Jul 24, 2012

Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers



Homemade pesto with basil from my garden makes a scrumptious addition to shrimp. Serve these at your next backyard BBQ or serve them with pasta or a salad for a quick weeknight meal! 


My sister-in-law is about to have a baby any day now! They served a wonderful grilled pesto shrimp at her garden baby shower that I just loved (pictured below)! So simple and delicious, I knew I had to make them myself.


They served them on a platter over a bed of greens, but this is also great served as skewers so you can hold them in your hand.


I recreated these a few weeks ago at a small backyard party and they were a hit! These will be making a regular appearance at my future back yard parties. I often keep the nuts out of my pesto to keep the fat content down and everyone always loves it. And bonus, these are low-carb, gluten-free and delicious!

Note: Keep in mind that when you remove the shell from the shrimp it will weigh less, so I started with about 2 lbs of shrimp to get 1 1/2 lbs after I peel them. Depending on the size of your shrimp you will get different amounts. I used jumbo, so that gave me about 35 shrimp, 5 on each skewer. One skewer is the perfect serving size but if you want to serve this as an appetizer, you can put 3 as a small bite.


Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers
Skinnytaste.com
Servings:Serving Size: 1 skewer • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 180 • Fat: 8.4 g • Protein: 25.3 g • Carb: 0.4 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 292 mg (without salt)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeled)
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 7 wooden skewers

Directions:

In a food processor pulse basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing.

Combine raw shrimp with pesto and marinate a few hours in a bowl. Soak wooden skewers in water at least 20 minutes (or use metal ones to avoid this step). Thread shrimp onto 7 skewers. 


Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-low heat until hot. Be sure the grates are clean and spray lightly with oil. Place the shrimp on the hot grill and cook until shrimp turns pink on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes; turn and continue cooking until shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.


Serves 7.

95 comments :

  1. YUM! I sometimes add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and lemon zest to my pesto also for brightness! This looks great thanks for figuring out the points and keeping the oil light!

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    1. They key is to make it in the food processor! Doesn't work in the blender with so little oil.

      Love the lemon, I bet it would be great with the shrimp.

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    2. I've also cut back on the olive oil with a little broth or water (a little, not a lot!)

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  2. Amazing. I actually made some pesto this past weekend I was wondering what to do with the rest of it. Thank you!

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  3. Can these be made in a frying pan, maybe not even on the skewer but just sauteed in the pesto? I don't have a grill...

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    1. Sure! A grill pan would be better if you have one.

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    2. Or a Foreman grill!

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    3. Does the foreman grill work for these? Has anyone tried it?

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    4. Yes, The only think I cant make on the foreman is soup. These came out great.

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  4. This looks delish!! Do you think it would work as well with frozen peeled/deveined shrimp? Would it work to let them thaw, then marinade awhile in the fridge, or would they just get gross?

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    1. Yes, of course, just let them thaw first. Make sure they are raw.

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  5. Ohh, my husband would love this! If only I could overcome my extreme dislike for pesto, I'd make them in a heartbeat.

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    1. You can keep a few plain just for him. I do that with my kids.

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  6. These look great! Do you think the same technique would work with scallops? My husband is allergic to shrimp so I'd love an option we can both enjoy!

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  7. Make your pesto with arugala if you don't like basil. It's great on pasta also.

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  8. These look delicious, would there be an option for turkey or chicken. I'm not too fond of shrimp, but i love pesto!

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    1. Sure, make it on chicken skewers instead.

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  9. So excited to make this tonight!!! My garden is bursting with fresh basil right now! Making some of your zuchini recipes today, too. Love your recipes!!!

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  10. these look wonderful! I never thought to combine pesto and shrimp but it looks delicious! yum!

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  11. Mmmm...homemade pesto is also delicious with crushes cashews in the mix. Adds some protein, too.

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  12. OMG shrimp + pesto + grill...amazing!! Can't wait to try this!

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  13. these shrimp looks amazing. I need to try this!!!

    colored--shadows.blogspot.com

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  14. I just made baked pesto tilapia last night and loved it so much I've been trying to come up with lots more ways to use pesto. This is great! Thanks.

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  15. I just made these with my pesto a week or so ago. It's SO good and screams summer!

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  16. This looks amazing!!! The perfect summer barbecue food, indeed!

