These pesto shrimp bowls are made with tender shrimp served over a bed of pesto-coated couscous and topped with vibrant tomatoes. Zesty, savory, and filling, the entire dish is made in less than 30 minutes for a comforting recipe perfect for weeknight meals and fancy date night dinners.
If you didn’t already know, I’m a huge fan of seafood, and this shrimp pesto bowl is one of my most recent favorite recipes! Easy to prepare, it comes together in minutes yet looks and tastes like it takes hours to make. Plus, it’s a well-rounded dish that’s guaranteed to keep you full. Enjoy it on its own or with a side or two for a hearty comfort food that will impress even the pickiest of guests.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- High protein and full of nutrients
- Dairy free and gluten free-friendly
- Ready in less than 30 minutes
- A complete meal on its own but also pairs well with sides
- Leftovers store well for quick meals throughout the week
Ingredients & Notes
For the Bowl
- Couscous - This is a type of pasta used to give the shrimp pesto pasta some bulk. Feel free to use any other pasta or grain such as orzo, quinoa, or rice.
- Tomatoes - I recommend using grape tomatoes as they have a sweeter flavor and a sturdy texture. However, cherry tomatoes will also work.
- Dairy free pesto - I always have a batch of dairy free pesto on hand, but store-bought varieties can also be used.
For the Shrimp
- Shrimp - Use fresh or frozen shrimp. Just make sure to thaw them first.
- Lemon juice - Adds a bright citrus flavor and tenderizes the protein. Freshly squeezed is best.
- Oil - I prefer the strong flavor of olive oil, but any type of oil will work for these pesto shrimp bowls.
What shrimp is best for shrimp bowls?
Peeled and deveined shrimp is best for this shrimp pesto pasta recipe. Cooking shrimp with the tails on is common. However, it can get messy having to remove the tails with every bite, especially when the dish is served in a bowl. Therefore, I like to save time and mess by removing the tails before cooking the shrimp.
Can I use Frozen Shrimp?
Frozen shrimp will work with this recipe. In fact, most “fresh” shrimp at the seafood counter at the store was frozen beforehand. So, sometimes buying shrimp already frozen means it will be fresher. Thaw them out at room temperature, or let them soak in a little bit of warm water. Then, remove the shells and devein, if needed.
These pesto shrimp bowls require a bit of multitasking. So, you’ll want to make sure you have all your ingredients gathered before you begin. Then, you’ll just need a pot, a skillet, and a food processor, and your dinner will be ready in minutes!
Step 1: Prepare the couscous. Cook the couscous just to al dente according to the package instructions.
Step 2: Cook the shrimp. While the couscous is boiling, season the shrimp with lemon juice and sea salt. Then, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add the seasoned shrimp, and cook just until they are no longer translucent. Set the shrimp aside.
Step 3: Make the pesto. Prepare the dairy free pesto according to directions, or open a jar of pre-made pesto instead.
Step 4: Combine the ingredients. Strain the couscous, and add it back to the pot along with the pesto. Toss to combine and coat the pasta.
Divide the pesto couscous evenly in bowls, layer a few shrimp on top, and finish by adding a few tomatoes. Enjoy warm!
- Add some fresh Parmesan cheese or feta crumbles on top if you don’t need these shrimp bowls to be dairy free.
- Toss some corn and zucchini with the pesto couscous for more summer produce.
- Add microgreens on top for extra vitamins and nutrients.
- Garnish the bowl with a few chunks of fresh avocado.
- Fresh is best with this recipe. Most of the ingredients are seasonal. So, try to use fresh tomatoes, basil for the pesto, and fresh shrimp. This will really enhance the flavor of the dish.
- Timing is key with this shrimp pesto pasta recipe! You will have a few things going on at once. So, set timers as needed.
- Cook the couscous al dente so it’s just barely done. It will soften up a bit once tossed with the pesto sauce.
What to serve with pesto shrimp bowls?
Shrimp bowls are meant to be a full meal in a bowl. So, you don’t technically need to pair them with anything! They’re an easy dinner with minimal cleanup, yay! If you do want something to add on the side though, these muffins would pair well, or even these caramelized brussel sprouts, or roasted cauliflower with tahini.
How to Store
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. When ready to serve, add the dish to a microwave-safe container with a splash of water and heat in increments of 15 seconds in the microwave. Stir in between to loosen up the pesto sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, couscous is not gluten free. To make this recipe gluten free, swap the couscous with quinoa.
They’re naturally dairy free!
Yes, if you want to save some time, use store-bought pesto.
For more easy seafood recipes, check out my:
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!
Pesto Shrimp Bowls
For the bowl
- 1 cup couscous
- ½ cup grape tomatoes - halved
- ½ cup dairy free pesto
For the shrimp
- 1 lb shrimp - peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Olive oil - to cook the shrimp
- Cook the couscous according to package directions.1 cup couscous
- While the couscous is cooking, prepare the shrimp by first seasoning it with lemon juice and sea salt. Then heat a skillet with olive oil over medium heat and add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp until they are no longer translucent (they should be an opaque pink color). Set aside.1 lb shrimp, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon sea salt, Olive oil
- Prepare the dairy free pesto according to directions.½ cup dairy free pesto
- Strain the couscous and add back to the pot. Toss the couscous with the dairy free pesto until well coated.
- Assemble the bowls by adding the pesto couscous to the bottom of a bowl followed by a few shrimp and a handful of grape tomatoes.½ cup grape tomatoes