Zucchini “Pasta” Carbonara with Shrimp

Keep things low-carb with this lighter take on classic creamy carbonara pasta that swaps zoodles for the traditional pasta and ups the veggie and protein, too.

Prep: 15 minsCook: 15 minsTotal: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings 1x


  • 4 medium zucchini (about 2 lbs.), cut into “noodles” with a spiral cutter, julienne peeler or use a regular vegetable peeler to cut into wide ribbons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 8 ounces fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed, thawed and drained if previously frozen
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh grated Parmesan


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and zucchini. Cook, stirring often until zucchini are just tender. About 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  2. To the same pan, add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and onion. Sauté onion until it starts to soften then add garlic and cook, while stirring, for an additional 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add asparagus and stir. Cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add shrimp and stir fry with the vegetables for 4-5 minutes or until they’re pink and cooked through (being careful not to overcook them). Stir in crumbled bacon and parsley and remove from heat.
  5. Toss shrimp and vegetable mixture with the zucchini and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Drizzle with additional olive oil and the Parmesan cheese before serving.


Though grated cheese, such as Parmesan, is an essential part of a standard carbonara dish, you can easily make this recipe dairy free and/or Whole30 friendly by omitting the Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 4 servings
  • Calories: 275
  • Fat: 17g
  • Sodium: 850mg
  • Carbohydrate: 11g
  • (Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 5g)
  • Protein: 21g


© The Real Food Dietitians

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