Zucca Spaghetti with Walnut Ginger Pesto & Lemon Shrimp

Walnut pesto with pungent ginger and fragrant fresh basil is the hero that brings this dish together. Walnuts have the highest concentration of antioxidants among nuts, while also containing essential fatty acids, so keep them on hand and snack on them often! In this dish, spaghetti squash is a carotenoid-rich stand-in for pasta, while protein-packed shrimp is among the seafood picks with the least amount of mercury.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Darren Kemper

Love veggie noodles? Check out Sweet Potato Puttanesca with Chicken & Swiss Chard.

Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
50 min


  • 1 4-lb spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
  • 2 packed cups fresh basil leaves, plus 2 tbsp chopped basil for garnish
  • 1/2 cup toasted unsalted walnuts (2 oz)
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place squash cut side down in a large baking dish. Add enough water to cover bottom of dish in a thin layer. Cover with foil and bake until flesh is tender when pierced with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and use a fork to scrape out flesh in spaghetti-like strands; add to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare pesto: In a food processor, combine basil leaves, walnuts, ginger and 1/8 tsp salt. Pulse until finely chopped, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With processor running, slowly pour in ¼ cup oil through the feed tube. Scrape down sides of bowl; run processor again and slowly pour ¼ cup water through the feed tube. (NOTE: If you prefer a thinner texture, add more water, 1 tbsp at a time.)
  3. In a large skillet on medium, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add squash, 1/8 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper and cook, stirring gently, until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Divide among 4 plates. Top each plate of squash evenly with pesto. Wipe out skillet.
  4. In same skillet on medium, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil on medium. Season
shrimp with remaining ¼ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Add to skillet and cook, turning once or twice, until lightly browned and opaque in the center, about 4 minutes. Top plates evenly with shrimp. Drizzle lemon juice over top and garnish with lemon zest and chopped basil.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 cup squash, 1/4 of shrimp and pesto
  • Calories 484
  • Carbohydrate Content 10 g
  • Cholesterol Content 26 mg
  • Fat Content 33 g
  • Fiber Content 7 g
  • Protein Content 26 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 4 g
  • Sodium Content 415 mg
  • Sugar Content 10 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 0 g

Trending on Clean Eating