Healthy Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles

Every night, Ben and I try to spend few minutes reading for leisure. Most of the time, he reaches for the latest prize-winning nonfiction, and I opt for (surprise!) a cooking magazine. It suits us. He can count on me for an unending supply of fresh dinners like today’s Healthy Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles, and I can rest assured that he’ll always have an intelligent topic for us to discuss while we eat them.

Skinny Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles. Easy, low carb version of the classic pasta dish that can be made without wine. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Well, except for that one time he was reading about a shipwreck in the Arctic Ocean, and I kept changing the subject. As someone who is freezing when the temperature dips below 68 degrees, I can only handle so much information about surviving amongst ice caps.

Meanwhile, on my side of the bed, the reading material is much warmer. The most recent magazines to land on our doorstep have been filled with gorgeous, glossy photos of a food group that is hitting its peak: VEGETABLES.

Summer is produce primetime. If you’ve been looking to incorporate more veggies into your diet, there could not be a better time of year (or a better recipe!) to begin.

Light Shrimp Scampi recipe without wine. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Although I’m conscious of making sure we have vegetables at every meal, with the exception of hearty, main dish salads, I typically serve them on the side versus as the true base of the dish.

After a solid hour of ogling magazine spreads depicting epic, veggie-centric, farm-to-table feasts (including one prepared by the author of my latest cookbook impulse buy), however, I decided that it was time to take my vegetable game one step farther: zucchini noodles.

{Side note: have you ever noticed how many different shapes of glassware and dishware are used in those farm table photo shoots? Does every barn have a bottomless supply of custom pottery and mason jars just waiting to be placed at the table on a casual Tuesday night? If so, I’m a little jealous…of the supply, not the clean up.}

Back to Healthy Shrimp Scampi! It’s a lightened-up, veggie-fied twist on classic shrimp scampi, a dish traditionally made with pasta, butter, lemon, more butter, garlic, and extra butter. I kept the essentials—the garlic, lemon, Parm, and, yes, the butter—but modified the amounts of each to make the recipe more balanced.

Healthy Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles. A skinny version of the classic, easy shrimp pasta dish that’s low carb and full of flavor! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

The biggest, most obvious Healthy Shrimp Scampi swap is that I’ve replaced the traditional pasta noodles with zucchini noodles (a.k.a. zoodles) I made using the spiralizer attachment on my stand mixer. (I also love this free-standing one, which you’ll see in the recipe video at the bottom of this post.) I am a relative latecomer to the sprializer game, but I am oh so happy to be here at last.

Not only are the zoodles a healthy, low-calorie, and low-carb option to replace pasta, but their mild flavor can easily adapt to a wide range of flavors, including the heap of lemon and garlic you’ll find in this light shrimp scampi recipe.

Healthy Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles. A skinny version of the classic recipe that’s easy, low carb, and full of flavor! Made with garlic, lemon, and red pepper flake for a little spice. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

If you aren’t ready to go all veg, you can also do a 50-50 blend of zucchini noodles and whole wheat pasta noodles.

To make the recipe as accessible as possible, I made this Healthy Shrimp Scampi without wine, opting for chicken stock instead. Most shrimp scampi recipes do call for wine, so if you’d like to stick with tradition (or need another good reason to open a bottle), you can certainly add any dry white wine you’d also enjoy sipping alongside your serving.

For a step-by-step of how to make this Healthy Shrimp Scampi recipe, watch this short video:

Tools I used to make this recipe:

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Healthy Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles

Healthy Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles. Easy, low-carb version of the classic shrimp pasta dish that’s flavorful, quick to make, and so delicious!

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth or white wine
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini noodles (from about 4 medium zucchini)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:

  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the shrimp, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes, until the shrimp are beginning to cook but are still somewhat translucent.
  2. Add the chicken broth, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, just until the shrimp are completely opaque and cooked through. Stir in the zucchini noodles and parsley. Toss the noodles with the shrimp so that they are coated with the garlic-lemon sauce and heat just until warmed through. (Do not overcook or the zucchini noodles will become mushy.) Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve warm.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 4)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 232 Calories
  • Total Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 228mg
  • Sodium: 606mg
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 26g

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

18 comments

  1. yum!! what NOT to love about this recipe! I LOOOVVVEE shrimp and I love zucchini! Can’t wait for zucchini season and i’m actually HOPING to have zucchini coming out of my ears (ok not literally…but you know what I mean!) – all the bread, zoodles, muffins cake! thank you for sharing this recipe!

  2. So simple, available ingredients and such a great idea ! Thank you so much !

  3. This looks terrific!  What is the serving size per person? 

    • Liz, I’m so glad you like the look of this! I didn’t measure the finished dish cup by cup, but fortunately since the recipe doesn’t yield a huge amount, it’s fairly easy to estimate 1/4 of the recipe as you serve it. If you’d like to be more precise, you can always measure it prior to serving, then divide the total amount by 4.

  4. I need help with my zoodles. I’ve blotted them with paper towels but still find they release too much liquid and make my sauces too diluted and runny. How do you avoid this?

    • Hi Lissa, you could try salting the zoodles first to help even more water come out. You could also change the paper towels a few times and keep blotting. In some recipes, like this one, the key is not overcooking the zoodles so they don’t release much water. If you’re adding a hot pasta sauce, you can also not cook the zoodles at all and just top them with the hot sauce to warm them through (not applicable to this recipe, but might be helpful for others)!

  5. Still to this day haven’t made zoodles! Thanks for sharing this (:

  6. Hi,

    On the first reading pass, I thought I saw a note to the effect: …don’t skip the marinating…
    Unfortunately I no longer seeing it.
    Am I delusional?

    Thansk

    Ike

    • Hi Ike, there’s no marinating necessary in this recipe, so I’m not sure where you may have seen that note. Perhaps it was in another recipe?

  7. This looks delicious, Erin! I love the zoodle substitution and it would be so easy to adapt for my kids and husband who are more into traditional noodles than I am. We can both have waht we like and still enjoy that yummy shrimp!

  8. hey girl- this looks amazing!

  9. what can I use instead of shrimp? would salmon work?

    • Hi Julie, you could try making a recipe without the shrimp and just serve the noodles on the side with the grilled salmon, but I’d worry that without the sautéed shrimp it might lack some flavor. You could also try bite-size pieces of boneless, skinless chicken beasts or thighs in place of the shrimp (be sure to adjust the cooking time, as chicken will need longer than shrimp).

  10. This recipe was so good! Easy to make, and delicious. I love finding new recipes for my zoodles. Thank you!

    Rating: 5

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