Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto & Shrimp

Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto & Shrimp

25 Reviews
From: EatingWell.com, January 2017

Cut some carbs and use spiralized zucchini in place of noodles in this zesty pesto pasta dish recipe. Top with Cajun-seasoned shrimp to complete this quick and easy dinner.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 5-6 medium zucchini (2¼-2½ pounds total), trimmed
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound raw shrimp (21-25 count), peeled and deveined, tails left on if desired
  • 1-2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Using a spiral vegetable slicer or a vegetable peeler, cut zucchini lengthwise into long, thin strands or strips. Stop when you reach the seeds in the middle (seeds make the noodles fall apart). Place the zucchini "noodles" in a colander and toss with ½ teaspoon salt. Let drain for 15 to 30 minutes, then gently squeeze to remove any excess water.
  2. Meanwhile, combine avocado, basil, pistachios, lemon juice, pepper and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add ¼ cup oil and process until smooth.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add shrimp and sprinkle with Old Bay; cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is almost cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the drained zucchini noodles and gently toss until hot, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl, add the pesto and gently toss to combine.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1¾ cups each
  • Per serving: 446 calories; 33 g fat(5 g sat); 7 g fiber; 16 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 112 mcg folate; 159 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,144 IU vitamin A; 55 mg vitamin C; 141 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 713 mg sodium; 1,271 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (92% daily value), Folate (28% dv), Vitamin A (23% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 6 fat, 3 lean protein, 1½ vegetable

Reviews 25

November 27, 2017
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By: Ellie
The avocado pesto is super flavorful. Love that zucchini serves as the "pasta".
November 15, 2017
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By: Devon Dykes
I added very no salt and it was great! My only question is how can a meal that has 713mg of sodium per serving be healthy? A healthy diet has only 1200 mg of sodium per day.
October 15, 2017
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By: mludowise
Really quick and easy to make, healthy, and delicious. Great summer dish.
September 16, 2017
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By: Monica P
Wow, was this ever good. It was quite easy and came together quickly. So fresh and satisfying that you'll never miss the pasta.
August 24, 2017
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By: Kelly Brydge Flanagan
I used zuchinni and yellow squash. Used pine nuts instead of sunflower seeds. This was delicious and I will make again.
July 22, 2017
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By: Eileen Benson Venturi
I've made spiral cut zucchini before, but never heard of squeezing water out. It came out perfect! I added more garlic, (because we love it) and I didn't have pistachios, so I used Thai style cashews (from cvs) that I had on hand, and skipped the Old Bay seasoning because the nuts had enough! It came out amazing! Husband loved it! Will make again!
June 17, 2017
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By: Bob Thibodeau
Great Recipe. Only 2 of us, so I made 1/2 the shrimp and zucchini, but all the rest full recipe. Used small (1 1/2 in) zucchinis so the seeds were kind of a spiral pasta that we kept in the mix. Used our $10 " Spiralizer" device we got on amazon, and used the thicker side. Worked great, and loved the aldente texture of the "pasta." We had "tail on" frozen uncooked shrimp. Defrosted in tepid water for 20 min, and took off the tails. (FULL shrimp with heads on are much better. Defrost and strip the shells and heads (keep these,) and "devain" (google de-vain shrimp) Wash and set aside. In the step where you cook the garlic, FIRST start with cooking the SHRIMP TAILS (SHELLS AND HEADS, if you have them) but not the meat over medium heat. After the tails, shells and heads turn orange, scoop out with a slotted spoon and discard. IF you want to add white wine, do it now and simmer until no alcohol can be smelled in the steam Now add the garlic and follow the recipe. FYI: we added some additional lemon juice, and the red pepper flakes for 30 seconds at the end Came out a bit thick, but very tasty. Added some red pepper flakes for a nice bite. Used the pistachios we had which were salt and pepper, so had to adjust the recipe accordingly, adding slowly. Next time we are going to try a white wine reduction after the shrimp cooking and before heating the "noodles." Perhaps that will thin out the pesto if needed. A nice fresh romano cheese spread was a nice touc
June 15, 2017
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By: Katelyn Murray
Very happy with the recipe! I made it for my mom, grandma, and I and we all very much enjoyed. My grandma can't have much salt and my mom can't eat much sugar or carbs, and this recipe catered to both of them! I used a magic bullet to mix the pesto and worked great, added a tad bit more oil. Also, saluted broccoli, kale, and tomatoes into the dish! I ended up having a lot of pesto sauce left over, but I plan to use for another dish now! Thanks for sharing this recipe :).
June 11, 2017
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By: honey_bee__
A hit with this fam of 6! We prepared a double batch for our clan. We are on a major high-protein, high-iron diet, so we paired this with a 2-3 oz portion of tri-tip per person.. Like another reviewer, I too used my blender. Likewise, I found that I needed to add a touch more liquid to get the job done. (Additional olive oil and then some water) Lemons, zucchini, and basil where picked straight from the garden just seconds before preparing the meal. TIP!!! For those that are sensitive to spicy heat, choose the lesser measurement for the Old Bay Seasoning. (Perhaps even less if you have wee ones) You can always add more after a quick taste test. Tip!!! Follow the instruction of RIPE avocados. For those reviewers who mention lack of richness, perhaps the avocados were still too firm. Not only will the texture be off, but the rich, butteriness that a perfectly ripe avocado adds will be lacking. Tip!!! After cutting off the ends of the zucchini, and after "zoodle-ing"... if like me you are still left with the core of the squash and a little stump (that darn manual spiralizer!) don't toss it out! Use them in a soup, quiche, or spaghetti sauce, etc! Before you toss or compost your squeezed lemon(s), plop them in a glass and enjoy some nice lemon water as you prep! And that lightly salted, green water from the drained zucchini? Go ahead and use that for a soup, too! Like my review? Visit us on YouTube at: Tin Barn Enterprises PRESENTS: That One Family
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