Summertime is best with an abundance of seafood and herbs, especially basil. It’s the best time to call on our elegant pesto shrimp pasta recipe. The sautéeed shrimp and crunchy vegetables are tossed in buttery pesto sauce for a quick yet tasty meal.
This recipe calls for homemade pesto but don’t let that intimidate you. The sauce is extremely simple to whip up and tastes better than any store-bought version.
Is This Pesto Shrimp Pasta Healthy?
Yes, our pesto shrimp pasta recipe is healthy.
One of the main ingredients in this pesto pasta is shrimp, so the dish contains a great deal of protein. Each serving has about 40 g of protein — about 80% of the recommended daily allowance.
Pesto pasta can be high in saturated fat and sodium since its sauce is usually loaded with salt, nuts, olive oil, and cheese. We moderated the portions and used just enough of each condiment to flavor the dish.
Each serving, thus, yields about 500 calories with 556 mg of sodium and only 4 g of saturated fat, all complying with our nutrition guidelines.
Ingredients for Pesto Shrimp Pasta
Our recipe is versatile. Once you master the cooking process it’s easy to swap out different proteins and veggies to match your mood. It’s great fun to personalize your pasta.
Any size of shrimp can all work in pesto pasta, but we recommend the medium or large variants. This way, they won’t cook too quickly and dry out in the pan.
If you use fresh shrimp, it’s best to peel and devein them before cooking. If you use frozen shrimp, you won’t have to do that prep work; just thaw them before cooking. Also, we kept the tail on for this pesto pasta recipe since it adds more flavor to the sauce.
Our recipe calls for asparagus and cherry tomatoes of different colors. They all deliver crunchy texture and natural sweetness to cut the rich sauce, giving the dish a more balanced flavor.
Note that you don’t always have to stick to the recipe; you can go with any seasonal veggies you have on hand.
The pesto sauce shines best with long-cut pasta like spaghetti, fettuccine, or bucatini. Or try a pasta with curves and grooves — fusilli or radiatori, for example. They give the herb-based sauce plenty of surface area to grab onto.
4. Pesto Sauce for This Recipe
Unlike other pasta sauces, pesto depends on its fresh and raw flavor. Thus, heating the sauce for too long will dull its herbaceous scent. This is also a reason why most store-bought pesto is quite disappointing.
Today’s shrimp pasta tastes best with homemade pesto sauce. Don’t worry, it’s incredibly easy to prepare. With simple elements (spinach, basil, shallot, pine nuts, olive oil, cheese, and lemon juice), our pesto sauce always hits the spot.
It’s buttery with a hint of herbs and the vibrant flavor of lemon zest. Once you’ve learned to make it at home, nothing else will ever compare.
How to Make Shrimp Pesto Pasta
Pasta recipes, in general, often come together quickly, and our pesto shrimp pasta is no exception. You’ll have dinner on the table in just 30 minutes.
Boil the spinach and basil.
Make the pesto sauce.
Sauté the shrimp with seasoning.
Stir in asparagus and cherry tomatoes.
Add pasta and pesto sauce.
Return the cooked shrimp mixture to the pan and toss it all together.
Garnish with cheese and parsley before serving.
Store and Reheat Leftover Pesto Shrimp Pasta
If you want to store the leftover pesto shrimp pasta, it’s best to portion it out into different airtight containers or Ziplock bags. This shrimp pasta can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.
To reheat the pasta, either warm it on the stovetop or zap it in the microwave.
The best option is to place your desired portion in a non-stick skillet with a bit of olive oil or water and stir over medium heat until your dish is heated through. If you opt for the microwave, add 1 – 2 tablespoons of water to the pasta in a microwave-safe bowl before reheating for 2 – 4 minutes.
What to Serve With Pesto Pasta Shrimp
Since the pesto shrimp pasta is rich and deep in flavor, we love to pair it with a light burrata salad. The healthy salad made with arugula, carrot, radish, beet, crunchy pistachios, and burrata cheese will please your palate.
The meal is then rounded out with our fresh lime juice. The tangy and sweet fruit juice is a lip-smacking yet straightforward way to complete the meal’s flavor profile.
|Pesto Shrimp Pasta||Main Dish||501||3.9 g||556 mg|
|Burrata Salad||Side Dish||213||4.0 g||253 mg|
|Fresh Lime Juice||Beverage||40||0.0 g||8 mg|
|Total||754||7.9 g||817 mg|
Similarly Tasty Pasta Recipes
When it comes to making delicious meals out of pasta, the possibilities are endless. We have plenty of ideas for you to get started:
- Creamy Seafood Pasta Recipe
- Cauliflower Pasta Recipe
- Chicken Spiedini Recipe
- Beef and Noodles Recipe
- Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe
Pesto Shrimp Pasta Recipe
- 11 oz peeled and deveined shrimp equals to 22 oz raw shrimp
- 1 oz spinach
- 0.5 oz basil
- 2 tbsp garlic chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt divided
- 0.5 oz shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp shallot chopped
- 0.5 oz pine nuts
- 5 1/2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 6 oz asparagus
- 3 oz red cherry tomatoes
- 3 oz yellow cherry tomatoes
- 12 oz cooked pasta
- 1 fl oz unsalted chicken broth
- 2 tbsp parsley chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 oz spinach and 0.5 oz basil and boil for 30 seconds. Transfer the boiled veggies to an ice water bowl to blanch. Squeeze the excess water with your hands and set the greens aside.
- To make the pesto, combine the boiled basil and spinach with 2 tbsp garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp shallot, 0.5 oz pine nuts, 4 1/2 tbsp olive oil, and 1 tbsp lemon juice in a blender. Process until the mixture is well blended. Set the pesto aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add 11 oz shrimp, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder to the skillet. Cook and stir frequently for 3 minutes or until the shrimp has just turned pink and opaque.
- Stir in 6 oz asparagus and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add in 3 oz red cherry tomatoes and 3 oz yellow cherry tomatoes and continue to cook for an extra 2 minutes so the tomatoes start to burst and release their juices. Transfer the shrimp and veggie mixture to a plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add 12 oz cooked pasta, pesto sauce, and 1 fl oz chicken broth. Stir for 1 minute (still on medium heat) to coat everything in the pesto.
- Return the cooked shrimp and vegetables to the skillet and stir to combine them with the pasta, about 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat. Garnish the pasta with the remaining cheese and 2 tbsp chopped parsley. Serve immediately.