I am so in love with this Italian Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Recipe.
Back in the 90’s many Italian restaurants served an angel hair pasta with chopped tomatoes and basil. It was everywhere, and most of the time I thought it was a bit of a bore compared to other pasta dishes and not a great value. However, the other day nostalgia hit and I wanted that dish.
I craved an Italian pasta dish with that little bit of tomato, garlic and basil. While spaghetti squash is not spaghetti, but shreds like spaghetti, it did the trick and was absolutely delicious.
It was so satisfying, I actually made it twice in one week! I could easily make this a third time and be happy.
This really is that easy dinner you make in mere minutes, once you have cooked the spaghetti squash.
What is Spaghetti Squash?
Spaghetti squash is not spaghetti, but honestly it was an even better replacement and it’s low in carbs at 7 net carbs per cup.
However, it’s not as easy as opening a box of pasta. You will have to cut through a spaghetti squash (the hardest part) and the either roast or make stove top. I wrote about this: How to Cook Spaghetti Squash, here.
Is Spaghetti Squash Keto Friendly?
Spaghetti Squash is a low-carb vegetable. One cup is 5.5. net grams. It’s one of the vegetables acceptable on a ketogenic diet and has a low glycemic index of 20. Use spaghetti squash in place of any pasta dish.
Seven Main Ingredients Make a Perfect Shrimp Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Shrimp, Spaghetti Squash, Diced Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Basil, Garlic, Pecorino
This dish couldn’t be any easier to make and once you have your cooked spaghetti squash (which can even be made in advance), it takes about twenty minutes, but tastes flavorful and hearty.
Tomatoes – Both times I used the fresh tomatoes from my one tomato plant on my deck. I didn’t even bother to peel them, but you could blanch in boiling water and take off the skins. An even easier option is to open up a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes.
Olive Oil and Garlic – I always use extra virgin olive oil and heated just enough to saute fresh garlic. Just make sure you don’t go past golden when you add the garlic. If it’s too browned, it will be bitter. Start over. Also, there’s no replacement for fresh garlic in this dish. Garlic powder and garlic salt will not yield the same flavor.
Shrimp – Did you know that unless you live at the water, the freshest shrimp is flash frozen the day it is caught. I used Trader Joe’s frozen, wild, Red Argentinian shrimp. These cook up so tender and plump and are my favorite shrimp for stews and dishes like this.
Basil, Parsley and Thyme – Herbs drive flavor and I used all three of these. Basil is a must, but if you can’t get that, use thyme or fresh oregano.
Spaghetti Squash soaks up all of these flavors and delivers a delicious Italian dish without the carbs. It is also nutrient dense, high in vitamin C and anti-oxidants.
Leftovers – If you have leftovers, lucky you. They will taste even better, heated up.
Play Around – The second time I made this, I added kalamata olives. Loved it.
More Shrimp Recipes from Spinach Tiger
Keto Shrimp Creole with Cauliflower Rice
Keto Shrimp Scampi
Italian Spicy Shrimp with Zoodles
All Healthy Shrimp Recipes from Spinach Tiger
More Spaghetti Squash Recipes from Spinach Tiger
Three Cheese Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Spaghetti Squash with Italian Sausage Mushrooms
Italian Shrimp Spaghetti Squash
- 1 cooked spaghetti squash here
- 1 pound shrimp peeled, deveined
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil extra virgin
- 6 roma tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 handful fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes optional
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
- 3 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese (or parmesan)
- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 8 kalamata olives optional
Cook Spaghetti Squash. Recipe here.
Defrost shrimp. You can set a bag of frozen in ice cold water for about twenty minutes or sit bag on counter for about one hour. Drain. Place in bowl. Set aside.
If using fresh tomatoes, cut an x on stem end and blanch for five minutes. Skin will slip off.
You can, however, skip this part. I did. Or you can use a small can of diced tomatoes.
If blanching fresh tomatoes to remove skin, chop once cooled.
Heat olive oil in heavy bottomed pot.
Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
Add chopped or diced tomatoes. Add half of the basil and all of the thyme.
Once spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, take a fork and shred it into strands.
Add cooked spaghetti squash. Stir into tomato oil mixture. Add salt, pepper, and red chile flakes. Cook for ten minutes or more on very low. Add more olive oil as needed.
This is when the squash will absorb the flavors.
Stir in shrimp. Cook about five minutes more. At this point, you can cover with a lid.
Shrimp do not take long. Don't over cook.
Remove the thyme stems. Top with more chopped basil. Season again with salt as needed.
Serve with grated pecorino or grated parmesan if desired.
I added in some kalamata olives as an option. Spanish olives would be good too.
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