Use a spiralizer to create these light zucchini noodles, then toss with pesto and shrimp for an easy low-carb meal.
When I got my spiralizer, I spent a few days experimenting with all the vegetables I could spiralize, but I settled quickly into making mostly zucchini spirals.
They are so versatile in a low-carb diet. Their neutral flavor make them great for topping with various sauces, like pesto and tomato sauce.
»For more pasta alternatives try The Best Low Carb Keto-Friendly Pasta Noodle Alternatives.
How to Make Zucchini Noodles
When summer comes around, and there’s a plethora of both zucchini and basil, I can’t resist making this pesto zoodle recipe.
They also have a full-sized version that sits on the countertop and does most of the work for you. It’s brilliant.
All that’s needed is to cut off the top and bottom of the zucchini and then attach it to the cutting prongs and twist.
Out pops these beautiful noodles that can be used in so many different ways.
PRO TIP: The OXO handheld spiralizer comes with either one, two or three blades. I always recommend the one with 3 blades, because it’s can be used in so many ways.
On another note, “zoodles” are best when they’re flash cooked. If you cook them too long, they get very watery and ruin the sauce. To avoid soggy noodles, I prefer to toss them in a frying pan for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. This warms them through and softens them without turning them to mush.
If you’re combining them with a sauce, like we are in this recipe, you can cook them for 2-3 minutes in the pan, then add the sauce and just toss to coat the noodles before serving. You’ll see the full preparation method below.
Assembling the Dish
I always make my own pesto, because it’s so easy to make at home and I think it tastes better fresh than you could get at the store.
However, you can choose either way. If you want to make your own, here’s a great recipe to follow. All you need is basil, pine nuts, Parmigiano cheese, olive oil and garlic.
For the shrimp, heat a skillet over medium heat, add about 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then put them in the skillet. They need just about 2 minutes per side, until they’re no longer opaque.
Remove the shrimp from the skillet. Pour in another 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Then add the zucchini noodles to the skillet. Let them cook for 2 minutes, tossing them so they cook evenly.
Add the pesto to the skillet and toss to combine with the noodles. Then add the shrimp in and toss again.
It will only take about 1-2 minutes to heat the noodle and sauce in the skillet. The noodles will continue to cook once removed from the pan, so don’t leave it on the heat for longer than 2 minutes.
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
It’s a great dish to make up for lunch when you don’t have a lot of time. And it’s quite low in carbs, with just 5 net grams per serving.
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Zucchini Noodles with Pesto and Shrimp
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 oz shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 zucchini
- 1/4 cup prepared pesto
- 1 tbsp Parmigiano cheese grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add the oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Saute the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side, until no longer translucent. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Spiralize the zucchini and add it to the frying pan.
- Add the pesto and toss to coat.
- Heat the pesto zoodles for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and divide the zoodles onto plates. Sprinkle with the grated cheese, salt and pepper and serve.
- You can use store-bought zoodles, or any other type of vegetables that is easy to spiralize, like carrots or celeriac.
- You can leave out the shrimp, or replace it with any other type of protein, like chicken, sausage or tofu.
- You can microwave the pesto zoodles rather than cooking them in the frying pan. It takes just one minute on high, stopping at 30 seconds to stir.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Read More About a Low-Carb Lifestyle
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Laura is an avid home cook and recipe creator. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.