Paprika Garlic Shrimp
with baked pesto and zucchini risotto
This meal feels special and looks restaurant-worthy, but we love how surprisingly simple it is to make thanks to quick-cooking shrimp and our favorite hands-off oven risotto method. It was last featured in 2022.
Smarts #1: We like that the spinach keeps a bright green color when stirred in after cooking, but feel free to add it before cooking if you’d like it to reduce and be more tender.
Smarts #2: Don’t season the risotto too heavily as it cooks - the pesto will likely add plenty of salt, but you can taste it before serving.
- Onions, medium - 1 , diced
- Zucchini - 8 oz , grated
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Rice, Arborio - 1 cup
- Wine, white - 1/2 cup
- Stock, any type - 3 cups
- Baby spinach - 2 cups
- Pine nuts - 1/4 cup
- Pesto, store-bought or homemade - 1/2 cup
- Shrimp, peeled and deveined - 1 lb
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Paprika - 1/2 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Lemons - 1 , wedges
Shrimp - Defrost, pat dry, and season with some salt and pepper.
Marinate shrimp - Chop garlic. Combine shrimp with garlic, olive oil, salt, paprika, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Onions / Zucchini - Prep as directed. Grate zucchini and then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead.)
Lemons - Slice into wedges.
Heat oven to 425F / 218C.
Heat an oven-safe Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter and then onions to melted butter with a pinch of salt. Saute onions until soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir rice into onions until evenly combined. Pour wine over rice and onions and simmer until most of the wine has cooked off, ~5 minutes.
Add stock and zucchini to the rice and bring to a simmer. When the liquids are simmering, cover risotto with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook risotto until all of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, ~20 minutes.
When risotto is done, remove it from the oven and stir in spinach until partially wilted. Cover and set aside (the spinach will continue to wilt as it sits in the hot rice).
While the risotto rests, heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
Next, pour shrimp and all marinade ingredients into heated skillet. Saute until shrimp is opaque and heated through, 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove lid from risotto and stir in pesto. Taste and season with some salt and pepper, if needed.
Divide risotto between serving bowls. Spoon shrimp and cooking liquids over risotto. Finish with pine nuts on top and lemon wedges on the side (for squeezing over top). Enjoy!