These Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp make for an easy and healthy weeknight dinner recipe. Keeping the zucchini noodles raw helps the pasta stay fresh and not soggy. It’s a naturally gluten free dish, and if you make it with compliant pesto it’s also paleo and Whole 30.
Sometimes you just need something simple. Enter these Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp. This dish is especially great for the spring or summer, but works anytime you need something fast. And honestly, who doesn’t need fast?
What Makes These Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp so Great
- This dish is super fast to make! The shrimp cooks in under 5 minutes and if you get pre-made pesto you can have it on your plate in 10 minutes.
- These zucchini noodles with pesto and shrimp are light and healthy! A perfect dish for a hot day.
- Make this dish with a dairy-free pesto and it become paleo and Whole30 compliant!
What Type of Pesto Should I Use?
A traditional pesto, made with basil, pine nuts, and parmesan, works great for this dish. There are a lot of options at the store, which if you don’t make it yourself this recipe becomes even easier. If you’re doing a Whole30 or other reset and have a compliant pesto, this recipe works well for your Whole30. The No Crumbs Left Pistachio Pesto is a great Whole30-compliant option – it’s what I use when I’m making this recipe. But I know there are other recipes out there that would also work (like this one from Nom Nom Paleo).
Now onto the recipe!
How to Make Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp
Even though this recipe is quick to make, we’re going to take it step by step so you can reference it easily when you’re putting it together.
How to Make Zucchini Noodles
The trick to this dish is not to cook the zucchini noodles (or zoodles). In my opintion, zoodles taste much better raw as they don’t get all watery from cooking them down.
First get out your spiralizer. I like to use a handheld one (as shown in the picture below). Cut off one of the ends of the zucchini just a little, then turn it bit by bit to get the noodles to come out . The zoodles from the very center of the zucchini can be soft and squishy, so if you don’t like that they feel free to toss them out. Take a look at the zoodles coming out of this spiralizer on the left in the picture below to see what I mean.
Once you’ve spiralized all of the zucchini, take out a towel (if you don’t have one down already) and place the zucchini noodles in it to soak out some of the moisture. Let it rest while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Next up is the shrimp.
How to Cook Shrimp
After you’ve removed the shells from the shrimp and died them off a bit with a paper towel, lay them in a single layer on a plate or platter. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on the one side then set aside for just a second.
Next heat the fat in a large pan over medium heat, then add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Careful here as you don’t want the garlic to burn!
Place the shrimp with the salted side down into the pan and cook for about two minutes. You’ll notice it’s time to flip them when you can start seeing pink around the edges.
Flip them over and cook for another two minutes until they’re pink all the way through.
Shrimp cook up very fast so be sure and watch them closely. If they overcook they can become tough and chewy. They should be a nice golden color after you’ve flipped them, but not burnt.
How to Assemble Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp & Pesto
Now you’ll want to put it all together. You can either put everything in a big bowl and toss it together, then serve it in the bowls, or you can place both the zucchini noodles and the shrimp in cooking dishes and let people add as much pesto as they want.
- When making the zucchini noodles, you may want to toss the ones from the center of the zucchini. They can be soft and slimy.
- Watch the shrimp as they cook! They cook up easily and can become rubbery if cooked too long
- Add the pesto one tablespoon at a time! One may be enough for you depending on how much pesto you like.
- You an use different spiralized veggies if you can’t find zucchini! You can sometimes find them at the store already spiralized or do it yourself. Yellow squash would work well in this recipe.
- If seafood isn’t your thing, try using rotisserie chicken instead! Check out this chicken zoodle bowl recipe for instructions.
- If you like a little heat in your dishes, try adding a bit of red pepper flakes on top of this meal!
If you’re in need of more easy weeknight dinner ideas, check these recipes out:
- Weeknight Paleo Ground Beef Stroganoff
- Swimming Rama Loaded Sweet Potato
- Easy Sheet Pan Dinner with Sausage & Veggies
- Pesto Chicken Zoodle Bowl
- Garlic Butter Shrimp
If you try these Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp (or any other recipe) then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went in the comments below. It totally makes my day to hear how a recipe worked out for you.
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Recipe for Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp
- 2 medium zucchini
- 16 Large shrimp between 0.75 and 1 lb
- kosher salt to taste
- Avocado oil or ghee
- 1 clove Garlic
- 4 tbsp pesto
- Spiralizing tool of preference
- A cloth towel
- Paper towels
- One bowl or plate (for setting food aside)
- One medium to large pan
- Garlic press (or knife and cutting board)
- One set of tongs
- Two plates or pasta bowls (for serving)
- Measuring spoon (tablespoon)
- - Spiralize the zucchini using whatever tool you prefer. If you don’t like the squishy noodles that come from the middle of the zucchini, remove them.
- - Spread out the zucchini noodles (zoodles) on half of a cloth towel, then cover the zoodles with the other half and press down to absorb excess water. Leave the zoodles there to further remove excess water.
- - Peel the shells off the shrimp, then pat them with a paper towel to dry them off and lay out in a single layer. Sprinkle kosher salt on one side.
- - Place a medium to large pan over medium heat on the stove. Add in the oil or ghee and let the pan and cooking fat become hot.
- - Mince the garlic with a knife and cutting board or put it through a garlic press and put it into the pan. Stir with tongs until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Don’t walk away as garlic burns quickly!
- - Using tongs, place the shrimp in the pan with the salted side down, separating them so they don’t touch. Salt the other side of the shrimp then let them cook for 2 minutes undisturbed.
- - As shrimp are cooking, place zoodles equally onto two plates or pasta bowls.
- - Flip the shrimp over and cook for an additional 2 minutes, until all parts of the prawns are pink and opaque.
- - Place half of the shrimp onto each pile of zoodles.
- - Spoon out 2 tablespoons of pesto onto each bowl, then mix everything together with your utensil of choice to coat the shrimp and zoodles. Serve as is.