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Overhead square photo of spiralized zucchini noodles and cooked shrimp in a white bowl

Healthier Shrimp Alfredo

  • Author: Jessie
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x

Description

An easy healthy shrimp alfredo recipe.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 large zucchini
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined (I recommend Wild American Shrimp)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Spiralize the zucchini into zoodles (see recipe notes). Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt half of the butter. I like to use a large flat-bottomed skillet like this one.
  3. Add shrimp to skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-6 minutes until shrimp are just cooked through. Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside, leaving any remaining butter in the pan.
  4. Keep the skillet over medium heat and add the remaining butter. Stir to melt.
  5. Add garlic to skillet and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Keep an eye on the butter while the garlic cooks – reduce the heat to low if the butter starts to brown too much.
  6. Add flour to skillet and stir to form a roux. Let cook for 30 seconds or so.
  7. Add milk to skillet a little at a time, stirring constantly to break up any lumps. I like to use a whisk here.
  8. Let the sauce thicken, whisking occasionally, over medium heat until it’s thickened considerably, about 5-7 minutes. You want a THICK sauce here – almost to a custard or pudding consistency – because when you add the zucchini noodles, they’ll release quite a bit of moisture and the sauce will naturally thin out on its own.
  9. Remove sauce from heat. Stir in parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Add zucchini noodles and cooked shrimp to sauce and toss to combine. The sauce may seem thick at first, but that’s ok – let it sit for a minute or two to let the zucchini release some water and then give it a final toss before serving.
  11. Serve immediately.

Notes

Spiralizing Zucchini: I use and love this spiralizer for zucchini noodles, but you could also use the thin slicer blade on a mandolin OR cut noodles by hand by peeling thick pieces with a vegetable peeler and then slicing to your desired thickness. I resisted the spiralizer for a long time, but honestly, I’m SO glad I finally bought one. We use it all the time and it’s super quick and easy (click here to grab the one I use!)

Watery Zucchini Noodles: You’ll notice that the sauce for this recipe gets really thick, and it doesn’t look like there’s a whole lot of it at first. When zucchini cooks, it releases a lot of water – so when you add the zucchini noodles to the sauce, that water will release and naturally thin out the Alfredo to the consistency we want. If you’re worried about the zucchini getting TOO watery, you can hit it with some salt and set it in a colander for 15 minutes or so to draw out some of the moisture, and then proceed with the recipe. You could also cook the noodles in a separate skillet, drain any liquid, and then add them to the sauce.

Look for wild-caught American shrimp when you’re buying shrimp for this recipe. You can read more about why it’s best to buy Wild American Shrimp in this post. (The short version: sustainable fisheries, support local shrimpers, avoid shrimp processed with slave labor).

If you substitute real pasta for the zucchini noodles in this recipe, I recommend doubling the sauce or adding a large splash of pasta water to the recipe as written to thin out the sauce.

Add broccoli, peas, asparagus, peppers, or any other veggies you have on hand to this recipe! It’s a great blank-canvas recipe for those clean-out-the-fridge nights.

Zucchini noodles do NOT keep well once they have sauce on them, so plan to eat this all in one sitting or save zucchini noodles separate from any extra sauce if you want leftovers.

Not a zoodle fan? Use half zoodles and half cooked spaghetti if you like.

Lighten this sauce up even more by swapping our favorite Magic Cauliflower Cream for the flour and milk in this recipe!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 379