Cilantro Pesto Zoodles with Shrimp contains a pesto made of avocado, cilantro and sunflower seeds topped with shrimp. A great way to cut on carbs without losing on taste!
Cilantro Pesto Zoodles with shrimp is such a simple and tasty dish. Quite a “hit” from last summer, not yet out of the spectrum of trends… so let’s make good use of it! I’m looking for ways to cut on carbs these days, and zoodles are a great way to imitate a plate of pasta without all the empty calories! Don’t worry if you don’t own a special zoodle machine. Use the cheese grater!
I’ve made the zoodles ultra creamy with the help of an avocado-based pesto and given them a fresh touch of cilantro. If you are one of those “soap” tasting people, substitute it with some basil. Plus, since the carbs are low, the avocado will help satisfy and unctuous the dish.
What is Pesto?
I did not know if I could call this sauce a “pesto,” so I checked my good friend Wikipedia and got my answer. Pesto is technically a paste made by pounding, in other words, done in a mortar. Nowadays most make their pesto with a blender. So, I’ve used it for this “modern pesto.” The idea came from another Zoodle recipe I made last year, which was dreamy creamy.
This time I wanted to use different ingredients yet still similar to Genovese pesto. I’ve changed the basil for cilantro, the pine nuts for sunflower seeds, and the garlic for a fresh green pepper. I wanted to use shrimp with the Zoodles to add proteins, so I thought this “sweet pesto” would fit with a spiced shrimp.
Many Types of Paprika
There are many types of paprikas in Spain: smoked, spicy, bittersweet and sweet. Each is made with different peppers and methods, which gives them their attributes. You’ll find the sweet type on most supermarket shelves.
For this recipe, I wanted some of that “spicy” paprika for the shrimp to complement the sweet, creamy pesto underneath. If you have sweet paprika, add a sprinkle of Espelette pepper or cayenne powder. We wouldn’t want to make this a “too sweet” dish and miss that lovely dynamic duo that is spicy and sweet!
Other Zoodle Ideas
So let’s make zoodles!
Cilantro Pesto Zoodles with Shrimps
- 6 zucchinis
- 200 g frozen shrimps
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp vodka (*optional)
- 1 tsp spicy paprika
- salt and pepper
- 1 avocado
- 2 handful cilantro leaves
- 50 g sunflower seeds
- 1/4 green bell pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lime (juice)
- salt and pepper
- Start by making the zoodles with the zucchinis, using a mandoline or spiralizer, and add them to a sieve with a sprinkle of salt.
- In a blender, blend all the ingredients for the cilantro pesto and reserve.
- In a small pan, on medium-high heat, cook the shrimp with the vodka, garlic, paprika and salt and let them cook until the liquid is out (2-3 minutes).
- Rinse the pan and cook, medium-high heat, the zoodles in a bit of olive oil for 1 minute, just enough to warm them up.
- Add the pesto to the zoodles and mix.
- Serve the shrimp on top of the zoodles with a lime wedge.