If there is one thing I don’t like doing is staring at the fridge and the pantry to try and figure out what to make for dinner. Hence why we meal plan. I really only have to think about it once every 7 to 10 days. While meal planning is very efficient and time saving, it really only works if you remember to pull out your frozen protein out of the freezer with enough time to thaw.

I am notorious lately for forgetting to do that until 1 hour before supper and by then, there is no way those chicken breasts are going to be ready to cook.

And some days I only have more elaborate meals left on the meal plan and I just want to make something quick and simple.

This is why I love pasta dishes. They are so quick and easy to put together, You can also use just about anything that you have on hand so it also works great to clear out your fridge, of if you are trying to stretch your grocery hauls. Anybody else feels like they are living on the edge when they try to stretch out groceries just one more day.

Anyways, I also always like to have some shrimp in the freezer because they are quick to thaw and a nice switch in protein!

The first time I made this was a few years ago, and when I decided to introduce it to Declan I really wasn’t sure how these sun dried tomatoes and black olives would go but turns out he loved it and asked for more! So this quickly became a go-to when needing a quick meal. And if you are wondering about Corbin, the child will still eat just about anything you put in front of him. I really hope that lasts haha.

If I’m being honest, this dish also makes me feel a little fancier then with a traditional meat sauce and spaghetti.

There is something about pesto that just makes pasta a little more elevated in my opinion. There is nothing wrong with a meat sauce when you are craving something more comforting though. The kids also love pesto which is awesome because it also makes a great marinade for pork or chicken and is super tasty on salmon too.

And pesto mayo with sweet potato fried… mmmmmm.. okay sorry I’m getting carried away! This one is definitely worth a try if you want to look like you are upping your weekday pasta game while really keeping it simple, but no one needs to know it was so simple!

Shrimp pesto pasta

Quick and easy week night dinner with shrimp and a just the right about of green.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4 people


  • 4 serving pasta of your choice *
  • 4 cups shrimps peeled and thawed
  • 2 cups packed spinach chopped roughly
  • 1/3 cup black olives sliced
  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 large onion diced
  • 3 tbsp pesto **
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to package.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan on medium high and cook shrimp 2 minutes a side or until pick and opaque then remove from heat and set aside
  • Add in the onions and cook until translucent. Add in the spinach, sundried tomato and olives, cover and cook until spinach is wilted or 3-4 minutes.
  • Throw the shrimp back in, add in the pesto and milk and cook until hot throughout.
  • Drain pasta then mix with your pesto mixture.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste then serve.
  • Optional: top with parmesan cheese.


* I used a whole grain penne but really any type of noodles can be used.
** Our family really likes Classico Pesto if you can find it in your grocery stores. I find it is the closest in taste and texture to a homemade pesto.
Keyword pasta, Pesto, shrimp, spinach
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