Looking for a healthy, quick and easy dinner tonight, try shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles. Garlic and butter coat the zoodles, you won’t even miss the pasta. A low carb, keto friendly dinner in less than 15 minutes.
While at running camp, a friend was raving about making recipes with zucchini noodles. She had just purchased a spiralizer and loved all the things she could create. Since I love kitchen gadgets, she inspired me to come up with some recipes.
Shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles was my first experiment, and zucchini caprese salad my second. From there the possibilities are endless.
Where did scampi originate
Scampi is Italian and refers to langostines which are like little lobsters that are cooked in butter and garlic. Since they are hard to find in the US we substituted shrimp but kept the scampi.
It’s the ideal recipe for zucchini noodles. Traditionally served with pasta or crusty bread to soak up all the scrumptious garlic butter sauce, zucchini noodles serve the same purpose but without the carbs or gluten.
They don’t have much taste on their own, and since zucchini is mostly water, the garlic butter absorbs right into the ZOODLES!
If you haven’t experimented with spiralized vegetables, you don’t have to go out and buy another gadget. You can find them in the produce section of most groceries. While I’ll make my own zoodles, I buy the prepared butternut squash noodles, they’re great just sauted in garlic and butter.
Making them into a noodle form gives you lots of low carb, gluten free and healthy dinner ideas. Try substituting them for pasta in your favorite recipes.
Unlike pasta they don’t take long to cook and you can just add them to the pan with the sauce right before serving. Since the noodles are so thin, they’ll cook in about 1 minute. Or you can eat them raw.
PRO TIP: If you want to saute zucchini noodles, it’s best to get some of the water out first. Try putting them in a colander with a little salt for 10 minutes, then wring out the water. or pat with paper towel before adding them to the skillet.
I try to think twice before adding any kitchen gadget, I want to be sure I’m going to use it before I devote any space to it. I found this small hand held spiralizer that I love and is great for making shrimp scampi with zoodles.
It won’t work for hearty things like butternut squash, but it’s perfect for zucchini. If you have a big family, you might want to invest in a more substantial spiralizer, this one gets great reviews and is only $30.
It was great to find a gadget that works and to enjoy a healthy substitute for pasta. If you don’t like raw zucchini, warming it just a bit in a garlicky butter sauce may change your opinion. I love zucchini just plain so adding something a little spicy and garlicky made it even better.
Why you’ll want to try this
- Super quick and easy
- Healthy dinner
- A great alternative to pasta if you’re looking for low carb, keto, or gluten free alternatives
- Sneak in some vegetables
- Everyone will love the flavors
All you’ll need
- Shrimp – peeled and deveined, I leave the tails on, but you can remove them
- Zucchini – You can add as many or as few as you want. The zoodles will shrink as they cook since they are made up mostly of water, so add a little more than you would if you were adding pasta.
- Butter – six tablespoons, which really isn’t that much considering the dish.
- Garlic -lots of garlic, about a half a head of garlic or six good size cloves.
- Shallots – you could use an onion, but with shrimp, I like the milder flavor the shallot adds.
- Red pepper flakes – scampi is typically a little spicy, a half a teaspoon is enough to notice without making your eyes water.
- Lemon – I’m not a fan of squeezing lemon on all seafood, but it freshens up this dish. You will use both the zest and the juice.
- Parmesan – just a little sprinkled on top
Step by Step directions
Step 1: Start by spiralizing the zucchini. Shrimp scampi only takes a couple of minutes, so have everything prepared before you begin.
Step 2: Saute the garlic, shallots and red pepper flakes in a mixture of butter and olive oil.
Step 3: Once softened add the shrimp. Before they’re cooked through, add the zucchini noodles so that they cook with the shrimp for the last 1-2 minutes.
Step 4: Remove from the heat and add lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve right away.
Shrimp scampi has been around for a long time, for good reason. Traditionally made with butter, garlic and wine, it’s hard to beat
FAQs and tips
Don’t over cook them. You can eat them raw, but if you want them cooked, try cooking them in the sauce for about a minute.
When you use a spiralizer the noodles can come out pretty long. Try using a pair of scissors or a knife to cut them into shorter strands.
For traditional pasta dishes, try sauteing them for just a minute in olive oil, then add the sauce to the top
More shrimp recipes you’ll love
- Roasted shrimp and asparagus
- Grilled shrimp quesadillas
- Shrimp boil baked in foil
- Added to a seafood boil
Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles
- 2-3 zucchini spiraled
- 1 ½ lb shrimp peeled and deveined
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1-2 shallot diced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 lemon zest
- juice from 1 lemon
- 4 tablespoons parsley
- parmesan cheese
- Melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, shallots and red pepper flakes and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add shrimp, salt and pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes until shrimp is pink on both sides but not done.
- Add spiraled zucchini to the pan and cook just until warmed through about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add lemon zest, juice and parsley. Toss and salt to taste. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Have all your ingredients ready before starting, you don’t want to overcook the shrimp or zucchini.
- Cut the zoodles into shorter lengths with scissors before adding to the pan. This will make them easier to eat.
- Add the zucchini before the shrimp have cooked through so that the shrimp don’t overcook.
- To avoid soggy noodles, place in a colander and sprinkle with sauce, let them sit for about 10 minutes. This will draw out some of the liquid.
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