Easy Pesto Paprika Shrimp


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Easy Pesto Paprika Shrimp

A food processor.

The ‘gadget’ of the moment which, when I posted this recipe, I lamented about how it didn’t require one (and it’s experimentation was a result of making do with what I had on hand- including utensils). Even though I tried to convince myself I could make do without one, deep down….I really did.

Last week, I trekked to my local Kmart and sans car, lugged a huge (albeit cheap) food processor back to my shoebox studio. The walk back was a workout in itself and I refrained from opening it, with big intentions to do so the coming day.

Friends, that was the best decision ever.


Kim, the founder of Australia’s answer to the Vitamix- the Spectablend, reached out to me and generously offered me one of their amazing gadgets to try out. With blending AND food processor capabilities- it was just the thing to get the recipe juices flowing.

The next day, I omitted my upper body workout. Just kidding, I lugged the newly bought food processor and returned it back. The shop assistant gave me the stink eye and checked to see it wasn’t used.

The tape was still on it and the box still intact.

That night, I whipped out the Spectablend and trialled a recipe I had conjuring in my head for quite some time- A basil pesto made with almonds instead of the traditional pine nuts. I had high hopes- I’d seen the Vitamix demos, tv infomercials and read a tonne on it so the Spectablend had a lot to live up to.

It did…and I’d never seen such beautiful pesto in my life. In under 2 minutes, I had the most delicious pesto which was so addictive, I may or may not have eaten half with a spoon. I held back and used it to cover some shrimp I had in my fridge. Mixed with some spices and served over noodles, this super simple yet delicious recipe was created.

Easy Pesto Paprika Shrimp


Easy Pesto Paprika Shrimp

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A super simple pesto recipe which screams to be mixed with shrimp for a flavour combination!


For the pesto paprika shrimp

  • 1 kilogram of peeled shrimp/prawns 2.2 lbs
  • 3/4 of homemade pesto recipe below
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Rice pasta, noodles etc

For the homemade Pesto

  • 100 grams/4 ounces of fresh basil
  • 2/3 cup nuts of choice I used raw almonds
  • 3 tablespoon strong parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic around 3 cloves


  • In a food processor or strong blender, add all the pesto ingredients and blend until fully combined. Set aside.
  • Heat a frying pan with olive oil. When fully heated, add in the minced garlic and smoked paprika and lightly fry for 1 -2 minutes, until fragrant. Add in the shrimp and cook until they are pink and cooked.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Once cool, combine 3/4 cup of the homemade pesto with the shrimp and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Top the shrimp mixture on your favourite grain, pasta or even on top of a salad.


This shrimp freezes really well, as does the excess pesto. For the pesto, feel free to sub any nut for it but keep the rest of the ingredients the same.
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!


Linking up with Laura and Kierston for their respective recipe parties! Hope to see you guys this weekend for the Birthday Edition of Spill it, Sundays! 

Have you ever tried pesto NOT made with pine nuts?

Favourite pairing with pesto?

What should I make in this hybrid/processor next? 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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  1. I die for a good homemade pesto. Love that your swapped out pine nuts for almonds! And how freaking excited are you for your new purchase?! Your world is about to change, big tiiimmmeeeee. Have a fab weekend, brotha!!

    1. Thanks buddy, and almonds make it taste nuttier compared to the pine nuts- but it may have been the damn garlic! 😉

  2. Nom Nom!!! i love pesto!!! My favorite way to eat it is with noodles and lotsa parm cheese!!!!
    You need to make your own nut butter next! I know you have a love obsession with nut butters 🙂

    1. Extra parmesan cheese with a recipe already incorporating it? Love it!

      I do indeed have a recipe already done and dusted on the books! 😀

  3. I love pesto! Especially the homemade one. Pine seeds are a good base but I love to use cashew nuts or almonds, too. Whatever is on hand goes to the pesto, right 🙂
    I use pesto as a spice. Best thing ever was a ramson pesto in my spinach quesadilla!

    Next project could be an Arman style nut butter. Maybe a sweet and salty one 😉

    1. JULI. You are a stalker/mindreader/good blend….I made it as my second creation! Shhhh keep it on the downlow 😉

      OH Wow, a spinach and pesto quesadilla sounds amazing!

  4. unless margie is picking up the pine nuts you better bet I use a different nut. Also where are the prawns? Back to 16 and pregs bye.

  5. For once we’re on the same workout board there. Because you’re story of lugging the food processor home may or may not resemble the way my microwave made its way into my life, too. The things we do for kitchen gadgets…

  6. Isn’t a food processor life changing?! Next you should make homemade nut butter! I still haven’t done that yet in mine haha. I have used mine to make pesto though! I made one with almonds and dill and parsley several weeks ago – it was really good.

    And this recipe looks awesome. I’ve never tried shrimp with pesto before but I bet it’s good! My favourite pairing with pesto is any kind of cheese. Preferably on a pizza or panini!

    1. Chels, That was the second thing I made in it- Although I’ll have to make a ChelseaKale friendly one…Kale nut butter.

      You need to try pesto and shrimp. It is like JayZ and Beyonce. Or jayzee and Chelsea.

  7. I was JUST telling Erin & Angela today how I’m terrible at making pesto. So I just buy kale pesto from Whole Foods. Maybe I need to try it your way… Except minus the shrimp, unless you want me to die.

  8. I cannot believe you returned the food processor, even if you do have some fancy new high powered blender. You better get your bucket back to the store and lug that food processor home again. You need a food processor in your life, I promise. I bet you fancy blender can’t shred potatoes and turn them into hash in a matter of seconds or shred cheese to a beautiful pillowy mountain of deliciousness.

    Pesto is always a winner.

    1. Sunshine, this blender is a hybrid so you bet it would shred potatoes to make an epic rosti.

      PS- Being my recipe queen (of hearts) I need your thoughts on this- A potato rosti recipe with hidden veggies….;)

      1. I stand corrected. A rarity, I’m sure.

        Absolutely a potato rosti recipe with hidden veggies. I did zucchini fritters last year which are similar. I can’t wait to se the savory spin you put on it. 🙂

  9. You finally got a food processor! And you didn’t have to pay for it!! That calls for a happy dance indeed! What should you make next? Nut butter…DUH!! 😉