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Paleo Shrimp & Pesto Zucchini Noodles

easy paleo recipe for pesto shrimp with pancetta

Ready for a little break from the heavy holiday meals? This one is fresh, light and a delicious change of taste I think you’re really going to like…

whole30 compliant recipe markThere’s only so much leftover turkey and stuffing you can stuff yourself with. I reached my limit a few days ago. That’s when I started thinking about something on the lighter side that would be healthy and tasty, and it also had to be pretty easy to make.

This shrimp and zucchini noodles paleo recipe is the complete opposite of heavy holiday food. It’s a light seafood and vegetable dish that tastes every bit as good as it looks.

Great by itself, or you can add a side salad and you’ve got yourself an easy and elegant meal to serve to family and friends. We made this up quickly and I’m really happy with the combination of flavors this one gives you in every bite. 

It’s a delicious mix of bright pesto sauce and pan-cooked lemon garlic shrimp, served over steaming zucchini noodles to keep it paleo.

I used my julienne peeler to make the zucchini noodles, but I really want a spiral slicer. Those things are awesome, and now that I noodle up zucchini all the time, it’s practically become a must-have in my kitchen. It’s on my Christmas wish list Santa, hint, hint. 🙂

If you want to skip the zucchini noodles for this dish, that’s OK. You can just pan fry the marinaded shrimp and serve alongside a steak or other steamed or grilled veggies for an awesome meal.

Hope you give this one a try…something nice and light and so good for you too!


Paleo Shrimp & Pesto Zucchini Noodles

Paleo Shrimp & Pesto Zucchini Noodles


    Marinade for shrimp
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of minced or pressed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pesto for shrimp
  • 2 1/2 cups of fresh whole basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Entrée ingredients
  • 2 oz pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 lb of large, uncooked shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 2 zucchinis, julienned or spiral sliced to create the noodles
  • 1/2 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp of butter or ghee
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • Serving size
  • Serves 2-3


  1. First combine marinade ingredients and pour into a sealable plastic bag, add shrimp, and place in refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the recipe
  2. Next make the pesto...start by spreading out the pine nuts on a cookie sheet and toast in a 350-degree F oven for 5-7 minutes – keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn
  3. In a food processor, combine the pine nuts with the remaining ingredients for the pesto sauce – don't add the olive oil just yet
  4. Now slowly pour in the olive oil while food processor is churning to combine
  5. Slice zucchini (julienne or spiral) into a small bowl – set aside
  6. Fry pancetta, remove from skillet, and set aside. Leave fat in pan
  7. Add the marinated shrimp to the skillet with pancetta drippings
  8. Cook shrimp about 2-3 minutes per side, or until shrimp is pink
  9. At the last minute, toss in the halved cherry tomatoes. Remove shrimp and tomatoes from pan and set aside
  10. Next add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of your pesto sauce to the skillet along with the zucchini noodles. Toss together and heat through 1-2 minutes
  11. Plate noodles, and top with the shrimp and tomatoes, and sprinkle cooked pancetta over
  12. Serve and enjoy!


16 replies
  1. Anna
    Anna says:

    Wow so tastey! I used almond butter instead of butter, and flaked almonds in the pesto (pine nuts cost a fortune in Singapore!) and it was a beautiful nutty / tomatoey flavour! Thanks!

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I’ve made this twice already… So delicious! I cheated and used store bought pesto. It’s now a staple in our home. Thank you so much!

  3. Natara
    Natara says:

    This was my first time using zucchini noodles, and I followed this recipe very closely. Really easy to put together and took about 15 minutes! It was absolutely delicious and I will be making this again very soon 🙂 Thank you for the great recipe, Trina!


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