Dinner on a budget: Pesto shrimp skewers with garlic cauliflower mashed "potatoes"

Delicious, healthy meal for under $25

TAMPA, Fla. - This week's deal is from Publix. Large, easy to peel white shrimp are buy one, get one free. California cauliflower is also on sale, two for $5.

So I found a recipe for peso shrimp skewers with cauliflower mashed potatoes.

It was so enticing, I had a hard time keeping my daughter out of the kitchen.

Here are the ingredients you need:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 lb. extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • bamboo skewers, soaked in water
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. pesto
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil


Fill an 8-quart pot with cool water and cauliflower florets. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Season with salt and simmer until tender, 16 to 18 minutes. (Smaller florets will speed up this step.)

Drain cauliflower in a colander and transfer back to pot over medium heat. Add garlic, white wine, and 1 cup water, then season with salt. Stir and cover pot, then simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and add cream, then smash with a potato masher until smooth. Fold in Parmesan and butter just before serving.

Preheat grill or grill pan on medium-high. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill shrimp until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Serve shrimp skewers over a bed of cauliflower mash. Drizzle pesto over shrimp and garnish with fresh basil.

* * *

A bonus shrimp recipe for you this week: Garlic shrimp pasta.

Here are the ingredients you need:

  • 1 lb. linguine
  • 1 tbsp. exra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water, and return to pot.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add shrimp and season with salt and pepper and cajun seasoning. Cook until pink, 2 minute per side. Transfer to a plate.

Wipe out skillet and add butter. Once melted, stir in flour and whisk until golden, 1 minute. Add heavy cream and whisk until creamy, then add Parmesan and 1/2 cup pasta water. Whisk until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Return pasta to skillet and toss until creamy, then add shrimp and parsley and toss until combined.

Garnish with Parmesan and serve.

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