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  17. Oh my...when I saw this my mouth started watering. Changing dinner plans...

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  18. The other items on that buffet look delicious too. Do you have the recipes for those?

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  19. Gina, I've left comments before saying how awesome your site is, and how instrumental it's been in my weightloss...I've been a little overweight my whole life, and then once I moved in with my husband, slowly, over a year, 30 pounds just disappeared. When I did WW before your site, it just wasn't possible. Your focus on whole foods and real foods is always amazing and packed with so much flavor. I've been visiting my parents and cooking up delicious treats for them that they gobble up...who knew my italian mother would be begging me for your mango coconut chia pudding?!
    So, just a short one to say thank you for your dedication and creativity.
    Kristina : )
    PS-Yours is one rare site where I can make something for a crowd WITHOUT testing it first or making a tester round. Win!

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    1. Thank you Kristina! That means a lot!

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  20. YUM! I have some pesto and some shrimp - will have to try this recipe out!

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  21. Printing this recipe off. I get basil in my CSA every now and then and although I know I can make pesto, I don't know why I only think of pasta. This is now on my menu for the week.

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  22. Where did you get the flat skewers you show in the pictures? I can only find the skinny bamboo ones and you generally have to use two of them. Can't wait to try this!

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  23. Made these last night and paired it with the broccoli and orzo! It was an amazing meal! The grill ran out of propane mid-cook so I finished them off in the broiler.

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  24. We live in a condo, so no grill. Is it possible to cook the shrimp in the broiler?

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  25. What a delight! I love grilled shrimp even more. This basil pesto was delicious and made ​​a beautiful appearance in shrimp. the pictures are amazing.

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  26. can't wait to try this. I have so much basil in my garden that I need to use! This looks divine

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  27. What a gorgeous, fresh, summery recipe! Love it - thank you!

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  28. I totally want to be your friend so I can come to your backyard parties! :-) Seriously, though... it looks fantastic!

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  29. I was thinking about making these for an upcoming family vacation. I want to make the pesto at home and bring it with me . How many days do you think the pesto will keep in the fridge?

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    1. You can always freeze pesto & then thaw to use. I like to freeze mine in ice cube trays and then pop out of the tray & transfer to a freezer container for storage. Then I can just thaw as many pesto cubes as I will need for the dish I'm making :)

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    2. Yes, if you freeze it in a ziplock bag you'll be good!

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  30. I bet people would go crazy for your recipes on tiptap.com, shoot me a message to get a private invite!

    - jrosen@tiptap.com

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  31. My long standing low fat pesto recipe comes from Moosewood Restaurant. 2C. tightly packed basil, spinach or mixture, 2C. chopped tomatoes, 1T toasted pine nuts, 2cloves minced garlic(i toast mine with the pine nuts cause i like the sweeter rather than hotter taste), 1/2t. salt. Process in food processor and drizzle in 1T. olive oil.

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    1. I'll have to try that version sometime.

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  32. I added a few toased pine nuts... maybe 1/8th of a cup...sooo good!

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  33. I vouch for Gina's skewers & so does my 4 year old daughter...we were both at Gina's BBQ and LOVED the shrimp skewers!!!

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  34. Woke up this morning to your recipe in my inbox... Sounded good so I set out shrimp from the freezer and made this for dinner. It was amazing! I have yet to make a recipe of yours that I didn't like. You make it so easy for me to serve healthy meals to my family! Thank you!

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  35. I also would love to know where you get the flat skewers. They look much easier to use than the typical round bamboo ones. Thank you!

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  36. I made this last night and they were delicious! Thank you for the wonderful, healthy recipes.

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  37. Made last night and it was fabulous. Good cold leftover too!

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  38. You can make Pesto without nuts? I have been a bit afraid of pesto because I think certain nuts give me mirgraines, but my son and husband have been asking for it. I think I am going to try this this week.

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    1. You can also make it without the cheese for a vegan or dairy-free version! Just adjust the oil/basil ratio to get the right consistency :)

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    2. Sure, when I make it without the nuts, no one really notices.

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  39. Simply amazing! So easy and delicious!

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  40. Gina, these look amazing! I definitely need to give these a try, i loveee pesto! I have fresh basil in my garden too, but I accidentally keep letting it flower... oops.. so its really pretty bitter, not very good! Need to make a trip to the store :)

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  41. Unfortunately I don't have a food processor, any way this would work with a blender?

