Fresh from the sea to your dinner plate, discover all the health benefits shrimp has to offer your low carb meal plan. Get your taste buds ready for these succulent shrimp recipes and complimentary side dishes. Who knew low carb cooking could taste this great!
Is Shrimp a Keto-Friendly Food?While certain fish and shellfish contain carbohydrates, shrimp contains very little fat and zero carbohydrates, making this food a keto-friendly option. Therefore, shrimp is one of the best low carb choices for seafood lovers.
Since a ketogenic diet typically limits carbohydrates to 20–50 grams per day, shrimp is a great fit for a low carb lifestyle. In fact, shrimp makes a perfect, guilt-free menu option to enjoy on any low carb diet, whether you’re following Keto, Paleo or Atkins.
Small in Size, Big on Protein
Shrimp has a high water content and consists mainly of protein. Each jumbo shrimp contains 3 grams of protein. A 3-ounce serving of baby shrimp contains 20 grams of protein. That’s almost as much protein as contained in a large chicken breast!
Quick cooking time makes shrimp a convenient choice for the busy dieter on the go… But, the benefits don’t end there! Whether broiled, baked or pan-seared, shrimp boasts many health advantages.
Being lower in mercury than other shellfish, shrimp provides your body with a good source of iron, protein, zinc, B3, vitamin D, and leptin. Additionally, shrimp contains three important antioxidants in its nutritional composition: the xanthophyll carotenoid called astaxanthin, as well as the minerals selenium and copper.
Low Carb Shrimp Recipes:
Coconut Butterfly Shrimp
- 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Whites of 1 large egg
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Peel and devein a dozen jumbo shrimp. Butterfly cut each shrimp lengthwise from head to tail, cutting halfway through the flesh, but not all the way through.
- Separate egg whites from the yolk in a bowl.
- Beat the egg whites using a hand mixer until soft peaks form.
- In one bowl, add 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes; in another bowl add 1 tablespoon coconut flour, garlic powder and paprika.
- Combine egg whites and dry flour and seasoning mixture to form a batter. Dip shrimp completely in batter to fully coat and then roll in coconut.
- Heat Coconut Oil in Skillet over high heat. Pan-fry shrimp on both sides until coconut coating turns golden brown. (Approximately 1-2 minutes on each side.)
- Serve as an entrée or as a main dish with a side salad or steamed veggies. (See Low Carb Side Dishes later in this article for preparation instructions).
*Makes 2 servings.
Garlic Butter Shrimp
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ pound baby shrimp, tails removed and deveined
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat with garlic. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, until just cooked through and pink and garlic is lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Melt butter in the same skillet. Pour in chicken broth; allow to reduce while stirring.
- Reduce heat, add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer on low heat. Continue stirring occasionally.
- Add the parmesan cheese and simmer sauce for another minute or so until the cheese melts and sauce thickens.
- Add the shrimp back into the pan, sprinkle with parsley. Taste test sauce and adjust salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve over Broiled Spaghetti Squash or sautéed Zucchini Noodles as a low carb alternative to pasta. (See Low Carb Side dishes for preparation instructions)
*Makes 2 servings.
Creamy Seafood Chowder
Potatoes are omitted from this chowder to keep carb count low. The creaminess comes from the pureed cauliflower.
- 1 can whole baby clams (clam juice retained)
- 3 strips bacon, diced
- ½ pound baby shrimp (tails removed, deveined)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 lb cauliflower (florets only, cut in small pieces)
- 1 1/2 cup Unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup heavy cream (or coconut cream)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)
- Fry diced bacon and diced onion in large pot until bacon is cooked and onions are tender.
- Boil cauliflower in a separate pot for 10-15 minutes until tender and then puree with a hand blender.
- Combine cauliflower, bacon, onion and all other ingredients except heavy cream, in a large pot. (Make sure you pour the retained liquid from the clams in there, too.) Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in the heavy cream. Heat just enough for the soup to be hot again. *Do not overheat or cream may sour.
*Makes 6 servings. Serving size: 1 cup.
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, halved
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 large head cauliflower, grated
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 4 links of sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 1 large can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 8 ounces peeled and deveined baby shrimp
- Tabasco sauce, to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts on a greased baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning on both sides. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through.
- Place cauliflower on a greased baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt, black pepper and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning. Toss to distribute seasonings and roast for 10 minutes with chicken breast halves.
- Heat remaining oil in a large skillet or saucepan over high heat. Add onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes. Add the celery and red pepper, continue cooking another 8 minutes or until veggies are tender.
- Add the garlic, paprika, sausage and cook on medium for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and shrimp, stirring often until shrimp is cooked and turns pink.
- Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces. Add to pan along with cauliflower and heat through. Add seasonings and Tabasco sauce to taste.
- Add half the parsley and combine. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the rest of the parsley.
Low Carb Side Dishes to Compliment Shrimp
Sautéed Zucchini Noodles (Veggie Noodles)
If you own a Spiralizer, Zucchini noodles or “Zoodles” are a great, low carb alternative to pasta.
- Spiralize one whole zucchini into noodles.
- Sauté in wok with olive oil and your choice of seasons, until tender, roughly 8 minutes.
- Top with your favorite shrimp dish and serve.
- Chop and boil the flowerets of one whole cauliflower for 8 minutes.
- Mash with potato masher.
- Top with a knob of butter, salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets and place on a large, rimmed baking sheet greased with olive oil.
- Dice radishes, pepper, onion, and zucchini into bite-sized pieces and add to the baking tray.
- Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season with garlic powder and rosemary.
- Roast for 20 minutes then flip and continue roasting for another 20 minutes.
Roasted Spaghetti Squash (Veggie Noodles)
- Cut a small spaghetti squash in half. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork to remove from rind. Place 1 cup of spaghetti squash noodles on large dinner plate.
- Top with your favorite shrimp dish, parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Simple Shrimp Salad
- Chop lettuce, tomato and cucumber.
- Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Steam shrimp in salted water and cool in fridge. Top salad with chilled shrimp.
- Season with pink Himalayan salt or sea salt and pepper to taste.