This Tuscan shrimp skillet is an all-in-one dish that's deliciously addictive and creamy, low in carbs, high in protein and takes just 15 minutes to make. You won't regret making this easy keto weeknight recipe!
Keto Tuscan shrimp skillet is one awesome weeknight dinner! Really, you can't go wrong with this one. First off, it's screams yummy, comfort food since it's creamy, garlicky, and so satisfying. Plus, it's nutritious, low in carbs (just 6 net carbs per serving) and high in protein (45% protein by calories). And last but not least — you're whole dinner is done in 15 minutes with just one pan.
This all-in-one dish is filling (more than a half pound of shrimp per person!) and requires no sides. Simply serve as is and dinner is done!
Increasing The Protein
To make this dish high in protein, we:
- minimized the heavy cream. Heavy cream is high in calories and fat, but low in protein. Therefore, the percent of protein from calories in cream is quite low. To make this dish higher in protein, we reduced the amount of heavy cream and increased other higher-in-protein, lower-in-calorie ingredients. We found that even when we reduced the amount of heavy cream, we still had some left in the pan when done. Since this dish isn't being served over zoodles or cauliflower rice, you really don't really need that much sauce.
- increased the spinach. Spinach is low in calories and high in protein. And, even when you add a full, 5-ounce carton of spinach, it seems like a minimal amount after cooking and shrinking in size.
- increased the shrimp per serving. We notice that many recipes give you less than a half pound of shrimp per serving. This not only reduces the percent of protein (as shrimp is low in calories and high in protein), but it can leave you feeling hungry. Therefore, we increased the amount of shrimp to a little over a half pound per person, which increases the percent of protein and is more likely to leave you feeling full.
WHAT IS A HIGH PROTEIN MEAL?
We love high-protein meals since they help keep you full for longer periods of time, making it less likely for you to overeat or snack between meals. Furthermore, protein is important in maintaining and increasing muscle mass. You can read more about the benefits of high-protein meals at healthline.com.
So, what is considered a high-protein meal? The first thing to know is you can't determine if a meal is high protein simply from total grams of protein otherwise you could just eat ton of donuts until you hit your target protein grams. Instead you need to determine the percentage of total calories that come from protein and this means you'll need to do a little extra math. A single gram of protein is 4 calories so to find the protein percentage of a meal multiply the grams of protein in a meal by 4 and then divide by the total calories. For example, Fage 0% Yogurt has 18g of protein and 90 total calories per serving. Multiplying 18 times 4 and then divided 90 gives 0.8 or a whopping 80% protein.
There is some variation in what percentage is considered "high protein" but generally 20% to 40% can be considered high. For example, Wikipedia defines a high protein diet as more than 20% of calories from protein while Diet Doctor uses 25% go 35% of calories. By comparison, the typical American consumes 16% of their calories from protein.
For more about high protein, Diet Doctor has an extensive guide to high protein diets.
How to Make
This easy weeknight recipe, is nearly fool-proof! The steps to making this quick dinner include:
- Defrost shrimp if needed: If using frozen shrimp, defrost shrimp according to bag instructions.
- Cook shrimp: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook until opaque, about 3 or so minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside on separate plate.
- Make sauce: Return the skillet to medium heat, and melt the other tablespoon of butter. Add grape tomatoes and cook until softened, about 3 or 4 minutes. Gently smash tomatoes to release juices. Add spinach in batches and cook until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season tomatoes and spinach with salt and pepper. Then, add heavy cream and Parmesan. Stir and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Combine and serve: Return shrimp back to pan. Stir until heated, about a minute or so more. Serve immediately.
Despite being technically a fruit, grape tomatoes are fairly low in carbs (about 3.4 net carbs per 100g) and can be eaten in a low-carb or keto diet unless you have a very strict daily carb target.
Yes, but you'll have to use a smaller amount if you want to keep it low carb and high protein. For example, replacing the 1 cup of grape tomatoes with ¼ cup of jarred sun dried tomatoes, will reduce the protein percentage to 40% and increase the net carbs to 10g per serving. Overall, this would still be a high protein meal and low carb unless you are on a very strict carb target.
Yes, you can use fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe. If you use frozen, be sure to thaw according to bag instruction. We use peeled, deveined and tail-on shrimp. However, you can purchase shrimp without the tail, which can make it easier to eat.
MORE HIGH-PROTEIN, LOW-CARB MEALS
Here are some other high-protein, low-carb and keto meals you may enjoy:
- Philly Cheesesteak Skillet: Philly Cheesesteak Skillet is a high-protein, keto one-pan meal that can be made in less than 30 minutes! It's packed full of flavor with tender sirloin steak and charred veggies, including sliced bell pepper, onion and mushrooms.
- High-protein, keto salmon salad with spinach, feta & almonds: Loaded with flakey salmon, spinach, feta, and almonds, this high-protein and keto salmon salad has it all! It's big on flavor and texture and serves as a filling lunch or quick weeknight dinner.
- Keto Spicy Soy Salmon: This 30-minute, ultra-flavorful keto spicy soy salmon needs be on your weeknight menu! It's so tasty, incredibly simple to make, and hard to screw up!
- 1 ¼ pounds medium-size raw shrimp (peeled, deveined and tail-on), thawed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 garlic gloves, minced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 5 ounces baby spinach, organic
- ⅓ cup of heavy cream
- ¼ cup parmesan, grated
- Salt and pepper
- Cook shrimp: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt one tablespoon butter. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook until opaque, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside on separate plate.
- Make sauce: Return skillet to medium heat and melt the other tablespoon of butter. Add grape tomatoes and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Gently smash tomatoes to release juices. Add spinach in batches and cook until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season tomatoes and spinach with salt and pepper. Add heavy cream and parmesan. Stir to combine and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Combine and serve: Return shrimp back to pan. Stir until heated, about a minute or so. Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving Calories 580.0Total Fat 33.0gSaturated Fat 18.5gCholesterol 548.0mgSodium 605.4mgCarbohydrates 8.4gNet Carbohydrates 6.1gFiber 2.3gSugar 1.7gProtein 65.3g