Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles and Lemon-Garlic Butter

Quick and EasyGluten-FreePaleo

Zucchini noodles with shrimp! Toss with lemon-garlic butter for a quick, easy dinner. Ready in 30 minutes.

Photography Credit: Sabrina Modelle

A couple of years ago, I had a major bumper crop of zucchini. I found a million ways to eat it and cook with it, but this simple meal of shrimp with zucchini noodles and lemon-garlic butter was one I went back to again and again.

Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Lemon-Garlic ButterI’ve tried making zucchini ribbons with a simple vegetable peeler, a mandolin, and a spiralizer. I personally like using a vegetable peeler or mandolin the best. Making these wide pappardelle-like noodles wastes less of the vegetable than curly, spiralized zoodles. Also their texture is just so lovely.

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Most mandolins will produce a slightly thicker noodle than the peeler. You might need to cook the noodles a minute or so longer if your noodles seem fairly thick.

Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Lemon-Garlic ButterThe lemon-garlic butter is extra delicious because I brown the butter a little bit first and then steep the minced garlic in the butter while everything else cooks. The lemon juice goes in a the very last moment. This way, there’s no risk of burning the garlic and the lemon juice tastes fresh.

This recipe works well as a light mid-week dinner, especially when you’re in the mood for vegetables with a little protein, or as a side dish at a dinner party or potluck.

Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles and Lemon-Garlic Butter Recipe

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

This recipe also works well with spiralized zucchini noodles made with a spiralizer or a julienne peeler.


  • 4 to 5 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 26/30 count shrimp)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Fresh chopped parsley, to garnish

Special equipment:


1 Prepare the zucchini: Slice each zucchini down its length using a vegetable peeler or on a mandolin, creating long, thin ribbons. Stop when you get to the core, which doesn't peel well (and eat it as a snack!).

Lay the noodles out on paper towels in a single layer and sprinkle them with salt. Leave them to “sweat” for about 10 minutes.

Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Lemon-Garlic Butter

2 Melt the butter and steep the garlic: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Tilt and swirl the pan gently to move the butter around. The butter will foam a bit, then begin to smell nutty and turn amber with small brown solids on the bottom.

Once this happens, immediately pour butter into a heat-proof bowl, jar, or cup. Use a spatula to scrape all of the browned bits into the bowl. Add the minced garlic to butter and set aside.

Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Lemon-Garlic Butter Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Lemon-Garlic Butter

3 Season the shrimp: Pat the cleaned shrimp with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture, then toss them with a heavy pinch of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

4 Cook the shrimp: Wipe the skillet used to melt the butter clean. Return it to medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot (but not smoking) add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

Working in batches, cook the shrimp for about 2 minutes on each side. They should be pink and opaque, but not curled up too tightly. Transfer to a plate.

Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Lemon-Garlic Butter

5 Cook the zucchini noodles: Pat the excess moisture from the noodles. Place the skillet back over medium high heat, and add a bit of cooking oil (just enough to coat).

Toss the zucchini gently in the pan so that it just begins to lose its stiffness. You want it to be al dente, just like pasta. The whole process shouldn’t take more than 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat.

6 Toss everything together and serve: Whisk lemon zest and juice into the brown butter and garlic. Off the heat, add the shrimp back to the pan with the zucchini and pour the lemon-garlic butter over top.

Toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates. Top with fresh parsley and serve.

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Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Lemon-Garlic Butter

Sabrina Modelle

Sabrina Modelle started The Tomato Tart in 2010. Since then, recipes and photographs have been featured in media outlets, worldwide. The site features handmade, homemade, food that happens to be gluten free. When she’s not working, Sabrina can be found with her nose in a cookbook and a dog in her lap.

More from Sabrina

8 Comments / Reviews

No ImageShrimp with Zucchini Noodles and Lemon-Garlic Butter

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Mike Davis

    Just discovered this site. Great site! Is there any nutritional info on the recipes?

    Thank you,

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Rosa

    I made this last Friday…it was DELICIOUS! I have to say it took longer than 30 min. And you need lot’s of cookie sheets to spread out the sliced zucchini single layer. Next time, I’ll know to allow for more time. It WAS super delish, though! :-)

    Show Replies (1)
  3. vireyda

    This was so intensely good I didn’t know what to do with myself. Super quick and easy!

  4. Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    I love that it’s so easy to make. During hot summer days I like fast solutions.

  5. Alida @My Little Italian Kitchen

    Garlic butter is so popular over here in the UK. This simple and easy dish looks so refreshing. I love prawns and zucchini. It is just the perfect combo!

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Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Lemon-Garlic ButterShrimp with Zucchini Noodles and Lemon-Garlic Butter