Basil, Shrimp & Zucchini Pasta

Basil, Shrimp & Zucchini Pasta

13 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2011

This quick-cooking, healthy dinner is a simple combination of zucchini, shrimp and pasta flecked with plenty of fresh basil. If you have leftover cooked pasta from another meal, use it and skip Step 2. Since the recipe combines a starch, vegetables and the shrimp, all you need is a fruit or vegetable salad to round out the menu. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, divided
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or more to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (31-40 per pound; see Note)
  • 2 cups orecchiette or other small pasta, preferably whole-wheat
  • 2 medium zucchini or summer squash or 1 of each


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Combine ¼ cup basil, tomato sauce, 2 teaspoons oil, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne in a medium bowl. Stir in shrimp; let stand for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pan of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 11 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  3. Quarter squash lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp mixture along with the squash. Cook, stirring, until the shrimp are pink and just barely cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the pasta and heat, stirring, until piping hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup basil and season with pepper.
  • Note: Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, “21-25 count” means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as “large” or “extra large,” are not standardized, so to get the size you want, order by the count per pound. Both wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when not managed properly. Fortunately, it is possible to buy shrimp that have been raised or caught with sound environmental practices. Look for fresh or frozen shrimp certified by an independent agency, such as the Marine Stewardship Council. If you can't find certified shrimp, choose wild-caught shrimp from North America—it's more likely to be sustainably caught.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1¼ cups
  • Per serving: 315 calories; 8 g fat(1 g sat); 7 g fiber; 40 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 78 mcg folate; 143 mg cholesterol; 6 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 939 IU vitamin A; 23 mg vitamin C; 115 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 594 mg sodium; 668 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (38% daily value), Folate (20% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 13

August 27, 2019
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By: Julie
This was delicious. Very low fat and tasted fantastic. I added sage to it and it tasted even better!!
August 21, 2017
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By: Michele
I want to make this every week it was SO delicious. I made with zucchini noodles instead of pasta.
July 22, 2017
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By: MajorQuilter
For being so healthy, this is DARN good!! We used regular spaghetti noodles, next time we'll use much less, and more zucchini. We zoodled our zucchini & really liked it that way. This also makes a great "bowl" dinner. The fresh basil is the crowning touch. Wouldn't' be anywhere NEAR the same w/out it. You could easily use scallops in place of this as well. Takes very little time to make, but its not near as good warmed up the next day.
July 10, 2017
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This was such a simple recipe and I was considered that it wouldn't have alot of flavor, but I was wrong! The fresh basil and zucchini from my garden added a freshness that we really enjoyed. My husband will absolutely not eat shrimp, so being a farmer in the middle of beef country, I used 1/2 lb of well drained browned hamburger and we loved It! I felt good that I was getting some veggies to my husband and he was happy with the beef substitution.
June 23, 2017
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By: Nery
This was absolutely delicious!!!!!! I used Goya sauce and is more thin than others so it was a success. I will definitely keep this recipe!!!
June 03, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
This is Really Good I thought this would have too much tomato sauce but with the little pasta it was just perfect. I also thought it would be too much basil, but this was an awesome dinner! Pros: Inexpensive
October 05, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Extremely expensive and poor use of shrimp and basil October 2014 ...One pound of shrimp, $20, half cup fresh basil $2. Try and tell anybody...there's your meal...1.25 cups of pasta and canned tomato sauce flavored with expensive basil. Pros: tastes good Cons: very expensive, high quality stuff like shrimp and fresh basil mixed with canned tomato sauce.
July 16, 2014
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By: jeannieM
nice dish Substituted tomato sauce for chopped fresh tomatoes and it was amazing, also added fresh parsley and lemon, very fresh dish got to use my basil from the garden Pros: fresh basil Cons: none
March 31, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Into the rotation We have added this to our recipe rotation and easily make it once a month or more in the summertime (which is a lot for me, I like variety)! I usually use a little more tomato sauce (about 1.5 8 oz cans) and add a little extra cayenne pepper for a bit more spice as well as about 5 cloves of garlic (we love garlic in our house).
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