Sheet Pan Shrimp and Roasted Vegetables
An easy, casual, beautiful meal with all kinds of options for enjoying fresh, seasonal produce.
Just grab a couple of sheet pans and bowls, and get ready to enjoy a healthy, hearty,
beautiful dish in less than an hour!
A recent trip to the Minneapolis Farmers Market yielded a new-to-me vegetable that pretty much had me at ‘Hello!’ Or, at least at the thought of adding its bright yellow blossoms to some wonderful recipes at home.
It’s an Asian green called Gai Lan that is similar to broccolini, but with thinner stalks, more leaves, and tiny yellow flowers. For the record, there are so many different greens with similar characteristics – all of which would be perfect for a sheet pan dish like this… Take the opportunity to try something new!
I’ve read some articles stating that the flowers should all be budded – not open – because open blooms means the stalks are past their prime and can possibly be bitter. That was not the case with my bunch!
This “Asian broccoli flower stalk” (a.k.a., a raab) is tender with lots of fresh, green flavor and just a hint of pepper. You can use it in place of greens in a sandwich or wrap. It’s also a lovely addition to any salad, sauté, or stir fry, and it just happened to be the perfect thing for this colorful sheet pan dish!
The inspiration for this recipe came from a recipe that my favorite local fish market posted… It’s super simple, and very easily adaptable – just the thing for a casual summertime (or anytime) dinner with friends!
I love this kind of no-recipe recipe because you can use whatever you like… Add more or less, use the abundance of your garden or the two-for-one veg special at the grocery store.
In addition to, or instead of, the broccolini and blooming stalks that I used here, some other great options would include broccoli, broccoli rabe, or Chinese broccoli. If blooming stalks are your thing, too, any raab – or flowering stalks – from broccoli, kale, bok choy, etc., will work perfectly. You can also use bok choy, Napa cabbage, green cabbage, or kale.
There really aren’t any rules, even when it comes to the cooking part. Cook it how you want – more or less tender, broil it a bit if you want – it’s all up to you! Of course, the thinner the stems, the less time they take to cook. This sheet pan dish doesn’t take a lot of work or time, but it’s not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. Gage doneness as you go… That’s all you have to remember (see COOK’S NOTES below)!
Oh, and the other thing to remember is that over-cooking the shrimp is a no-no. You want tender, juicy, happy shrimpies, so cook them only until they curl into a nice “C” shape – open between the tail and the head end. If they reach the point where they’re curled up into a tight “O” shape, then they’ll likely be sad, tough, dried out, and flavorless – and sad shrimp are a serious bummer.
Another reason to use the “minute rule” when cooking: My shrimp are probably a different size and variety from the ones you use, and they’re different each time we cook them, too. In this particular dish, I used “26-30 count Wild Brown Shrimp”. I cleaned cleaned them myself and left the tails on because we like tail-on shrimp in dishes like this.
If you use smaller or larger shrimp, they’ll obviously take different amounts of time to cook, so you can’t cook them all for the same amount of time. Go by the “C” shape to know when they’re done – this holds true for all methods of cooking shrimp, whether it’s on the stove top, on the grill, in a wok, etc.
Random Pro Tip: If you ask the person at the seafood counter what kind of shrimp they have, and their answer is “These.” as they point to the case you’re looking at… Or, if you ask where a their seafood comes from, and their answer is “The ocean.” do yourself a favor and find a more specialized, knowledgeable fish market. Believe me, the only way you can cook truly delicious seafood is by starting with the best and freshest that you can find. And, a good fish market will happily share all kinds of tips and recipes with you.
So… Go gather some goodness and get ready to Enjoy!
- 1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 10 – 15 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped - plus more for garnish
- 1 medium green zucchini - sliced in ¼” thick slices
- 1 medium yellow zucchini - sliced in ¼” thick slices
- 1 - 2 medium red onions - halved and cut into wedges*
- 1 bunch of broccolini - ends trimmed, thicker stems cut in half
- 1 bunch of broccoli raab (or similar) - ends trimmed, thicker stems cut in half
- 20 – 25 whole cherry or grape tomatoes
- 3 teaspoons fresh garlic, pressed or minced - divided
- 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil - divided
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice - divided
- Fresh lemon zest (optional)
- Crushed red pepper (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- In a glass bowl, whisk together the chopped basil, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes (if using), and salt and pepper to taste. Add the shrimp and toss to coat completely, then cover and refrigerate for 1 – 3 hours.
- Remove the marinated shrimp from the refrigerator when you begin preparing vegetables for sheet pans to allow shrimp to warm up slightly before going into the oven.
- In a medium glass bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the sliced green and yellow zucchini, and red onion wedges, and toss to coat completely.
- Scatter the zucchini slices and onion wedges on one parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, flip vegetables to ensure even cooking, and then add the marinated shrimp. Roast shrimp and vegetables for 5 minutes, then turn the shrimp and cook just until the shrimp start to turn pink and curl into an open “C” shape. Do not overcook (see note above).
- In a medium glass bowl, whisk together the last 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the broccolini, raab (if using) or other greens and, and whole tomatoes. Toss to coat completely.
- Spread the broccolini, raab, and tomatoes on the second parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven and roast for 5 minutes at a time until desired doneness. Leave a little crunch in the greens, and roast the tomatoes just until they start to split (but not burst).
- To Serve: Remove pans from oven and combine vegetables and shrimp (if you want) on one sheet pan or a big platter. Garnish with more fresh basil and lots of fresh lemon wedges, and enjoy!
*I’m using golden zucchini here, but you can use whatever variety of yellow summer squash you have available.
*For onion preparation, I trim the top and remove the skin, and then barely trim the root end to most of the onion layers stay attached. Roasted onions are sweet and delicious, so I often add two!
*About “desired doneness”: Many recipes provide guidelines for cooking time. That’s always helpful, but (1) you know your preferences, (2) everything cooks differently – even one zucchini versus another, and (3) ovens heat differently and/or have different heat zones. Roasting for 5 minutes at a time is what I do to be able to keep an eye on everything until it’s “done” for me.
*Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste.
Let me know if you make this Sheet Pan Shrimp and Roasted Vegetables recipe… I’d love to hear how you served it!
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