Keto Shrimp Scampi
Who says you can’t have Italian food on keto? While you still have to stay away from the traditional carbs that are paired with the proteins, there is no reason you can’t enjoy Shrimp Scampi by adding healthy fats and substituting pasta with zucchini noodles.
This keto recipe is a quick prep and cook meal which makes it a great weeknight meal for you and the family. We’re confident it’ll be a hit whether or not you’re on the keto diet.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Lemon juice
- Dry white wine
Shrimp is a great protein option but it needs added fats to hit the high-fat requirements of keto. This shellfish offers many health benefits.
- Provides antioxidants: Shrimp contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin, which can reduce the risk of several chronic diseases . Astaxanthin’s anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to have positive impacts on heart and brain health .
- Promotes heart health: Shrimp has a bad rap for cholesterol, but studies show it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to heart health. Research shows consuming shrimp can increase “good” HDL cholesterol, and can lower blood pressure .
- Contains vitamins and minerals: A 3-ounce serving of shrimp has only 84 calories, along with 18 grams of protein and zero carbs . Shrimp is well known for being a great source of iodine, which is critical for thyroid function and optimal brain health . It also provides a variety of vitamins and minerals, including selenium, vitamin B12, iron, phosphorus, niacin, zinc, and magnesium .
Selecting High-Quality Shrimp
When buying shrimp at the grocery store, try to get wild-caught instead of farm-raised whenever possible. You can buy it raw at the seafood counter or in the frozen section. When buying raw shrimp, select those firm to the touch, with translucent shells that are light gray or pink. They should smell a little salty, like the ocean. A fishy smell is a bad sign .
Tips for Cooking Shrimp
Keep these cooking tips in mind when making shrimp:
- Thaw shrimp correctly. The best way to thaw frozen shrimp is in the refrigerator overnight. If possible, place them in a colander over a large bowl so the melted water drains out. Never microwave them, not even on the defrost setting. Never leave them out to thaw at room temperature. Never run them under warm water to thaw.
- Devein shrimp correctly. It’s always more convenient to buy shelled deveined shrimp. But if you can’t, then here’s how to devein them:
- Get a sharp paring knife or a pair of kitchen shears
- Make a shallow cut along the top of the shrimp from the head to the tail
- Scrape out the black material (which is the shrimp’s digestive tract)
- Cook shrimp correctly. Since they’re so small, shrimp cooks quickly within minutes. Never leave them unattended on the stove. Overcooking shrimp makes them unpleasant to eat because they’ll become tough and chewy. After cooking them, shrimp should be firm yet tender, and the meat should be whitish-pink in color.
Zucchini is a summer squash that’s considered a vegetable, but botanically classified as a fruit. It’s a popular vegetable option on low-carb diets because one cup of cooked zucchini only contains 2 grams of net carbohydrates (3 grams total, including 1 gram of fiber).
It’s also a good source of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, C, and K, plus manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, phosphorus, thiamine, iron, calcium, and zinc. Zucchini is an especially good source of vitamin A, which is linked to vision and immune health .
Other health benefits of zucchini include:
- Rich in antioxidants: Zucchini’s high antioxidant levels can help your body fight inflammation, prevent cell damage, and protect you from certain diseases, including cancer. They can also benefit the health of your eyes, skin, and heart . The three antioxidants that are most plentiful in zucchini are lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene .
- Enhances gut health: Eating zucchini can support a healthy digestive system. That’s because zucchini is high in water content and fiber. Both of these can reduce inflammation and minimize symptoms of digestive issues, such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) .
- Supports weight loss: Zucchini’s high water and fiber content can also help you lose weight. High fiber foods can help suppress your appetite and reduce cravings . Research shows consuming low-carb dark green or yellow vegetables is beneficial for weight loss .
Other Ways to Cook With Zucchini
Zucchini is a delicious way to lower carb consumption. It’s used in many keto and low-carb recipes in place of noodles, like this one. Here are some other delicious ways to use zucchini:
- Use it in place of pizza crust: Use zucchini to make pizza boats. Hollow out the inside and fill it with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your choice of pizza toppings.
- Add it to salads: Slice it and add it to any salad for a refreshing crunch and vitamin boost.
- Add it to soups and stews.
- Add it to marinara sauce.
- Add it to casseroles.
- Chop it up and saute it in olive oil or butter for a simple side dish.
- Slice it thinly and use it in place of lasagna noodles.
- Make zucchini fries!
- Make our most popular breakfast casserole!
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- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups zucchini noodles
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- Prep your shrimp by patting dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Cook shrimp for about a minute on each side. Don’t overcook the shrimp because it will be tough and chewy!
- Remove shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
- Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter to the skillet and let it reheat.
- Add the chopped shallot and garlic and let it cook until golden brown, stirring frequently.
- Add lemon juice and parsley and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine and let it simmer until the liquid has thickened.
- Add the shrimp back into the sauce and heat until incorporated.
- Serve over zucchini noodles. (Note, the heat of the sauce will soften the zucchini noodles. If you prefer the zucchini noodles to be cooked, you can saute in a little olive oil for a minute prior to serving with the sauce.)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4
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