I love pasta; possibly more than most people. It’s my comfort food and usually what I am craving any given day. Before attempting whole30 or paleo (or a combination of both), I ate pasta at least once a week. Now, determined to keep up my healthy living (not sure I’d call it a diet – but just cutting back), I decided to attempt to satisfy my craving with a lighter version of a perennial favorite: shrimp scampi over spaghetti (squash). This recipe is Paleo and Whole30 friendly, gluten and dairy-free (should you choose to make it that way). Enjoy!
Total Time: 50 min
Makes: 2-4 servings
- 1 MEDIUM SPAGHETTI SQUASH
- 2 TBS OLIVE OIL
- SALT & PEPPER, TO TASTE
- 3 TBS GARLIC, MINCED
- ¼ TSP RED PEPPER FLAKES
- 10-12 MEDIUM SHRIMP, PEELED & DEVEINED
- 1 TBS LEMON JUICE
- 1 TBS PARSLEY, CHOPPED
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut squash in half, remove seeds and pierce skin approx. 4-5 times on each half. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 TBS olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip over and bake, cut side down, for 30-40 minutes. Let cool before handling.
- While squash is baking, prepare the shrimp scampi topping. Heat the remaining 1 TBS oil in a large pan. Sautee garlic and red pepper flakes until tender, approx. 1 minute. Add shrimp to pan in a single layer, cook through, about 2 minutes per side until pink
- Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to your taste
- Scoop squash from the shell into a large bowl. Season with additional salt & pepper if desired. Divide onto plates (about half per person for a large serving). Top with 5-6 shrimp along with garlic mixture.
- If you don’t have time to bake the squash in the oven, it can be cooked in the microwave. Cut down the center, scoop out seeds. Place, cut side down in a pan of water. Microwave for about 8-10 minutes, checking halfway through. Drain water, let cool before handling. Personally, I prefer the oven method, if I have the time as I find the squash is easier to scrape away from the shell when baked in the oven but the microwave works fine – just requires a bit more “elbow grease” when removing
- Personally, I will never go dairy-free, as it’s just not realistic for me, so topped with grated Parmesan. Thanks to the flavor of the garlic and red pepper it’s not entirely necessary as cheese is not permitted on a Whole30 diet – but, if you do add the parmesan, this recipe is still keto and gluten-free so not all is lost.
- If you are curious about a Whole30 and Paleo, Parmesan substitute: blend 1 cup of raw cashews, 4 tsp of nutritional yeast, and 1 tsp garlic powder in a high-power blender. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month and sprinkle on anything you would have put Parmesan cheese on.