Healthy Fare for Kids

Our Recipes

Penne with Garlic Shrimp, Tomatoes and Zucchini

Lovely shrimp sautéed with garlic then tossed with pasta and dressed with a parmesan lemon sauce and marinated tomatoes ... this recipe is a slice of heaven. And it's easy and quick. It may have a few more ingredients on first read but they're easy ones to prepare. Just get them all ready and in front of you. If using frozen shrimp, follow the instructions below under "Prepare Shrimp," after you have put the pasta water on to boil and in a half hour, you'll have a lovely, delicious pasta recipe. You'll have fun adjusting the levels of garlic and parmesan cheese the next time you make it. And you will, often.  It's that good.

Prep Time:  30 minutes


1 pound frozen uncooked shrimp, thawed or 1 pound fresh (I like the 25/20 size)

3 cloves garlic, chopped - used in separate steps

½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated plus extra for sprinkling

¼ cup basil, chopped

1 teaspoon lemon zest, about one lemon's worth

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

12+  cherry tomatoes, halved

½ pound of pasta like penne, linguini, spaghetti - try using half whole grain pasta

1 medium to large zucchini, sliced lengthwise then halved with ½ inch slices

¼ cup of saved pasta water


Prepare shrimp  If not thawed already, pull frozen shrimp out about half hour before ready to cook.  Place in bowl then cover with cool water. (If really in a hurry, use warm water but keep an eye that the shrimp doesn't cook). After about ten minutes, come back to make sure shrimp are broken apart into individual pieces. Once thawed, pat dry, if needed, peel shrimp (remove jackets then gently squeeze tail and pull). Season shrimp with salt, liberally.

Prepare sauce  In a medium bow add and mix ½ the chopped garlic, parmesan cheese, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and ¼ cup olive oil. Mix with fork until blended. Fold in tomato halves. Set the sauce aside until the pasta is done and you have the ¼ water of pasta water. Add water to sauce and stir until blended. Salt sauce to taste

Cook Pasta & Zucchini  Boil water in large sauce pan then make pasta according to package directions or until pasta achieves an "al dente" doneness. A few minutes before the pasta is done, throw in the zucchini. When pasta is cooked, remove ¼ cup of water for your sauce,  then drain.

Cook Shrimp  Heat olive oil in sauté pan on medium low heat. Add garlic and stir. Add shrimp and cook until opaqueness is half-way up the shrimp. Turn and cook briefly.


Add the drained pasta and sauce into the pan with the shrimp over low heat. Mix gently together. Add salt and parmesan cheese to taste.

I try to serve leafy green vegetables with my meals, so round up the greens and toss with a small amount of dressing - if store bought, look for dressings with few ingredients and no sugar.

Healthy Fare for Kids Meal

Pasta: ¾ - 1 Cup

Sauce: 1 Cup - make sure there are 3-4 shrimp and lots of zucchini pieces in the cup)

Whole Grain: either the pasta or serve with a whole grain roll

Salad: 1/2 cup of leafy green salad or 1 cup of another fresh vegetable or fruit

Prep Skills

Chopping garlic

Chopping basil

Good Food Thoughts

Seafood Watch guide to buying shrimp

Try to buy local ingredients and visit your local farmers market

Equipment Needed

sharpened chefs knife

cutting board and non-slip mat or damp dishcloth


sauté pan


wooden spatula/spoon

mixing bowls

pasta serving bowl

Facebook   Twitter   Google   Pinterest