This Paleo Shrimp Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash is a more flavorful take on regular Shrimp Alfredo because it’s packed with seasoned shrimp, spinach, onion and garlic! The alfredo sauce is made with cashews, so it’s super creamy and filling. It’s all served over roasted spaghetti squash, leaving it healthy and made with all whole ingredients!
A Note About Spaghetti Squash
There’s a somewhat comical lesson that I learned in college when JR and I began dating. I had just started eating spaghetti squash and decided it would be a part of my FIRST meal to ever cook for him.. can you see where this is going yet? *sigh*
I prepared and placed the squash in the oven and set the timer. When the timer went off and I checked the squash, it was (what I thought) a little too tender. So, I put it back in the oven to cook for a few more minutes thinking it would lose moisture and create more firm spaghetti squash…but I was so wrong!
The longer you cook spaghetti squash, the mushier it gets!!
Lesson learned: NEVER over cook your spaghetti squash.
I do have to say that he kindly ate his share of spaghetti squash mush. Though as the college boy he was, I’m sure he was wondering why I didn’t just make regular spaghetti noodles in the first place. Nonetheless, he stuck with me and I’m so glad he did! Also- I’ve never ruined any spaghetti squash since then! I learned my lesson the hard way. Funny how those types of mess-ups always seem to happen when it’s for other people, huh?
In case you’re not familiar with spaghetti squash, it has a noodle-like inside. It has to be cooked before you can eat it so here are the very simple steps:
- Cut the squash long ways in half. This is the hardest part of it all- so be patient and very careful not to cut yourself!
- Scoop out the inside part with seeds.
- Place face down on a baking sheet and cook on 400°F for about 35 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.
- With a fork, scrape the inside to get your “noodles.” They should come out very easily.
And that’s it! The nice thing about spaghetti squash is that it only takes about 10 minutes to get in the oven and then you can prepare your toppings while it cooks!
Notes & Substitutions
Spaghetti Squash: In this recipe you can easily substitute any vegetable noodles in place of the spaghetti squash. I think zucchini or carrot noodles in particular would be delicious.
Cashews: I highly suggest using cashews in this recipe. If you cannot have cashews, I would replace the sauce with a different alfredo recipe because I don’t think any other nut could be replaced with a 1:1 ratio and bring the same consistency to the sauce.
Shrimp: Chicken or crawfish would both be delicious substitutions for the shrimp if you need a replacement. If you want to make this recipe plant based, you can use mushrooms in place of the meat and it would definitely be delicious!
Spinach: The thing that is great about having cooked spinach in pastas is that it has a light, soft texture and not much of a flavor. Most other dark leafy greens have a strong flavor that would change the taste of the whole dish. Kale would be a great replacement, but you would need to make sure it is cut up well and you would need to cook it a few minutes longer than the spinach to make sure it’s soft.
I would love to know what you think of this Paleo Shrimp Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash! Let me know in the comments! Happy cooking, friends!
- 1 medium Spaghetti Squash
- For the Alfredo:
- 1 cup Raw Cashews
- 1 cup Filtered Water
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Paprika
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- For the Shrimp:
- 16 oz. Shrimp, fresh or thawed and peeled
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Paprika
- ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
- For the Veggies:
- 4-5 cups Spinach, packed
- ½ Yellow Onion
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- For the Spaghetti Squash: Preheat oven to 400. Cut the spaghetti squash in half long ways. Scoop out the center part with seeds and discard. Place face down on a baking sheet. Bake 30- 35 min. until inside pulls apart easily into spaghetti "noodles."
- For the Alfredo: Place cashews, water, salt, onion powder and garlic powder in high speed blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- For the Shrimp: Place the shrimp in a large pan with olive oil and seasonings. Toss until coated evenly and cook on medium high heat until completely pink and cooked through. Take them out of the pan and set aside.
- For the Veggies: Dice onion, mince garlic and chop up the spinach. Place olive oil in the pan on medium heat and saute the onion until soft and fragrant. Then add the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until slightly browned. Last, add the spinach and cook until it's wilted. Turn off heat.
- Add the shrimp, alfredo sauce and spaghetti squash to the pan of veggies and mix until completely combined. Enjoy!
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