While today may be the first official day of fall, the 90 degree weather has another story to tell. Hot and humid hardly has me craving stews and pumpkin so I’m taking advantage of this opportunity to share one last summer-ish dish. Honestly, this One Pan Greek Shrimp and Vegetable Bake will likely make my dinner rotation long into the fall and winter months because it’s a crowd pleaser and, of course, it’s easy! It’s naturally gluten free and easily dairy free, just skip the cheese! Whole tomatoes, zucchini and onions roast up with shrimp and fresh herbs in minutes. Top it all off with some feta cheese and you have dinner ready with only 10 minutes of hands-on cook time!
How to Buy Shrimp
Did you ever wonder what numbers like U-15 or 16-20 mean when you purchase shrimp? It’s the number of shrimp you’ll find per pound or more easily explained, the smaller the number the larger the shrimp. I prefer to buy fresh or frozen RAW shrimp as the previously cooked gets really tough if you cook it again. You can also buy shrimp that are peeled and deveined which makes life a lot easier come meal time. It’s less expensive to buy shell-on shrimp and while you and I can probably handle peeling some shrimp, what about deveining? Is this step really necessary? I think so. The vein on the back on the shrimp (not the belly, or underside!) is the digestive track. In other words, shrimp poop lives there. While it won’t cause you any harm to eat it, it’s sure nice not to. Read on to learn how to devein shrimp.
Is Fresh of Frozen Shrimp Better?
Most of the shrimp we purchase has been previously frozen and then defrosted to sell raw at your fish counter. Depending on where you live (like Florida for example), you may be able to buy fresh shrimp more often but in most parts of the country it’s rare. Shrimp is actually one of my favorite proteins to have on hand in the freezer ’cause it defrosts in under five minutes which makes dinner on the fly a cinch!
How to Defrost Shrimp
It’s easy! Place your frozen shrimp in a bowl and fill the bowl with tepid water (think room temperature). Let the shrimp soak for 5 minutes then strain the water as the frozen shrimp make the water cold! Refill the bowl with tepid water again and soak your shrimp. They should be defrosted in no time. Oh, and the larger the shrimp the longer they will take but the whole process rarely takes more than 10 minutes. Pat them dry prior to cooking them or your shrimp will steam in the pan.
How to Devein Shrimp
First, you want your shrimp to be raw and peeled. It would be really hard to devein frozen and/or skin on shrimp! Now, using a small, sharp knife like a paring knife, cut from the head to the tail of the back. You are not alone if you have deveined the underside or belly, I see this all the time! Lesson learned, right!? The cut is small, about 1/4 of the way through the shrimp. Using the tip of the knife or your fingers, carefully remove the vein. I like to run the shrimp under cold water at this point. It helps to keep your hands and the shrimp clean.
Meal Prep Tips
- Peel and devein the shrimp earlier in the week. Or buy them peeled and deveined. Store them in a bag or food storage container in the fridge for up to 3 days
- Pre-cut your vegetables
- Pre-cut your herbs
One Pan Greek Shrimp and Vegetable Bake
Gluten-Free and vegetable centric, this Greek Shrimp and Vegetable Bake is easy to make and family friendly.
- 3 shallots, peeled and quartered
- 1 red bell pepper, large dice
- 2 zucchini, halved and sliced 1 inch thick
- 1 1/2 cups whole grape or cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-20 preferred size)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or dill (either or)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to High Broil
In a large bowl, combine the shallots, bell peppers, zucchini and tomato. Season with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a baking dish and broil, 8-12 inches from the flame, for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, place the shrimp in the bowl the vegetables were in. Add the remaining olive oil as well as the lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic then season with salt and pepper.
When the vegetables hit the 5-6 minute mark, remove them from the oven. Stir in the shrimp then place the pan back under the broiled for another 6-8 minutes or until the shrimp of firm and pink.
Toss the vegetables and shrimp with the fresh herbs and top with feta cheese.
Omit the feta for a dairy free option.
Omit the Feta for Dairy Free
Broil the Vegetables and Shrimp for another minute with the Feta to warm and brown the cheese