Harissa Prawn Orzo

I always have a bag of frozen, raw king prawns in the freezer as they are so flexible and can be thrown into most dishes to make them extra special. This week I also had some left over harissa and so thought I would get the two ingredients together to make a quick and easy dinner. The result was lovely. Fresh and lively flavours, filling and best of all, so quick and easy to make.


Harissa Prawn Orzo

Serves 4 = 7sp per serving on BLUE and PURPLE, 8sp on GREEN


1 onion, peeled and finely diced

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 courgette, washed, woody ends cut off and grated

240g orzo, dry

½ tsp salt

1 vegetable stock cube, made up with 500ml boiling water

80g frozen peas

3 spring onions, finely sliced

3 tsp harissa paste

30g parmesan, finely grated

Handful of fresh mint and coriander, roughly chopped

Pinch of crushed chillies (if you like it spicy)

1 lemon, zest and juice

360g raw jumbo king prawns (I buy the frozen ones in Aldi, make sure they are defrosted before use)


Spray a large frying pan (or wok) with 1kal and add the onion. Fry on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the onion starts to soften (add a little water if the pan starts to get dry). Add the garlic and courgette and fry for another minute or two.  Add the orzo, stir through and then add the vegetable stock and salt. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10-12 minutes until the orzo is cooked through and the water has evaporated. Add the peas and spring onions to the pan a few minutes before the orzo is cooked (reserve a few spring onions to dress the dish at the end). If the water dries up completely before the orzo is cooked, add a little more water. If the pan is still watery when the orzo is al dente, bring the heat to high to simmer off the liquid quickly (be careful to keep stirring every now and then so the orzo doesn’t stick to the pan).

Once the orzo is cooked and is no longer watery, turn off the heat and stir through the harissa, parmesan, mint and coriander (and the chillies if you are having them). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Leave to rest while you cook the prawns.

In a separate frying pan, spray with 1kal, add the prawns, season with salt and pepper and the lemon zest. Fry for a few minutes until pink and cooked through (this won’t take long at all). Remove from the heat.

Finally add the juice of ½ the lemon to the orzo. Stir and then portion up. Top with the prawns, reserved spring onions and serve with a small slice of lemon per person.



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11 thoughts on “Harissa Prawn Orzo

  1. Mary O’Neill says:

    Made this for tea tonight. Didn’t realise harissa was soo hot! But it was lovely anyway – likely to become a firm favourite. Thanks Laura!

  2. Helen says:

    Love this dish. I’ve made it a few times but substitute sweet chilli sauce for the harissa as not a lover of it. I’ve even served it as a starter at a dinner party.
    Thanks for the great recipes Laura…keep them coming.

  3. Alison Long says:

    Just made this for the first time. Used only 2tsp of harissa, still had a kick but so very tasty, Also used nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan. Absolutely gorgeous.

  4. Emma says:

    I made this tonight and my fiancé told me “you’d be happy with this at a restaurant!” Top praise! Thanks Laura for the delicious recipe inspo.

  5. Helen L says:

    Made this tonight just for me. Used ready cooked small prawns as that’s all i had in,. I thought it was delicious and made a great change from the normal prawn and courgette pasta that I make. The fresh herbs, (I used loads of mint and coriander) made this taste really summery despite the spiciness. Another hit from your great collection of recipes. Thank you

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