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Pesto Shrimp Skewers
with portobello ‘bruschetta’ / asparagus

Active: 40 min Total: 55 min
There are so many ways to combine fresh basil and tomatoes when they are are at their peak in late summer. This meal features basil in fresh pesto brushed over shrimp as well as tomatoes in a paleo-friendly twist on Italian bruschetta.
Smarts: Make a double batch of pesto for tonight's meal and set some aside for Wednesday's meal. When you make the pesto, just be sure to set a couple leaves aside for the bruschetta (and to top Thursday's soup).
Smarts: If you prefer, you can simply saute the shrimp and asparagus in a skillet instead of using the skewers.


Basil Pesto:
  • Pine nuts - 2 Tbsp (sub walnuts or pecans)
  • Garlic - 1 clove , peeled
  • Basil, fresh - 1 1/2 oz
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
Pesto Shrimp Skewers and Asparagus:
  • Shrimp, peeled and deveined - 1 1/2 lbs
  • Skewers, wooden or bamboo - 12
  • Asparagus - 12 oz , trimmed
  • Pesto (ingredients listed separately) - ~1/4 cup
Portobello Mushroom Bruschetta:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
  • Mushrooms, portobello - 4 , stems removed, gills scraped
  • Basil, fresh - 6 leaves , chopped
  • Tomatoes, medium - 2 , chopped
  • Oil, olive - 2 tsp
  • Vinegar, balsamic - 1/2 tsp


  1. Shrimp - (If prepping right before cooking, get grill or oven heating before continuing with prep.) Defrost, rinse, and pat dry.
  2. Skewers - If using wooden skewers and planning to cook on the grill, soak in water for 15 minutes to prevent burning.
  3. Make pesto - (Double if making Wednesday's meal.) Toast nuts in a dry skillet or frying pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Peel garlic cloves (portion for pesto). Place nuts, garlic, basil leaves (portion for pesto), and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil (portion for pesto) until smooth. (Add some additional olive oil if needed to help everything blend.) Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Garlic (for 'bruschetta') / Asparagus - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  5. Assemble skewers - Thread skewers through shrimp. If using round skewers, you can use two together to make them easier to flip. Lightly season shrimp with some salt and pepper.
  6. Mushrooms - Remove stems and scrape out gills. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  7. Basil (for bruschetta) / Tomatoes - Prep as directed and combine.
  8. Make bruschetta topping - Combine garlic, basil (portions for bruschetta), tomatoes, olive oil (portion for bruschetta), and vinegar. Season with some salt.

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  1. If cooking on grill: Heat grill to 450F / 232C degrees. Clean grates and brush grates, shrimp, asparagus, and mushrooms with some oil. Place shrimp, asparagus, and mushrooms over direct heat. Grill all ingredients for 2 to 3 minutes on each side with the cover closed. Remove shrimp and mushrooms from heat when cooked through. If using thicker asparagus spears, you might have to cook asparagus for a bit longer.
  2. If cooking on stovetop / oven: Heat oven to 400F / 204C degrees. Spread mushrooms in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and drain off liquid and / or pat with paper towels to dry. Turn mushrooms over and return to oven. Continue cooking until tender, 5 to 7 minutes more. Season with some salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. {stovetop / oven}: Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush with some oil. Place shrimp and asparagus onto hot pan and grill both for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove shrimp from heat; if using thicker spears, you might have to cook asparagus for a bit longer.
  4. Brush shrimp and asparagus with pesto (reserve half if doubled).
  5. Set mushrooms on a serving plate and spoon bruschetta topping over top.
  6. Serve shrimp and asparagus with mushroom ‘bruschetta’. Enjoy!



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