Shrimp & Sausage Pesto

On a good day, I have about thirty to forty five minutes to make dinner and get it on the table before I have three hungry monsters attacking me, so I have to have a plan and it has to come together quickly. The number one comment I hear from other moms is that they hate thinking things up to make for dinner every day and their kids are always complaining about the same ol’, same ol’. 

This is probably why those dinner kit companies are so popular, they take the guess work out of what to make for dinner and they come together quickly. This meal is honestly just a quick recipe that I came up with from the things I had in my fridge, I started with shrimp and went from there.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a thrifty shopper, I use the flipp app. to find deals and I shop at a local grocer who matches the prices. I save a tonne of money this way and it helps me be creative when I have to think of how I will use this week’s basket of goodies. This week’s great deals in my local flyers were sausage and shrimp and since I didn’t have the veggies or any other seafood to make a paella, I tried this. It comes together in about twenty to thrity minutes, the longest thing being the pasta and the sausage. To make it really quick, get your kettle going and start with boiling water, that will save you waiting for that pot to boil and I find the fastest way to cook sausage is in a panini press, it cooks both sides at the same time, so they’re done in about ten to minutes.

Shrimp & Sausage Pesto

Makes 6 to 8 large servings


5 Italian sausage, mild or hot (I used Johnsonville)

1 1/2 Lbs Shrimp, uncooked and peeled

2 1/2 Tbsp. Basil Pesto

1-2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

1 Tbsp Butter

1 Tsp Olive Oil

3 Cups Veggies, I used peppers but asparagus, brocolli, snap peas would all be great

2 Tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped

1 Lemon, zest and juice

1/2 Cup Parmesean Cheese, grated

Shaved Parmesean for garnish

1 1/2 Lbs Pasta, whatever you have will do

I Cup Pasta Water, reserved

Start a large pot of water boiling or use the kettle to boil water and then add it to a large pot. Start the sausage cooking in a panini press or cut into smaller pieces and set aside. Melt the butter and oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the shrimp to cook them and then remove from pan. Add the sausage pieces if you are not using the panini press and cook them through, add the veggies to soften, lower heat.

The pasta should be added to the water when you are 12 to fifteen minutes from wanting to eat. Once the pasta is almost all the way cooked add the shrimp back to the pan, add the pesto and pepper flakes and stir. Add the lemon zest and juice; this dish is rich in fats and you need acid to balance them, the lemon will give a beautiful brightness to this dish. Remove 1 cup of pasta water from your pot and add this to the pan, the pasta water has starch in it that will create a nice sauce that will stick to the noodles. Strain the pasta when it’s al dente and add it to the pan, add the cheese and turn the noodles using tongs to coat everything allow it to cook until most of the water has been absorbed. Finish with the parsley and serve.


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