Lighter Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Lighter Garlic Shrimp Penne 2 | windykitchen

If you’re anything like me, you probably spend at least a solid couple of hours per week on Pinterest. Pinterest, man! It just grabs you and doesn’t let go. Pinterest has actually brought lots of good things to my life — through Pinterest, I’ve learned how to clean out my dishwasher, how to make my home smell like Williams Sonoma, and how to do relaxing bedtime yoga poses for better sleep. Sweet, right?

But Pinterest is not all fun and games. In fact, it’s up to something really cool lately: Michelle Obama and her “Let’s Move!” campaign now have an official Pinterest page full of healthy recipes for busy families. I swear I’m not writing a press release for this thing right now (which I know it kindof sounds like, sorry), but I’m just really really excited that this resource is here! Pinterest can already help you find healthy recipes and unrealistic workout regimens and scary 3-day cleanses, sure — but what it’s really good at is helping you find THE MOST AMAZING CHOCOLATELY DECADENT SINFUL DESSERT OF ALL TIMEEEEE. And cards on the table, I’ve made my fair share of those desserts. But now I’m going to try to balance things out with all this new healthy stuff, hooray!

This meal wasn’t found via MObama’s Pinterest page, sorry. But I think it could be there! It’s very creamy and comforting, but it uses whole-wheat pasta, lean shrimp, and evaporated milk+light cream cheese in place of a heavy cream sauce. And it was delish!

Lighter Garlic Shrimp Penne 1 | windykitchen

LIGHTER GARLIC SHRIMP PENNE (slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum)

1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled, tails removed
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp butter
6 oz whole wheat penne pasta
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes with garlic, drained
1 tbsp flour
6 oz 2% evaporated milk (about half of a can)
2 tbsp light cream cheese (also called neufchatel)
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Melt 1/2 tbsp butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 clove minced garlic and saute for 1 minute, or until garlic is soft and fragrant. Add shrimp and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to pan. Add diced tomatoes and cooked shrimp to pan with pasta.
  3. In small skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add 3 cloves minced garlic and saute 1 minute. Add flour and stir until absorbed by butter, about 1 minute. Add half of the evaporated milk (3 oz) and whisk until smooth. Once mixture has thickened and started to bubble, add remaining evaporated milk. Cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes, then add cream cheese and stir until smooth. As mixture thickens, add chicken broth to thin out the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour sauce over pasta and mix gently (do not let sauce sit before mixing with pasta; it will dry out). Pour pasta mixture into 2-quart casserole dish, and top with Parmesan cheese and panko. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Despite the small amount of butter, low-fat cream cheese, low-fat milk, and whole-wheat pasta, this tasted extremely creamy and decadent. Husband approved.

Lighter Garlic Shrimp Penne 3 | windykitchen

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