Use a spiralizer to create these light zucchini noodles, then toss with homemade pesto and shrimp for a light and easy summer 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 and their neutral flavor make them great for topping with various sauces.
Making Zucchini Pesto With Summer Veggies
When summer comes around, and there’s a plethora of both zucchini and basil, I can’t resist making this pesto zoodle recipe. These fun and bouncy “noodles” are so easy to make. You can use any type of spiralizer you have at home. I use the handheld one from OXO, which is small and convenient to store in my small kitchen.
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.
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 the most versatile. Out pops these beautiful noodles that can be used in so many different ways.
The “zoodles” are only flash cooked, so all you have to do is cook the shrimp and you’re done. Use our basil pesto recipe to make up a batch of flavorful pesto. It’s easy to make.
All you need is basil, pine nuts, Parmigiano cheese, olive oil and garlic. Once it’s mixed up, just toss it with your zoodles and top it with the shrimp. I also like to dust the top with a bit more Parmigiano.
How to Cook Zucchini Noodles
If you’ve made zucchini noodles before, you’ve probably struggled with keeping them from getting soggy. If you want to avoid soggy noodles, I don’t recommend boiling them. You’ll end up with a sloppy mess of watery strands that don’t hold sauce.
My preferred method of cooking zoodles is to zap them for about 30 seconds in the microwave or toss them in a frying pan for a minute or two on medium heat just to warm them up and take the full crunch away.
For this dish, I add raw zoodles and pesto to the frying pan that was used to cook the shrimp, and toss it well to coat. It will only take about 1-2 minutes to heat the noodle and sauce in the frying pan. 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 & Enjoy
It’s a great dish to make up for lunch when you don’t have a lot of time. You can make this dish even easier by buying pesto and/or already cooked shrimp. You can also spiralize the zucchini a day or so ahead.
So really, all the parts of this dish can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator to put together whenever you want.
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Zucchini Noodles with Pesto and Shrimp
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 oz shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1/4 cup prepared pesto see linked recipe in description for pesto recipe
- 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.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.