15-minute pesto & broccoli shrimp pasta

shrimp and spinach walnut pesto over whole wheat penne - a hearty, satisfying meal that can be made in 15 minutes start to finish! // cait's plate

There are so many incredible things about this dish.

The flavor, the amount of nutrition it packs but by far the best part about it is the ease with which it comes together.

I kid you not, this can be on your table in 15 minutes.

shrimp and spinach walnut pesto over whole wheat penne - a hearty, satisfying meal that can be made in 15 minutes start to finish! // cait's plate

It makes for a perfect weeknight dinner – minimal work to make and minimal cleanup afterward.  In my book, that’s pretty much the definition of an ideal dinner for any night of the week, but most especially on a weekday when I get home from work and don’t feel like cooking.

shrimp and spinach walnut pesto over whole wheat penne - a hearty, satisfying meal that can be made in 15 minutes start to finish! // cait's plate

Fish in general makes a great weeknight meal for that exact reason.  It cooks quickly and can be paired with easy side dishes like steamed veggies and brown rice or pasta and still feel like a gourmet meal.

I always like to keep a bag of frozen shrimp on hand for that exact reason.  While ideally I would always be able to eat fresh-caught fish, I find frozen is not only more realistic but also more affordable.

shrimp and spinach walnut pesto over whole wheat penne - a hearty, satisfying meal that can be made in 15 minutes start to finish! // cait's plate

Like most of my meals, this one is more of less an all-in-one.  It provides whole grains from the pasta, veggies from the brococli, healthy fats from the spinach walnut pesto and protein from the shrimp and sprinkle of cheese.

Not too bad to go from starving and exhausted to serving up this meal with a hefty dose of nutrition in 15 minutes, am I right?

15 minute pesto & broccoli shrimp pasta

Serving Size: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • For the Pesto
  • 3-4 large handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 3-4 cloves peeled garlic (less if you don't really like the garlic taste to shine through)
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnut halves
  • Olive oil (I really don't measure the olive oil, I stream it in until I've reached the desired thinness - we like ours kind of thick, the more olive oil you stream in, the thinner the pesto will get)
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the Pasta, Broccoli & Shrimp
  • 4 ounces of whole wheat penne, cooked according to package instructions
  • 8 ounces jumbo frozen shrimp
  • 1 10oz bag frozen broccoli florets, cooked
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (less if you don't enjoy spice)
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Freshly shaved parmesan cheese

Instructions

    For the Pesto see my recipe complete with a video guide here
    For the Pasta, Broccoli & Shrimp
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions
  2. Steam or boil frozen broccoli until cooked to desired texture (I like to cook mine in water on the stovetop for about 8 minutes)
  3. While pasta and broccoli boil, place a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil
  4. Place shrimp into pan sprinkling both sides with a pinch of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes flipping as needed and cooking on both sides until no longer translucent and pink (about 3-5 minutes)
  5. Drain the pasta and toss with pesto while the pasta is still warm, stirring to ensure penne is well covered
  6. Toss in shrimp and broccoli, tossing to combine
  7. Serve and sprinkle each serving with shaved parmesan cheese and additional red pepper flakes as desired
http://caitsplate.com/15-minute-pesto-broccoli-shrimp-pasta/

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