Habanero Pesto Shrimp




  • 1/4 cup pecans (1 ounce weight)
  • 1 habanero pepper, seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves (about 2.5 ounces weight)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 pounds large tail-on shrimp, deveined

  • salt and black pepper
  • Hot cooked rice or pasta to serve


  1. Combine pecans, habanero and garlic in a food chopper or small processor and chop finely. Add basil leaves, salt, oil and lemon juice and puree until smooth, scraping sides down frequently. You’ll have about a cup of pesto. This pesto can be refrigerated (covered) for a few days at this point.
  2. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. (Start your pasta water to boil, or start cooking your rice now before you cook the shrimp!)
  3. Heat a skillet over high heat and add a small drizzle of oil. Once oil is shimmering, add shrimp and cook on one side for about 1 minute or until browned. Flip and cook another minute until shrimp are pink and opaque. Turn off heat. Add half the pesto sauce and toss a few seconds to warm through.
  4. Toss remaining pesto with pasta, use as much or as little as you like. Or serve shrimp with rice and extra pesto on the side.

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