Combine seafood, vegetables, and pasta together and you get this comforting, delicious but at the same time nutritious shrimp kale pasta. Tossed in luscious and creamy cauliflower sauce, this pasta dish is ready in 35 minutes!
Seafood, fresh vegetables, and pasta. Are there 3 things that are better associated with me? Perhaps cheese – but fortunately this recipe includes that too!
This one of my favorite types of meals to cook for my family. Delicious and creamy, but packed with nutritious foods. All cooked in just 35 minutes. No side dishes or extra vegetables needed.
I love the fact that it is one of those recipes that came out of throwing together things I had in the house. Some shrimp had looked so good in the store I just had to get them, and then I was trying to figure out what to make with them.
A hearty pasta dish is always my first choice when I don’t have something particular in mind, and then some extra kale in the fridge caught my eye! Add some cauliflower (and cream) to give it more of a sauce, and then top heavily with cheese. And voila! It’s so rewarding when those meals turn out so amazing that I have to make them again to share with you!
Healthy cruciferous vegetables
The star of the show here are the cruciferous vegetables: cauliflower and kale. Cruciferous vegetables are powerhouses of nutrients. Lots of vitamins, essential micronutrients, and antioxidants. Plus, they are low in carbs and high in fiber. All around wonderful. Admittedly, we are balancing out some of that good stuff with pasta and cream, but you have to live a little, right?
Cauliflower, in particular, is great because it has a really creamy texture when puréed. Here it makes an incredibly luscious, creamy sauce – with only a little bit of cream. I also love the flavor it brings to the dish. I think cauliflower is rather like celery, underappreciated for its flavor, but when you add it, everything really pops. There’s a hint of sweetness and some earthy, savory undertones that make a dish rich in flavor.
Puréed cauliflower is also a great way to get vegetables to children that don’t like them since it doesn’t have a strong “this is a vegetable” flavor. Not something I have to deal with fortunately, but I know many people do. Fortunately for me, my children share my love of vegetables!
Kale – Love it or hate it?
People always have such strong opinions on kale. They either love it or hate it. Personally, I love it. In this pasta, it adds a great texture and freshness against the creamy sauce and flavorful shrimp. Adding the kale also makes sure you are getting plenty of vegetables during your meal, without having to make anything else.
Kale is great because it is so nutrient-dense. It contains a lot of manganese as well as vitamins A, K, C, plus the folate that is essential for brain development. You just feel healthy reading about it, don’t you?
If you find kale to be too tough when raw, I would recommend making sure you remove the stems and slice very finely as I do in the kale, quinoa and apricot salad. And for those who are not very fond of kale, but still want the health benefits, you can always put it in a smoothie with lots of fruit. It goes really well with citrus (especially grapefruit) and doesn’t change the texture of the smoothie.
So, how to do you feel about kale?
My love of seafood
Now if you are like me and can’t get enough of seafood and pastas, I definitely have a few others you should try: Chicken and shrimp carbonara only takes 40 minutes and is absolutely amazing and indulgent. Or Cajun shrimp and sausage pasta is quick, one pot and just perfect for a summer evening.
As we get closer to summer, I think we need to start making more of these tasty seafood pastas with yummy shrimp and definitely the occasional cream sauce. And I think a glass of wine would also be very appropriate alongside it, don’t you?
Shrimp Kale Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
- 8 oz. (225g) dry spaghetti
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb. (450g) medium shrimp , peeled and deveined
- salt , to taste
- black pepper , to taste
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion , diced
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese , grated
- 1 cup almond milk (or any other milk)
- 2 cups kale leaves , stems removed, chopped
- salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and cook 2-3 minutes until shrimp start turning opaque. Flip and cook 1-3 minutes more, until cooked through. Remove from the skillet, cover, and keep warm.
- Place cauliflower florets in a pot with water, bring to boil and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork tender. Remove from heat and drain. Reserve some cooking water.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the heavy cream and Parmesan and bring to a boil. Cook for about 1 minute, until the cheese melts. Remove from heat.
- In a food processor, combine cooked cauliflower with onion mixture and 1 cup almond milk until it is very smooth. Transfer the sauce into a large pan and bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the mixture is too thick, add more almond milk.
- Add the chopped kale and stir until incorporated. Cook, stirring, a few minutes more.
- Add the cooked pasta and mix together until covered with the sauce. Add the shrimp and toss well. Serve with additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!