I would like to thank the AMAZING people over at my favorite butter and cheese company, Kerrygold USA, for sending me some butter and cheese to try out that I used in this recipe.
Time for a switch from all the sweets I have made this month to one of my favorite easy and healthy recipes, baked shrimp scampi made with spaghetti squash instead of pasta. I love shrimp. It's so quick to prepare and so versatile in many recipes.
I always have a bag of wild shrimp in my freezer to make for quick weeknight meals. They thaw so fast, cook even faster and shrimp scampi ingredients tend to be something most people have on hand at all times.
Being a busy parent, quick weeknight meals are definitely a necessity. This is one of my go-to's for a quick meal. The longest part of this recipe is roasting the spaghetti squash but even that step really isn't that long and you can always roast the squash ahead of time, shred and have ready to go to make this meal come together even faster.
What ingredients are in Baked Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti Squash?
Spaghetti squash - I love the way this bakes up and shreds similar to spaghetti. Microwave to soften, cut in half, scoop out seeds, roast cut side down until soft.
Shrimp - I like to use bigger shrimp for this recipes either 15-20 per pound or 21-23 per pound size. I like to find shrimp thats already deveined to save myself time.
Butter - I use unsalted and since the shrimp are marinated less butter is used than in traditional shrimp scampi recipes
lemon juice - adds brightness and acidity
white wine - another ingredient of classic shrimp scampi
shallot - I prefer shallots to onions in this recipe
garlic - a must for shrimp scampi my recipe uses 4 cloves, you can use more if you want it even more garlicky
chicken broth - part of the marinade, you can also use vegetable broth if you like
cheese - I use a few different Kerrygold cheeses, some lower in fat. You can use whatever cheese you like
Italian parsley - This gets mixed into the marinade as well as sprinkled over the top of the finished dish.
I love my version of spaghetti squash shrimp scampi because it has SO much flavor with the marinade and it uses way less butter. I believe that butter is absolutely healthy for us, cheese too.
But the quality is what makes it healthy, and our bodies NEED fat, healthy fats, and I believe that some high quality butter and dairy are healthy and they are staples in my family's diet.
I go for grass-fed, non-gmo, organic butter and cheese, always. Kerrygold butter and cheeses are my family's absolute favorites. My 5 year old would eat 2 lbs of Dubliner a day if I let her. She sees it and says " THAT is my most favorite cheese EVER" and I can't blame her, it's really good. (edit - she is now 13 and still loves cheese just as much if not more, she asked for a wheel of parmesan for her birthday!)
I also love the Skellig, or sweet cheddar, because it was love at first bite. It's got a sweet and savory flavor to it and I love using it in a variety of recipes like my baked recipe shrimp scampi here and for mac and cheese. I bet it would even be amazing on a grilled cheese sandwich.
Traditional shrimp scampi has a LOT of butter in it, which tastes amazing, but to lighten this up a but I decided to go with a marinade which really gives this dish a lot of flavor and just a couple tablespoons of butter.
Spaghetti squash is my go-to for noodle replacement. I do love zoodles aka zucchini noodles, but I prefer to shred zucchini and add it to pasta sauces and use spaghetti squash as a noodle replacement when we want a meal with more vegetables and less pasta.
How do you roast spaghetti squash?
Spaghetti squash is fairly easy to roast, I like using a quasi water bath to roast spaghetti squash. I will microwave the squash for just a few minutes to soften enough to cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds then I place cut side down in a shallow roasting pan. I will add two cups of water and then roast for around 30 minutes at 400 Deg F. Until the tops are starting to brown and they are soft. This makes them easier to shred with a fork.
Once they are done I take out of the oven and immediately flip them over and let cool for a few minutes, long enough for me to be able to shred without burning my hands.
You can roast the spaghetti squash a day ahead of time to save time on the day of making this baked shrimp scampi recipe.
Other shrimp recipes you should definitely make:
- 1 Medium spaghetti squash - about 2 pounds
- 1 ½ pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails still on. ( I like using 15-20 pound or 21-30 pound size shrimp)
For the Marinade
- 2 tablespoons Kerrygold unsalted butter, melted
- Zest of one large lemon ( about a tablespoon)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup shallot, diced (about 2 large)
- ½ cup fresh Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¾ cup organic chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 cup Kerrygold cheese, divided ( ½ cup Skellig, ½ cup reduced fat Dubliner)
- Italian parsley for garnish
Make the Squash
- Preheat oven to 400 Deg F.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, place cut side down in a baking dish and fill halfway up the sides of the squash with water. Bake 30-40 min or until the tops of the squash indent when you press on them.
- Remove from the oven, immediately remove the squash from the pan and separate out the squash with a fork and place in a bowl. Mix in ¾ cup of the cheese.
- Spread the squash mixture in an even layer in a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.
Make the marinade:
- While the squash is halfway through roasting marinate the shrimp. Peel and devein the shrimp and place in a medium bowl. You can leave the tails on if you like. To save time find shrimp already deveined.
- In a small bowl whisk together the melted butter, lemon zest and juice, garlic, shallots, Italian parsley, salt, pepper, chicken broth and vinegar. Pour the marinade over the shrimp and let sit for 20 min.
Assemble and Bake:
- Spread the shrimp mixture over the top of the squash, and pour any remaining marinade over the pan. Bake at 400 deg. for 20 min or until the shrimp start to turn pink. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle some more chopped Italian parsley over the top. Serve immediately.
If you can't find the Kerrygold cheeses I used, you can replace with any reduced fat cheese of your liking.
You can roast the squash a day ahead of time, shred and keep in an airtight container. Heat up before adding the cheese and placing in the baking dish when you are ready to bake.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Kerrygold USA sent me some butter and cheeses to make a recipe with them. I received no other compensation. I only work with brands I believe in and use and I am a huge fan of Kerrygold and that their products come from grassfed cows.