We’re back at it again, Spiriteds. Another flavor-filled Italian dish to start the New Year off with a bang! Previously, we took vegetables to a new level with Italian Crunchy Cauliflower Salad. And just like that dish, today’s Italian Shrimp Scampi Zoodle Bowl is everything a healthy-but-delicious recipe should be. Because who doesn’t want a little kick in their culinary step? I need all the spices and all the flavor when I’m getting back into a routine after a few weeks of cookies, cookies, and more cookies.
I also need that flavor when I’m cooking with veggie noodles. And while I now love veggie noodles, they were most definitely an acquired taste in the beginning. Garlic to the rescue. I’m not exaggerating. There’s a reason you see six cloves of garlic in earlier veggie noodle recipes. If I’m not eating dip with my veggies, then I want fresh garlic and lots of it. An Italian Shrimp Scampi Zoodle Bowl absolutely fits that bill, and it also happens to be:
But it’s big on flavor and, compared to a restaurant meal, easy on the budget. This is how we roll in the Spirited and Then Some family. We want to have our flavor and eat it, too, but without sacrificing our moolah.
If you are new to veggie noodles, you may be wondering, What’s the secret to working with them? Well, aside from garlic (obviously), it’s finding the veggie YOU will enjoy. When I first began working with veggie noodles, I started with yellow squash noodles, affectionately called “squoodles” on this blog. They offer a mild flavor, which I appreciated when I first began eating veggie noodles. I remember feeling a little nervous about trying them because, let’s be honest, historically my favorite vegetable was the potato in the form of a chip. But, I was pleasantly surprised by the squoodle and now enjoy it on the regular.
Then I moved onto to zucchini noodles, or “zoodles,” and, like squoodles, didn’t expect to like them. WHO EATS GREEN NOODLES BY CHOICE???? People who have their veggie game ON, that’s who! What started out as a mere experiment turned into a love affair with zucchini, resulting in Dairy-Free Creamy Avocado Pesto Zoodle Bowl, a beloved recipe on this blog.
Finally, I tried spaghetti squash noodles, affectionately named “spoodles” in the Spirited world. And they are the absolute closest thing to pasta I have tried so far. I was super scared to work with a spaghetti squash. Cutting into them isn’t for the faint-hearted. But I found microwaving them for a few minutes softens them up enough to cut in half for baking, and I wrote about it in this Paleo Spaghetti Squash Noodles recipe.
Why then are we using zucchini noodles in today’s Italian recipe if spoodles are the closest thing to traditional pasta? Zoodles are simply too good to pass up, especially if you are looking for an excuse to get your greens. But let’s say you have a favorite veggie noodle. Could you intermix it with any of the recipes on this blog? Absolutely yes, go for it.
How should you go about preparing your Italian Shrimp Scampi Zoodle Bowl? First, spiralize or julienne your zucchini noodles. To keep them from getting soggy, pat them with paper towels or, better yet, place them in a colander and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on them. The excess water will seep out, leaving you with delectable sauté-ready zucchini noodles.
Next, go to work on the shrimp. I buy frozen pre-cooked shrimp because that works best for our family, but you can use fresh from the seafood counter, if you’d like. I thaw my shrimp according to package instructions and throw them in the skillet with the olive oil, spices and seasonings, and, of course, the garlic. In this case, I used three cloves of garlic and didn’t add any to the zoodles. The seasonings in this Shrimp Scampi Zoodle Bowl compensate for additional garlic cloves. The flavor is restaurant-style quality without the price tag or the babysitter. You can, however, add more garlic if you need to. Again, this is especially true if you are new to veggie noodles. After adding the garlic, I sauté the shrimp for about 10-15 minutes, or until the shrimp have shrunk and started to absorb the olive oil mixture.
Finally, I throw the zoodles in with the shrimp and sauté everything together. There are a few colanders for prep, but otherwise this Italian Shrimp Scampi Zoodle Bowl is a mostly one-skillet meal, and I LOVE that. Furthermore, it’s perfect for date night IN! Get your flavor punch, put away your wallet, and settle in for an evening of outrageously good ingredients!
- 1 pound shrimp, fresh or thawed precooked and deveined with tails removed
- 2 zucchinis, julienned or spiralized
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ tablespoon dried basil
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- Coarse black pepper for garnishing
- In a large sauté pan, combine shrimp, olive oil, garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, and sea salt and sauté for about 10-15 minutes, or until shrimp have cooked through and absorbed some of the olive oil mixture (they won't absorb all of the oil, and that's okay).
- While the shrimp is sautéing, julienne or spiralize the zucchinis and pat dry with napkins or paper towels, or place them in a colander and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt to drain the excess water from the veggie noodles.
- Once the shrimp are cooked, stir in the zucchini noodles and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until desired noodle consistency is reached. As a point of reference, the longer the zucchini noodles cook, the softer they will become.
- Sprinkle with black pepper, serve, and enjoy!
- For best results, consume within 24 hours. This recipe can be refrigerated and enjoyed cold, too.