Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp
This pesto has a secret ingredient - avocado! - which provides a lovely creaminess. Tossed with long strands of zucchini noodles (definitely a paleo must if you haven't tried) and shrimp, this will be a dish that is great for weeknight eating or a fancy dinner party. (Just remember to save some pesto for tomorrow's dinner!)
Smarts: If you've got herbs that look like they might go bad, just make them into a pesto (it doesn't just have to be basil). It'll keep longer and pesto freezes well too if you don't use it up within a week.
- Shrimp - 1 lb, shelled and deveined
- Zucchini - 4
- Cooking oil - 1 Tbsp
- Peas - 1 1/2 cups
- Homemade pesto - 2/3 cup ((Ingredients listed separately))
- Lemon - 1, juice of
- Tomatoes - 2, chopped ((1 large or 2 small))
- Cucumbers - 1/2 lb, chopped
- Honey - 1 tsp
- Dijon mustard - 1 tsp
- Sherry or red wine vinegar - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Olive oil - 2 Tbsp
- Mixed greens - 6 oz
- Pine nuts - 3 Tbsp ((Sub walnuts if you're on a budget))
- Basil - 3 cups, loosely packed
- Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
- Avocado (small) - 1/2
- Olive oil - 1/4 to 1/2 cup
- Pine nuts (optional step) - Toast in a frying pan over medium-high heat until golden brown. It's also completely fine to skip this step.
- Make pesto (this makes enough for tomorrow night) - Combine pine nuts, basil, garlic, and avocado in a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are broken up. Drizzle in olive oil, while keeping food processor on, until you get a sauce-like consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve one third for tomorrow’s dinner. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Shrimp - Defrost, rinse, and dry.
- Zucchini - Turn zucchini into 'noodles' with a spiralizer or peel off strips with a peeler.
- ‘Cook’ zucchini noodles - For spiralized noodles, place a microwave-safe colander into a large bowl (or really, just use your salad spinner without the top). Add in spiralized noodles and microwave 1 minute at a time for 3 to 4 minutes, until it reaches a tender but crunchy consistency. If any liquids release during cooking, they'll drain out of the colander into the bowl so the noodles don't become soggy. For peeled zucchini, place into a colander and sprinkle with salt. The salt will soften the noodles.
- Tomatoes / Cucumbers - Prep as directed.
- Heat up a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add in cooking oil, and then shrimp to heated oil. Toss until pink on the outside.
- Add in peas and cook until shrimp is cooked through. Remove from heat and add in zucchini noodles and pesto. Lightly toss with tongs until everything is coated in pesto. Finish with lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Whisk together honey, Dijon, vinegar, and olive oil (double if making tomorrow’s dinner). Toss with tomatoes, cucumbers, and mixed greens. Enjoy with shrimp and ‘noodles.’
Big hit. Loves this!!0 Helpful
Yummy -- but be sure to cool pasta long enough. Also, don't forget salt and pepper. Personally, I need to go light on the oil for pesto (1/4 c. vs. 1/2 c.).0 Helpful
Watch to not overdo the noodles.0 Helpful
Shrimp is somewhat hit-or-miss for my appetite, so I replaced those with the turkey meatballs (from the turkey meatballs lettuce cups recipe).0 Helpful
The pesto was fantastic. The meal was quick to prepare. I loved the vegetables and would totally make this again with or without pasta.0 Helpful
I made it for the first time for a friend and she said it tasted like Olive Garden. It was so easy to make too. Best so far.0 Helpful