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Ready in just minutes, this flavorful pesto shrimp is a great option when you need a quick meal on the table.
Possibly because I grew up away from the coast, I often forget about shrimp as an option for mealtime.
I’m always thrilled when I remember, because shrimp is such a quick and easy protein! It cooks in just minutes and the mild flavor can take on a variety of seasonings.
One of my favorites, especially in summer, is pesto shrimp.
Whether you make your own pesto or use a jarred variety, this easy pesto shrimp is a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Ingredients for pesto shrimp
Raw shrimp – I prefer to get peeled and deveined shrimp to reduce the amount of prep work needed. It’s up to you whether you want to go for tails on or tails off.
This recipe calls for 1 pound of shrimp. Frozen shrimp are sold by the pound with the approximate number of shrimp listed on the front of the bag.
Use the size you prefer, keeping in mind that large or jumbo shrimp will take a little longer to cook than medium shrimp.
Olive oil – For coating the pan to cook the shrimp.
Pesto sauce – I usually use basil pesto for this recipe, but you can use pesto made from other greens too, like carrot top pesto.
If you’re making your own pesto, don’t feel tied to using pine nuts! I nearly always swap in walnuts, pecans, or almonds.
Lemon wedges – A squeeze of fresh lemon juice is the perfect thing to finish off this dish. I like to give each person their own lemon wedges to add to taste.
How to make this recipe
Make sure your shrimp are fully thawed. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Set a large skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. Swirl to coat the pan.
Once the oil is hot, add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip shrimp, and cook another 1-2 minutes more, until opaque.
Stir in the pesto sauce, coating the shrimp.
Remove from heat and serve with lemon wedges.
Tips and tricks
Make sure your shrimp is fully thawed before cooking. You can thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, or in a colander under running water.
Don’t forget to use COLD water, not warm, to thaw!
Shrimp cooks quickly, so only cook it until it turns opaque. As it cooks, the proteins will tighten and the shrimp will curl.
A good rule of thumb is to cook the shrimp until it forms a C shape. If it continues to cook and form an O shape, it could be overdone.
Overcooking shrimp can make it rubbery, which isn’t delicious!
I like to serve pesto shrimp with cheesy polenta or a bowl of pasta with garlic bread.
It’s also good served with rice and cooked vegetables such as blistered cherry tomatoes or sautéed asparagus, or tucked into a hoagie roll for a sandwich.
If you like, you can serve with additional parmesan cheese, fresh basil, or a sprinkling of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.
Have leftover shrimp? Use it to make shrimp hush puppies!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound shrimp, thawed, peeled, and deveined
- 1/4 cup pesto
- Lemon wedges
- Heat a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high. Add the olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the shrimp. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes more. Shrimp is done when it is opaque.
- Stir in pesto sauce, coating shrimp. Remove from heat and serve with lemon wedges.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…