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Blackened Shrimp Pesto Pasta Salad - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade
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5 from 1 vote

Blackened Shrimp Pesto Pasta Salad

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 people


  • 4 ounces short cut pasta
  • 12 ounces large/jumbo shrimp, peeled & deveined I use 21-26 count
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 14 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic (can substitute raw)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
  • lemon zest (to taste)


  • Cook pasta according to box directions
  • Toast pine nuts in large, dry skillet until golden brown, tossing occasionally. Watch carefully! Will take a few minutes to get brown, but will go from golden to burnt very fast. Remove and set aside
  • In same skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until desired level of done. Drain on paper towels, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Mix flour, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper for blackening mix
  • Season shrimp with salt & pepper. Drizzle with avocado oil or canola oil. Dredge shrimp in blackening mix
  • In same skillet you cooked bacon, add shrimp and cook until done. The cooking time will depend on the size of the shrimp. Don't overcook, or the shrimp will be rubbery. Remove shrimp as soon as they are done, and drain on paper towels
  • Add pine nuts, basil, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and garlic to food processor. Blend for about 15 seconds to chop up basil. Add oil slowly, until pesto has consistency of a thin paste. For a thinner consistency, add more oil
  • Combine pesto with pasta, and portion into bowls. Top with bacon, avocado, tomatoes, red onion, and shrimp. Finish with lemon zest. Enjoy!