Shrimp Piccata with Zucchini Noodles

Shrimp Piccata made with a lemon, butter, and caper sauce over a bed of zucchini noodles tastes like a restaurant dish but is easy to make at home.

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This easy Shrimp Piccata with Zucchini Noodles is the perfect healthy, indulgent dinner packed with all the flavors of piccata without all the calories. Shrimp lovers also must try this Blackened Shrimp and Crispy Shrimp Burgers.

As a teenager, I worked endless hours at a beachside seafood restaurant that was known for its delicious seafood. It did a great job of churning out seafood dishes all the tourists loved. Unfortunately, that's where their talents stopped. I'd have to say they put out a pretty horrible version of chicken piccata because I instantly knew I didn't like it an I never wanted to try it again after having had theirs one time.

Then, one day many years later, I was at a friend's house for dinner. She made the best chicken piccata I'd ever had (okay it was only the second one but my was it delicious). I finally realized what I had been missing all those years and vowed to learn to make it myself. And make it, I did!

Piccata is so great in all its flavors — the lemon, the butter, the garlic, the butter... and I've used these flavors in many different recipes. But lately, I had been thinking about shrimp and how great it would pair with piccata. And...sure enough, it most certainly does! There's just something about the sweetness of the shrimp paired with the buttery, lemony sauce that makes it magical. To lighten this meal up and keep it on the healthier side, I recommend adding this shrimp piccata dish over the top of zucchini noodles.

Piccata with shrimp and zucchini noodles with capers and lemon in a bowl.

Side Dishes to Serve with Shrimp Piccata

Sometimes sides are the easiest part of putting together a meal and sometimes they're the thing I get stuck on. Whether I grab what I have in the fridge or pantry and make it work or plan ahead, I've found that these sides work well with shrimp piccata.

  • Side salads. Toss together what you have in your veggie drawer, purchase a pre-made, bagged salad mix, or make a specialty salad like this Tomato, Cucumber, Corn, and Avocado Salad.
  • Roasted mixed veggies. Add a layer of your favorite veggie combination to a greased roasting pan or sheet pan. Sprinkle with olive oil, pepper, garlic salt, and an acid like lemon juice or balsamic. Roast at 375° for 20 minutes or more, depending on the thickness of your veggies (for example, butternut squash will need more time while asparagus will not).
  • Roasted broccoli. You'll get to pile on the Parmesan in this flavorful veggie dish.
  • Roasted root vegetables. Skip the soggy bag of baby carrots and roast up some root veggie magic with a mixture of carrots, onion, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and more.
  • Sauteed veggies. Whip up a quick side dish by sauteing your favorite mixture of veggies in no time at all.

Ways to Serve Shrimp Piccata

I usually serve this dish over one of the following:

  • Zucchini noodles. I go for a low-carb option here with this recipe but if you don't like them then you can swap for any ole zoodle you like or none at all!
  • Bread. Let's face it: Bread is great for soaking up all those piccata juices — try sourdough, French bread, or a baguette. A little can go a long way if you play your cards right.
  • Rice. If you don't have or don't like zucchini noodles, you can serve this over white, brown, or cauliflower rice.
  • Noodles. Again, if zucchini noodles aren't your thing, you can use pasta for your base layer instead. High-fiber pasta or another more nutritious noodle will do the trick.
  • Mashed potatoes. Serve under, over, or on the side of some yummy, garlicky mashed potatoes for the full buttery piccata effects.
  • Mashed cauliflower. Same idea as mashed potatoes, but fulfilling all your low-carb needs.

Shrimp piccata with zucchini noodles in a blue bowl with a white napkin.

Tips and Tricks for Cooking Shrimp

Shrimp might be easy to find and simple to cook, but a few helpful hints can help you make the best out of this pint-sized protein.

  • Leave shrimp in the freezer until you are ready to eat it. It perishes very easily once thawed.
  • To thaw frozen shrimp, you can let it thaw for four hours or overnight on in your fridge or you can pour it into a colander or a bowl of water and run cool (not warm) water over it until it thaws. It should only take about 10-15 minutes.
  • To peel and devein shrimp, first make sure it's thawed. Then, take the shrimp, one at a time and first peel the legs off then break open the shell where the legs were and peel off each side. Devein by using the pointy end of a knife to pull the dark vein out and wipe on a paper towel or rinse after each one.
  • You'll know when shrimp is done when the exterior is pink and the inside is slightly white inside, but completely opaque.
  • If you want to use a marinade on your shrimp, it will be done in about 30 minutes or less if your marinade has any acid in it (lemon, lime, vinegar). If you leave it too long in an acid-based marinade it will begin to cook and get mushy. If your marinade is olive-oil based, you can marinade for an hour or two. You do not need to marinade overnight.
The Recipe
Shrimp piccata with capers and lemons over zucchini noodles in a blue bowl.

Shrimp Piccata with Zucchini Noodles

Adapted from
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  • 4 small zucchini
  • 1.33 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (leave out for Paleo/Whole30)

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Use a spiralizer (or sharp knife) to make the zucchini into noodles. If you have time, place them in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let rest for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator to remove excess water. Take them out and gently squeeze using a paper towel. This step isn't necessary but will give you a less watery noodle.


Season the shrimp with garlic salt and pepper. Heat half the the olive oil over medium heat. Add half of the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. Repeat with the remaining shrimp. When shrimp are done, squeeze about half of the lemon juice over top and set aside.


Add the butter to the pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the zucchini noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Add the shrimp along with remaining lemon juice, capers, and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.25 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 330
Calories from Fat 146
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
Saturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 263mg
Sodium 691mg
Total Carbohydrate 13g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 8g
Protein 37g

* 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.

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About the authorMeet 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
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