Shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles takes a classic recipe and reworks it into something light and fresh. Zoodles and olive oil replace the wheat pasta and some of the butter while adding a reason to love your veg again—by covering it with lemon and garlic, then piling shrimp on top.
Adapted from Molly Devine | Keto After 50 | Rockridge Press, 2021
Traditional scampi contains mostly butter, and while butter is healthy in moderation, it is all saturated fat. This version uses more olive oil than butter, making it heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory, and loaded with protein. The warm sauce will “cook” the zucchini without making it soggy, so be sure your zoodles are fresh.–Molly Devine
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A SPIRALIZER?
Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. First of all, you can buy fresh spiralized zucchini (zoodles) in lots of grocery stores. But there are also ways to make zoodles for your recipes. A smaller tool, for those conscious of kitchen space, is called a julienne peeler—it looks like a vegetable peeler but with the inclusion of a special julienne blade. Finally, the oldest of all old-school devices, the mandolin, will slice up a mess of zoodles quickly and easily. It’s what we used in the old days before spirals were all the rage.
Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine or chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon preferably organic
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 4 cups (1 pound) spiralized zucchini noodles from 2 medium zucchini
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the shrimp, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté until the shrimp is just pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, move the shrimp to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, butter, and garlic. Cook the garlic, stirring frequently, until softened and very fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Whisk in the wine or stock, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest and juice. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Remove the skillet from the heat as soon as the liquid simmers.
- Add the zucchini noodles, shrimp, and parsley to the skillet and give everything a good toss so everything is coated in the sauce.
- Divvy between individual serving bowls and serve immediately.
Keto After 50Buy On Amazon
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This is a lovely, surprisingly fast, and easy shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles, perfectly suitable for a last-minute dinner if you have the zoodles and the shrimp.
Next time I might take the shrimp out and plate them on top of the noodles instead of tossing them in with the whole thing—it was hard to portion them out evenly otherwise, and difficult to toss the noodles with them in there.
The only other thing I would change is to cut back the amount of oil—this is an extremely fat-rich dish and for those of us who are getting older it seemed a bit hard on the digestion. I think I’d use a bit more of the stock or wine and cut back the olive oil and/or omit or reduce the butter.
We had this for dinner with nothing else, and we ate the whole thing (well, we’re big girls!). To make four servings, it would be great served with a baguette.
Zoodle my scampi noodles, Batman! Here’s a keeper recipe for shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles your hips can swing to! It’s tasty, it’s beautiful, it’s light, it’s crispy, it’s healthy, and it comes true in 30 minutes including the spiralizing.
I used one of each green and yellow zucchini that weighed 450 grams pre-spiralizing and fit 4 cups after the deed. I chose zucchini with intact and firm skin and left the skins on for color. I used white wine as the liquid as I was short on time otherwise I would have made a quick shrimp broth with the shrimp shells and tails. I served this shrimp scampi with a cherry tomato salad as a light lunch.
The shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles is a perfect “light” summer meal. It’s quick and easy to prepare and full of flavor. The use of more olive oil than butter, and the zucchini noodles instead of traditional pasta, make this a healthier version of one of my favorites without any loss of flavor.
The only real work may be spiralizing the zucchini, (but my KitchenAid attachment made quick work of that). The ingredients for the sauce are perfectly proportioned for a fresh flavor that does not overpower the shrimp. I served the scampi with fresh sourdough bread.
Wow! I loved this shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles so much I couldn’t stop eating it. The only thing I regret is not serving some crusty bread alongside it to sop up all the lovely, lemon-garlic sauce. Substituting zucchini noodles for pasta was a brilliant choice. The zoodles were al dente and, as a bonus, full of lemony, garlicky flavor. Every bite tasted fresh and bright.
There was just enough heat from the red pepper flakes to give a hint of bite and the sweetness of the shrimp played extremely well with the lemon and garlic. I was a little concerned that the amount of olive oil would make the dish taste greasy, but I shouldn’t have been because the results were perfectly balanced. I’d make this again in a heartbeat, but definitely with that crusty loaf of bread on the side.
I really enjoyed this shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles. It was super flavorful, not at all heavy, really easy, and ready in 25 minutes, including the time it took to spiralize the zucchini – what more could you ask for in a weeknight dinner?!
Next time I’ll do one thing differently, just to try it: instead of sautéing the shrimp in the pan, I’ll toss them with salt, pepper, and a bit of the oil and throw them on the grill, then proceed with the recipe as written. I think it might be a nice alternative for warm weather.
Originally published June 30, 2021