Pesto shrimp are healthy, tasty, and very easy to make. So easy in fact, it’s an ideal recipe for a weeknight dinner.
I never actually planned to make pesto shrimp. I simply needed to use up some leftover pesto sauce. But now I’m grateful that I did because this very tasty shrimp recipe is now part of our regular dinner rotation.
Pesto shrimp to use up pesto sauce
It all started when I bought fresh basil to make eggplant caprese. The eggplant caprese was amazing but required very little of the basil. And since basil doesn’t keep well in the fridge, I decided to make some pesto sauce.
So now I had half a cup of pesto sauce in the fridge. But since the husband and I have been eating a low-carb diet and limiting grains, using the pesto as a pasta sauce was not an option.
So I searched online (the search “what to do with pesto sauce” returns a surprisingly long list of results), and one of the suggestions was “serve with grilled fish.”
Aha! I thought. Pesto goes well with fish. And I happen to have some frozen shrimp in the freezer (as I always do). So why not coat the shrimp in the sauce and broil them? How bad can it be?
Well, it wasn’t bad at all! In fact, these shrimp were so good that all four members of our family have immediately declared this dish as “blog-worthy” and asked that I add it to our rotating dinner repertoire.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
- Fresh basil
- Minced garlic
- Pine nuts
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Grated Parmesan
- Large shrimp, peeled and deveined
How to make pesto shrimp
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. The basic steps:
- You simply toss some raw shrimp in pesto sauce.
- Thread them on skewers.
- Then broil for 4 minutes. That’s it! Dinner is ready!
Is this a healthy recipe?
Despite some possible issues, I also believe that shrimp is healthy. It is high in protein, low in calories, and provides important key nutrients. But if at all possible, it’s best to buy sustainable, wild-caught, local shrimp.
What to serve with pesto shrimp
I like to serve this dish with tomato salad. It makes for a pretty, colorful meal.
Sometimes I make microwave spaghetti squash, toss it with some olive oil, salt, and garlic powder, and serve the shrimp on top.
What about leftovers?
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a shallow airtight container, for up to 3 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power. They’re also good as a salad topping the next day.
More shrimp recipes that you might like
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- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, washed and dried (40 grams)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 24 oz large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Soak 8 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes. Line a broiler-safe rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Prepare the pesto sauce: place the basil, garlic and pine nuts in food processor. Process a few seconds, until coarsely chopped. Add the salt, pepper and oil and process until smooth and fully combined, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape the sides with a spatula if necessary. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the cheese.
- If using frozen shrimp, place them in a colander and rinse under running water for a few minutes to defrost, then dry on paper towels.
- Add the shrimp to the bowl and toss with the pesto sauce until well coated.
- Thread the pesto-coated shrimp on the skewers. Spoon any remaining sauce on top.
- Arrange the skewers in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Heat the broiler on high and position an oven rack 4 inches below the heating element.
- Broil the shrimp until cooked through and opaque, about 4 minutes.