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Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto & Shrimp Recipe

Cut some carbs and use spiralized zucchini in place of noodles in this zesty pesto pasta dish recipe. Top with Cajun-seasoned shrimp to complete this quick and easy dinner. 

Zucchini, avocado, pesto, and shrimp offer a delectable fusion of flavors and a host of health benefits. Zucchini is low in calories and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, supporting digestion, heart health, and weight management. Avocado provides healthy fats, potassium, and vitamins, promoting skin health, satiety, and brain function. 

Pesto, made with basil, pine nuts, and olive oil, offers antioxidants, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory properties, supporting immune function and reducing inflammation. Shrimp is a lean source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium, supporting muscle repair, heart health, and immune function. Together, these ingredients create a nutritious and delicious meal that nourishes the body and satisfies the palate.

Prep Time: 35 mins | Total Time: 35 mins | Servings: 4


  • 5-6 medium zucchini (2 1/4-2 1/2 pounds total), trimmed
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound raw shrimp (21-25 count), peeled and deveined, tails left on if desired
  • 1-2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning


  1. Using a spiral vegetable slicer or a vegetable peeler, cut zucchini lengthwise into long, thin strands or strips. Stop when you reach the seeds in the middle (seeds make the noodles fall apart). Place the zucchini “noodles” in a colander and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let drain for 15 to 30 minutes, then gently squeeze to remove any excess water.
  2. Meanwhile, combine avocado, basil, pistachios, lemon juice, pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add 1/4 cup oil and process until smooth.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add shrimp and sprinkle with Old Bay; cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is almost cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the drained zucchini noodles and gently toss until hot, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl, add the pesto and gently toss to combine.

Recipe by Breana Lai Killeen/EatingWell

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

446 Calories

33g Fat

16g Carbs

26g Protein


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