A Rich Pasta Dish Without the Guilt? Believe It.
If you’re trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle, a rich pasta dish may be the last thing that comes to mind. Creamy sauces over sauteed shrimp and pasta almost always equal a dish with stratospheric levels of carbs, calories, and saturated fats.
Fortunately, by making smart substitutions, you can enjoy a rich, flavor-packed meal that’s loaded with whole grains, protein and “healthy” fats—and this cilantro lime shrimp and avocado pasta recipe ticks all of the boxes.
Watching your cholesterol intake, or have a shellfish allergy? You may want to avoid shrimp and other shellfish, which are known to have higher cholesterol content compared to fish and other lean proteins. Feel free to substitute a pound of sliced, grilled chicken breast for a delicious lower cholesterol alternative.
Cilantro Lime Shrimp and Avocado Pasta
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Calories Per Serving: 462
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
- 3/4 CUP fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 CUP fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 CUP fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2 TABLESPOONS olive oil
- 1 clove fresh garlic, diced
- 1 TEASPOON salt
- 1/4 TEASPOON ground cumin
- 1/4 TEASPOON ground black pepper
- 1/2 box of whole wheat linguini pasta
- 1/2 CUP reserved pasta cooking water
- 1 POUND raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (41/50 count)
- In a food processor, mix the avocado, spinach, cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin, and black pepper. Pulse until smooth. Keep the avocado sauce covered and set aside.
- Cook the pasta to your desired level of doneness (i.e. “al dente”). Before draining the pasta, set aside a half cup of the cooking water and set aside.
- While your pasta is boiling, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Once your pan and oil are hot, add the shrimp in an even layer and sprinkle with a dash of salt. Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes, stirring vigorously to ensure that they are cooked on both sides. Stir, trying to get most of the shrimp turned over as well as you can.
- When the shrimp are opaque (nearly solid white), remove the skillet from the heat. Drain any liquid from the pan and add 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro to the shrimp. Stir to combine.
- Add cooked and drained pasta to a large bowl. Then, pour over the avocado sauce and stir. If the sauce is too thick, add the reserved cooking water a little at a time until you reach your desired thickness.
- Finally, top the pasta with the cooked cilantro lime shrimp and plate.
- Serve immediately, and enjoy!
PRO-TIP: Picking the perfect avocado shouldn’t be intimidating. Look for avacados dark in color that give way to gentle pressure when gripped in your hand. Try to consume your avocados within 2 days. You can also store ripe avacados in the refridgerator to help prevent them from overripening before you’re ready to eat them.