Creamy Coconut Shrimp with Tomatoes

By Updated on

Creamy Coconut Shrimp with tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and basil is a delicious Whole30 and Paleo friendly meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes.


This Coconut Shrimp made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, fresh basil, tomatoes, and shrimp in a creamy coconut milk sauce is seriously good. Like we were licking the sauce off our plates good. Served with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for an easy meal.

I have always been a huge fan of curry. It's something I make all the time but I realize it isn't for everyone. That's where this simple dish comes in. It reminds me of a delicious curry dish but without the actual curry. You still get the creamy coconut part, you still get garlic and ginger, you still get a touch of spice, but you don't get any of the funkiness of curry that some people don't like. It's so good, you will make this again and again.

The other amazing thing about this Creamy Coconut Shrimp recipes is that it is ready in less than twenty minutes. This means that it's easy enough for any busy weeknight. 

Coconut Shrimp and Tomatoes in a creamy sauce in a pan.

Side Dishes for Creamy Coconut Shrimp

When it comes to serving this dish, there are endless options. Normally I serve it on a bed of zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or cauliflower rice for a low carb and Whole30/Paleo friendly option. Ir's also delish over brown rice or some soba noodles. If you love soups, add some chicken or shrimp broth and it quickly becomes a soup. You can throw in some extra veggies or add a starch like rice noodles or quinoa. Prepared this way, it kind of reminds me of traditional Thai coconut soup, especially if you squeeze in some lime juice.

Can I make this with chicken?

If shrimp isn't your favorite protein, you can swap in chicken breast instead. Just chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add it in place of the shrimp. Depending on the size of the chicken, it could take anywhere from 8-10 minutes to cook. Lean pork tenderloin or fish would work as well. 

Paleo Creamy Coconut Shrimp and Tomato in a pan with zucchini noodles.

Tips and Ideas

  • If you don't have fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes work just fine in this recipe. Drain the tomatoes before adding them so that you get a thick and creamy sauce.
  • If you are following a Whole30, Keto, or Paleo diet make this with full fat coconut milk. It will add about 130 calories per serving.
  • Adjust the amount of garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes to suit your tastes. Usually, I punch up the red pepper flakes since we like things really spicy. You can also leave them out completely if spice isn't your thing.
  • To keep this a Whole30/Paleo/Keto friendly dish serve it with spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or cauliflower rice.
  • If you don't like the taste of basil or don't have any on hand, you could substitute fresh cilantro in place of the basil. 
  • If you are using frozen shrimp, you have two options. First, you can quickly defrost them. Just place them in a colander and run cold water over the shrimp for about five minutes, tossing them a few times. You can also add the frozen shrimp directly to the pan and just add a few extra minutes of cooking time. This will add a little water to the sauce, but generally, it isn't enough to change the flavor or consistency. Also as a general note, almost grocery store shrimp is previously frozen. Buying the packaged frozen shrimp can be a great time saver,
  • Another shrimp buying tip, try to buy the uncooked shrimp that has been shelled and deveined to save time. It may cost about $1 extra per pound but will save you tons of time.
  • When choosing the size of the shrimp, I generally recommend large shrimp, either16/20 or 26/40. These numbers tell you how many shrimp per pound. For example, if the shrimp says 16/20, there should be between 16-20 shrimp per pound.

More healthy shrimp recipes

Here are some of the products I used in this recipe:

  • If you are following Whole30, you will need coconut milk that doesn't contain carrageenan. This is the one I normally buy.
The Recipe
Loading Video…

Creamy Coconut Shrimp with Tomatoes

  • Print Recipe
  • Download PDF


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp. basil, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cup canned lite coconut milk (full fat for Paleo/Whole30/Low Carb)
  • 2 lb. shrimp

Like this Recipe? Try our Meal Plans!

Slender Kitchen Meal Plans
  • Weekly Meal Plans
  • Easy Shopping List
  • Healthy, Low Carb, & Vegetarian
  • Nutritional Information


(Hide Media)

Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat.


Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, basil, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.


Add the tomatoes and cook until they soften and begin to release their liquid. Season with salt and pepper.


Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Let cook for 5 minutes.


Add the shrimp and cook for 5-7 minutes until pink and cooked through. Top with more basil.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.25 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 297
Calories from Fat 88
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 365mg
Sodium 311mg
Total Carbohydrate 5g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 3g
Protein 47g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

user image
About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
† We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
On Creamy Coconut Shrimp with Tomatoes
user image
user image
Karyn Borg
May 23, 2023 - 20:10
Add a Rating:
This was so simple with amazing results. Served with fried rice. Will be making it often
user image
March 19, 2022 - 06:02
Hi! I'm making a few meals in advanced and came across this tasty looking recipe. Does this store well in the freezer?
user image
Ellen K
February 7, 2022 - 07:32
Add a Rating:
I made this last night. I added some red curry paste and a dash or two of fish sauce and it was delicious! I served it over cauliflower rice. So good!
user image
January 18, 2022 - 06:47
Add a Rating:
This is the most delicious thing I have had on my whole 30 meal planning. I will continue to eat this!!!
user image
August 30, 2021 - 15:47
Add a Rating:
This was really delicious and quick enough for a weeknight meal. Will definitely make again!
user image
April 2, 2020 - 18:44
Add a Rating:
Oh. My. Gosh. I made this for dinner tonight and we all swooned it was so delicious!!!! Honestly, I could drink the sauce with a spoon! It's so flavorful!!! One of my most favorite recipes EVER!!! We'll be having it often! Thank you so much for sharing this!!!! Yummmm!
user image
Deana Miller
July 20, 2019 - 18:18
Made with cilantro instead of basil, added siracha chili sauce. Best shrimp dish I have ever made! Ate over butternutsquash veggie spirals... restaurant worthy meal! Thank you
user image
February 25, 2019 - 16:32
Add a Rating:
Turned out really soupy instead of creamy, even after trying to over cook it to thicken. Advice?
user image
November 28, 2019 - 21:11
Came across this recipe and just made it. Was delicious but was too watery too. Even tried to cook it down but didn’t thicken. My solution...... next time.... coconut cream instead of coconut milk. Maybe a tad coconut milk if it’s too thick. Yes?
user image
Mary Ann Zombil
April 30, 2021 - 09:12
Also, corn starch is a great thickener. Just add 1Tbsp to a little water to dissolve then add to the sauce and simmer.
user image
February 5, 2019 - 17:09
Can I sub olive oil for coconut oil? Thanks!
user image
September 1, 2020 - 17:28
I would suggest butter or vegetable oil if you don’t have coconut. Olive oil might change the flavor profile.
user image
Kim Shrey
April 9, 2018 - 09:23
Add a Rating:
This recipe is so TASTY! My husband loves spice so we kicked it up a notch with some green chili peppers and added some broccoli for extra veggies. The flavors worked so perfectly together. I made this the first time over basmati rice but am making it again tonight with the zuchinni noodles and my mouth is watering.
user image
January 29, 2019 - 15:22
What a great idea to kick up the spice! We love things spicy as well. And I hadn't thought of adding broccoli - going to try that soon. So glad you enjoyed it!
user image
Mimi Lewis
January 29, 2018 - 10:51
Add a Rating:
Absolutely loved this recipe. We put it over zucchini noodles. Will definitely make again.
user image
January 29, 2019 - 15:22
Yay!! Happy to hear you enjoyed it :)
Instagram Icon
Did you make this?

Snap a picture and show us what you made on Instagram or Facebook. Tag us using @SlenderKitchen or #slenderkitchen.