One-pot meals are my jam. Nothing makes me crazier than a bunch of dishes in the sink, plus cooking everything in one pot is just a lot easier than handling multiple pots and pans. This shrimp and pesto pasta was created to satisfy my one-pot wonder love. The pesto is homemade and dairy free, plus it's made with almond butter instead of pricey pine nuts. The shrimp are the perfect level of spicy, and the pasta is the perfect balance of bright and creamy. It's a light, healthy pasta, but you wouldn't know it.
Here's what you need.
For the pesto:
- Fresh spinach. We use baby spinach, but any spinach will do.
- Fresh basil
- Almond butter. This takes the place of pine nuts in traditional pesto recipes, which are quite expensive. We always have almond butter on hand, so we can just pull it out of the pantry to make this pesto.
- Pantry ingredients/spices: Olive oil, garlic, fresh lemon juice, black pepper, salt, and crushed red pepper
For the pasta and shrimp:
- Grape or cherry tomatoes. We love the multicolored grape tomatoes at Costco or Sam's Club, but any variety will work.
- Shrimp. We usually buy a bunch of frozen peeled and deveined shrimp when it's on sale at the grocery store.
- Spaghetti. We love this with spaghetti, but angel hair or linguine would work too, if that's your preference. I haven't tested it with short pasta, but you could try that too.
- Almond milk. I cook the spaghetti in an almond milk/chicken broth combo, which makes the sauce a little creamy without adding a bunch of fat. You can use your favorite dairy-free milk (or regular milk if you're not dairy free).
- Chicken broth
- Pantry ingredients/spices: olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, ground cayenne, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and fresh lemon juice
Here's how you make it:
This pasta is made in one pot and it's so easy.
First, prepare the shrimp. Combine shrimp, olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, ground cayenne, salt, and black pepper in a bowl and toss to combine. Set the shrimp aside.
Next, add olive oil to a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Then add grape tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, until they're beginning to soften. Then scoot the tomatoes to the outside of the pot and add the shrimp to the middle. Cook the shrimp for 1 minute, then flip and cook the other side for another minute.
Remove the shrimp and tomatoes from the pot and place into a bowl. Next, add chicken broth and almond milk to the pot and let it come to a simmer, about 3-4 minutes. Then add the spaghetti. Let the spaghetti cook until it's al dente and almost all of the liquid has cooked out, about 10-12 minutes depending on what kind of pasta you're using.
While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto. Combine spinach, basil, garlic, lemon juice, almond butter, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper in a food processor and process until smooth.
Once the pasta is done, add pesto, shrimp, tomatoes, fresh lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and crushed red peppers, and stir to combine.
Serve with fresh basil and extra lemon juice on top.
Shrimp and Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes: FAQs
Of course! This pesto is quick and easy, but if you're in a pinch or have a favorite cheese-free pesto, you can totally use it in this recipe (we love the Vegan Kale, Cashew, Basil Pesto at Trader Joe's). If you're not dairy free, you can also use your favorite regular pesto. I'd recommend using 1.5 cups.
No problem! Just add more almond milk or broth a half cup at a time until your pasta is cooked. Some pastas absorb more liquid than others.
Sure! Just omit the shrimp and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. If you want to add some protein, some white beans or nuts (like pine nuts or roasted pecans) would be a great addition!