Pesto Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles is a quick and healthy meal that’s packed with flavor from a healthy homemade basil pesto but good for you since it uses zucchini noodles instead of traditional pasta. Perfect for a low carb, keto, or Weight Watchers diet.
Pesto is one of those dishes that seems healthy when you first think about it but is usually packed with so much oil and cheese that is quickly becomes a calorie bomb. In fact, most pesto has about 80 calories and 8 grams of fat for just one tablespoon. I don’t know about you, but that’s quite a lot considering you need more than one tablespoon for most recipes.
To combat that, I have been making my own pesto for years now. It uses all the same ingredients just in different proportions to make it much healthier. Trust me, you wont’ miss all the extra oil. I use it all the time with pasta, spaghetti squash, chicken, and my absolute favorite, shrimp. I just love the combination of pesto and shrimp – so good.
With that in mind, I created this simple dish using this homemade pesto, zucchini noodles, and quickly sauteed shrimp. It’s ready in less than 20 minutes and tastes amazing. Full of pesto flavor, sweet shrimp, and plenty of zucchini noodles.
- Protein: You can use all different types of protein in this dish. I have made it with chicken, ground turkey, chicken sausage, and salmon.
- Noodles: When I make dishes like this, I usually make some whole grain pasta on the side for other family members to add to the dish. This makes it heartier and more filling for them but also makes sure they are getting lots of veggies too.
- Dairy Free Version: If you are dairy free, you can make this with nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan cheese. The pesto turns out great and you can sprinkle some extra on top before serving.
- Veggies: Sometimes I add in some fresh cherry tomatoes or canned fire roasted diced tomatoes as well.
The Best Way to Make Zucchini Noodles
- The easiest way to make zucchini noodles is with a spiralizer. I have this one that pairs with my Kitchen Aid mixer and I couldn’t be happier with it. If you don’t have a Kitchen Aid mixer or want a less expensive option, there are tons of good options. For most options all you have to do it cut off the ends, insert it into the spiralizer, and turn to create little zucchini spirals.
- If you don’t want to use a spiralizer, you can also use a mandolin. Cut the zucchini into thin planks and then use a sharp knife to cut them into noodles.
- A final option is to use a vegetable peeler. Simply make long planks using the peeler and then use a knife to cut those into noodles. This method is fairly time consuming and it can be difficult to use the peeler as the zucchini gets smaller.
- One important note about zucchini noodles. Zucchini naturally contains a ton of water, which is why some people complain of soggy noodles. If you have time, salt the zucchini noodles and let them rest on paper towels for 10-15 minutes. Then pat dry. This will pull out some of the water and result in a better texture for the noodle.