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  42. It does work with a blender, but you may need to add a little more oil so the blade doesn't get stuck.

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  43. Made these last night and they were fantastic. No idea why I never thought of pairing shrimp and pesto before but it was a match made in heaven. Served with grilled corn and a tomato, bread and cucumber salad, it was the perfect summer meal.

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  44. Oh, my, this shrimp looks WONDERFUL! And my basil plants are lush with leaves for making some fresh pesto sauce.

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  45. Excellent recipe...Add 3 tablespoons of Ricard or other pastis liqueur in the marinade for an amazing twist/variant...so delicious!

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  46. I love your recipes gina, so much! And pesto is a current fav in this house right now so this is getting a big ol' save :)

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  47. Trying to think of a way to do these shrimp added to some type of pasta or rice dish. Any ideas?

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  48. Amazing recipe! Absolutely delicious! I love seafood specially shrimps. Thanks for posting this recipe.

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  49. Melissa, I made these tonight with pasta. I had some vegetable spaghetti with spinach & tomato sauce which I made together and then added the shrimp skewers on top. The shrimp were just a little crisp from being grilled and it was delicious! Everyone loved them!

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  50. Gina, this recipe is fantastic! Made this last night with grilled asparagus...perfect summer meal!

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  51. made this last night! Hubby loved it! I usually just stalk your blog and don't comment but I have tried many of your recipes and haven't been disappointed yet! Thanks :-)

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  52. These were delicious! Will make again and loved how easy the pesto was to make!

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  53. Can you bake these?

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  54. I was looking for a fabulous chicken skewer recipe for a family BBQ, and am so glad I checked your site, Gina. After trying other recipes (from other websites), this one was a hit with my husband and I. I quadrupled the recipe and marinated the chicken for 12 hours. Since I was planning on 30 skewers, instead of cutting chicken in chunks, I cut the breasts in long pieces and threaded 2 pieces of chicken onto each skewer. I used the skinny skewers and they grilled up just fine – saw the flat ones at World Market, but didn’t need them. I also marinated and grilled whole skinless boneless chicken thighs and they were fabulous. This recipe is so easy and awesome and I received a lot of compliments and requests for your recipe.

    First time I’ve commented, but not the first recipe of yours I have tried. Love your healthy, fresh recipes!

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  55. I made these as is; they are delicious. I would not, however, recommend making them from frozen, pre-cooked shrimp. I made them from fresh and they were perfect. From pre-cooked, you are not able to get the char marks on the shrimp without overcooking and the taste doesnt come out as much. They still taste "good" but shrimp is so easy to cook that its worth it to get the fresh version. Thanks for the great recipe! Was a hit in my house and at my sister's bridal shower.

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    1. Correct, should be uncooked shrimp for sure.

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  56. I just ate these for dinner. Yummy!

    Kristina

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  57. soooooo yummy!!!!! Grilled some romaine while I was at it, and had a nice dinner!

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  58. Super yummy!

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  59. These look yummy! I bet they would be good wrapped in pancetta too!

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  60. Would this work w/the Pesto sauce that comes already made?

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    1. Sure, but the points will be higher.

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  61. Gina, This was a huge hit in my house. I haven't used pesto before but I really enjoyed yours. Looking forward to using it in some of your other recipes. Thanks!

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  62. Made this last night. Served with brown rice and corn. It was awesome. Even the kids loved it!

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  63. First ever food review: Best shrimp I have ever had. I never EVER say "ever:.

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  64. I can't wait to make these, I know they will be amazing! We are having an outdoor party next week, with everything cooked in advance, wondering how these would be at room temperature?
    Thank you so much for the recipe!

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  65. Made this tonight, two thumbs up!!

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  66. I made these this weekend for a Memorial Day BBQ....they were a HIT!! Not a single shrimp was left over...they devoured them all!

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  67. Can these be served as a cold appetizer? I'm having a graduation party tomorrow with about 40 people, so I need to do as much prep ahead of time as possible. I was just going to put out shrimp with cocktail sauce but thought this sounded more interesting, just not sure if the flavor is good cold. Thanks!

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  68. Just tried these and they are so delicious! Thank you for the recipe.

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