Shrimp, Zucchini and Pesto Gnocchi


gnoc3One of my favorite things about the spring is having an abundance of basil- which in turn means I have an abundance of pesto. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who loves pesto more than my husband. He adores it and for a good reason- he grew up eating the most fantastic pesto made by his mom. My mother-in-law has this pesto thing in the bag and I could pretend that my pesto is better than hers but I am not a liar:) and her’s simple ROCKS!gnoc5

The reason I love this shrimp, zucchini and pesto gnocchi dish I am about to share with you is because it semi-homemade. The pesto was given to me by my MIL and the gnocchi (although I have a great homemade version here) is store-bought. Can I get a YEAH! Raise your hand if you would rather be in the kitchen during a beautiful spring day or outside playing with the kids and enjoying the weather?gnoc2

Some people tend to shy away from gnocchi because they prefer their potatoes stuffed, fried or mashed but the truth is potatoes are a wonderful stand in for pasta and much much MUCH easier to make. Although the gnocchi is pre-made there is one thing I like to do to these that adds a nice special touch. I like to pan-fry them for just a few minutes. I know it sounds weird to some but although I love a plain standard gnocchi recipe I simply adore it when the gnocchi has that slight crisp on the outside, much like a french fry. So…. after boiling the gnocchi per the package instructions I heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet and toss the gnocchi around and allow them to crisp up for a just a few minutes. It makes all the difference in the WORLD! The grilled shrimp and zucchini add that perfect touch and transform the pesto gnocchi into a main dish. The zucchini is sauteed along with shallots and garlic almost to the point where its getting brown and the shrimp are marinated in a bath of thyme, soy c until they are ready for the grill pan. Truly a dish to remember and one you will want to have over and over again.

Shrimp, Zucchini and Pesto Gnocchi
  • ½ cup of homemade or store-bought pesto
  • 30 oz. of pre-made gnocchi or homemade
  • 2 medium zucchini, washed and sliced
  • 1½ lbs of fresh unpeeled shrimp
  • 2 tsp minced shallots
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 3 TBSP of olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper each
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • For the marinade:
  • 3 TBSP of olive oil
  • 2 TBSP of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper each
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 4 TBSP butter, melted
  1. Mix together the marinade and toss it with the shrimp. Allow to marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Boil the gnocchi according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat 2 TBSP of oil in a large skillet. Saute the zucchini, garlic and shallots for 7-8 minutes on medium high heat until the zucchini is slightly charred. Add in the shrimp and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the shrimp shells are hot pink and the shrimp is opaque. Transfer the shrimp and veggie mixture into a large serving bowl. In the same skillet, heat 1 TBSP of olive oil and toss in the gnocchi, stirring it around until the gnocchi starts to turn brown around the edges.
  4. Add the gnocchi to the shrimp and zucchini and toss with the pesto, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.


  1. Sues

    I LOVE pesto, too, and this looks like such a fun dish for summer!!

    28 . Apr . 2015
  2. Jasline (Foodie Baker)

    Love the tip about pan-frying the gnocchi after boiling them, this looks absolutely delicious!

    29 . Apr . 2015
  3. Mandy

    Ooo, what an incredible meal Belle! Scrumptious!
    Have a beautiful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    29 . Apr . 2015
  4. Monica

    Looks totally delicious and I definitely lean on semi-homemade cooking for all the meals we make every day and particularly during warm weather when there are so many things to do and enjoy!

    29 . Apr . 2015
  5. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    I’ve pan fried gnocchi in brown butter and sage sauce before but never like this. What a winner of a dish.

    29 . Apr . 2015
  6. Tricia @ Saving room for dessert

    The pan fried gnocchi sounds wonderful. The color is a big plus and the whole dish looks great. Another delicious idea! Thanks so much 🙂

    29 . Apr . 2015
  7. nancy at good food matters

    so full of flavor but light for summer dining. Do you recommend any particular brand of pre-made gnocchi ?
    I must confess that the few I’ve tried have been “gummy.”

    30 . Apr . 2015
  8. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    Pesto makes the dish! This looks so delicious and moreish.

    01 . May . 2015
  9. Lea Andersen

    Last week I made my husband a good plate of Zucchini with corn and cilantro, and since he is so MUCH in love with zucchini then I am here now searching for another recipe to prepare for him, and viola I found this one. Thanks for this, he promised to take me out on a dinner menu at mott32 , if I can make him another zucchini dish. Success!

    07 . May . 2015
  10. Sylvie | Gourmande in the Kitchen

    Sounds like an awesome combination, pesto gnocchi is just so darn good!

    20 . May . 2015

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