Parmesan Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

Parmesan Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

Serve up dinner for two in style with this Parmesan Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp! Tender strands of squash tossed with spinach, pesto, and parmesan, then topped with the most delicious seasoned shrimp.

Parmesan Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp


THE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 2 TBSP pesto plus any extra to taste
  • 1 ounce fresh spinach chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 8-10 ounces fresh raw shrimp (defrosted if frozen)
  • 1/4 tsp regular paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBSP  chopped parsley optional garnish



INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. For easy cutting, you can microwave your squash for 4 minutes to soften it up just a tad. The knife slides through way easier this way!
  3. Rub the cut side of the squash with 1/2 tsp olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast face-down for about 40 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Cooking time will vary a bit depending on the size of your squash, and larger squash will need to roast a bit longer to tenderize. Once ready, the once rock-hard exterior of the squash will be visibly softened with a tender interior.
  4. While the squash roasts, measure out your seasoning, clean your shrimp, and defrost if needed. Lately I've been buying frozen, deveined, easy peel shrimp. All I have to do is defrost, peel (I'll typically leave the tail on for extra flavor while cooking - totally optional!) and cook! I avoid pre-cooked shrimp at all costs because the texture doesn't work for me.
  5. Once squash is roasted, allow to cool slightly until easily handled.
  6. While it cools, pat your shrimp dry and season with paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper - plus any salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat a stainless steel skillet to medium-high heat with 1 tsp of oil and sauté your shrimp. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes until shrimp curl and become opaque. The saute time will depend on the heat setting you choose and the size of your shrimp, but regardless they’ll be perfectly cooked in a matter of minutes!
  8. Back to the squash! Use a fork to separate and fluff the strands of spaghetti squash and remove strands. While the squash is still warm, toss together with spinach, pesto, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The warm strands will wilt your spinach until bright green and glossy. If needed, you can toss the boats back in the oven to warm them up.
  9. Stuff the tasty strands back into your squash boat (load 'em up!) and top with your shrimp.
  10. Dive in while it's hot!


This recipe and image adapted from: peasandcrayons.com

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