Shrimp is without a doubt one of my favorite seafood sources to include in my paleo diet. They are so incredibly flavorful and can be cooked in a variety of ways. One of the easiest and most basic pairings I like to do is shrimp and garlic. The smell of browning butter and sauteeing garlic does something to my senses and just thinking about it makes my mouth water. When I have fresh shrimp on hand, this is my go-to recipe if I want to whip up something quick. I like having garlic shrimp with a side of steamed vegetables, or if I want something heavier, some paleo bread and maybe even mashed cauliflower. Not only does garlic provide some incredible benefits for your health, but it adds such an intensely delicious flavor that I can’t get enough of. The shrimp are cooked in a savory mixture of olive oil, ghee, garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest that leaves them absolutely bursting with flavor.
Making The Secret Sauce (Hint: It Goes Well with Everything!)
The first step in making this delicious meal is to cook your shrimp for a few minutes in a large pan containing olive oil. While shrimp are generally high in protein and low in fat, cooking them in the olive oil adds a nice dose of monounsaturated fats that help to keep your heart healthy and prevent cardiovascular disease. (1) Just cooking your shrimp like this is enough on its own to enjoy one tasty, healthy meal.
Ghee, A Paleo Alternative to Butter
After removing the shrimp from the pan, add the ghee and garlic cloves into it. Along with olive oil, ghee is another one of my favorite things to cook my food in. It’s a much healthier alternative to butter, so it’s considered a good fat rather than something that increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Ghee is clarified butter, so its flavor is similar to butter but it has a superior nutrition profile, hence its popularity in Indian cuisine. Saying goodbye to trans-fats, butter, and margarine was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I’m so glad I can still have ghee in place of them.
Don’t Forget the Garlic—And Lots of It!
Garlic is fantastic to cook with thanks to its numerous healthy properties. It’s been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, and even help prevent cancer thanks to the allicin it contains. (2) You’ll know your garlic is ready once its aroma starts to permeate the kitchen. Don’t oversautee it as garlic becomes quite bitter when burnt. Add the rest of your ingredients and then wait for everything to cook thoroughly.
How to Know If Your Shrimp is Cooked
With chicken, a kitchen thermometer is useful in checking the internal temperature of your dish. That way, you know if the meat is fully cooked up to the inside. With shrimp however, you go more by appearance and texture. Once the flesh of your shrimp is opaque and white, it’s cooked. If your shrimps still have the shell on, make sure the entirety of the shell is orange with no hints of blue. Once the shell starts to stick to the flesh, it’s already overcooked.
This garlic shrimp recipe is best served with lemon wedges after being sprinkled with chopped parsley. These are perfect with a side salad, some caulliflower rice, or even just some steamed vegetables. The garlic coating adds a burst of flavor in every bite, so there’s no need to add tons of seasoning to the rest of your meal. Keep it fresh and simple, and you’ll have yourself a sumptuous high protein meal.
- 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- salt, black pepper to taste
- lemon wedges for serving (optional)
- In a large pan heat the olive oil. Cook the shrimp in batches 2-3 minutes per side.
- Remove the shrimp from the pan and tent with foil.
- In the same pan add the ghee and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant.
- Add ¼ cup water, lemon zest, lemon juice and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until reduced by half.
- Reduce the heat to low.
- Return the shrimp to the pan and stir to coat.
- Cook for one minute then remove from the heat.
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
PS. -This is just oneway to prepare shrimp. Imagine all the other ways you can transform this dish or adapt it to pair well with our other paleo recipes here on the site. Check these out:
Want more Paleo recipes? Take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. With 470+ easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes in 17 comprehensive categories it is the only Paleo book you will ever need.
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