tossing regularly. Add coriander, Aleppo pepper, cumin, and paprika.  Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or so, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables have soften a bit.
  3. Add the rice (well drained) and season with a good pinch of kosher salt. Add water. Bring to a boil until the liquid has reduced by about ½ (you should be able to see the rice, liquid should be barely covering the top). Turn the heat to low. Cover and let the rice cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until fully cooked and not hard nor chewy.
  4. While the rice is cooking, pat the shrimp dry and toss with a bit of kosher salt.
  5. Uncover the pan and add the shrimp nestling it into the rice. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more or until the shrimp is pink and fully cooked.
  6. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve!

Notes

  • Cook's Tip: Do not skip rinsing and soaking the rice for a few minutes. This helps get rid of excess starch and makes all the difference in cooking the rice evenly and quickly. To save time, you can prep the vegetables while the rice is soaking.
  • Rice Substitutions: You can use white long grain rice in place of basmati rice here. You may need to soak it for a while longer until you are easily able to break one grain of rice between your thumb and index finger, then proceed with the recipe as written. To use brown rice, soak it for at least 90 minutes or overnight. Drain and follow the recipe, only you may add a little bit more water than what's listed in the recipe (about ½ cup more) and budget a few extra minutes for the rice to fully cook (at least 15 more minutes). Brown rice is a more Mediterranean diet friendly option, still, it is not a straightforward substitution here and it may take a bit more tinkering.
  • Leftovers: Save leftovers in the fridge in a tight-lid glass container for 2 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat, tossing as needed (I like to leave the shrimp out when I warm up the rice, adding it in last minute so it doesn't get too dry or rubbery).
  • Visit our online shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils and spices used in this recipe.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Category: Seafood/Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Shrimp and Rice, Healthy Shrimp and Rice, Shrimp Fried Rice

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Just finished making this. Easy and quick...not to mention delish! I used Basmati rice grown here in Arkansas. I've been a fan of Jasmine rice for years because of it's aromatics. Now, I'm a Basmati fan!

  2. This is a great basic recipe. To increase the flavour I used veggie ‘chicken’ broth instead of water for my pescatarian family members added rinsed canned green beans, skinned and de-seeded tomatoes and mussels. Really kicked it up a notch.

  3. I really loved this. I suffer from acid reflux, and many mediterranean dishes call for tomato or lemon. I was so pleased to find one that is reflux friendly. The whole family enjoyed it!

  4. This was super bland unfortunately. Like no flavor. The texture of the shrimp was not my thing either. It was scallop like but like.. shrimpy

    I’m relooking at the instructions to see what I missed and paprika is all.

    I put chicken into my son’s dish and that’s so much better

  5. Hi Suzy,

    I would love to make this One Pot Shrimp & Veggies dish for my husband, however, he detests Peas. What alternative veggie can I use in this dish for him to eat?
    Thank you

    Jojo Woll

    1. Hi, Jojo. Corn or carrots would be good substitutes here. This recipe is very forgiving, so I'm thinking just about anything you have on hand would work.