This Low-Carb Basil Parmesan Shrimp recipe is delicious and quick to make. It is also appropriate for people on low-carb, ketogenic, Atkins, gluten-free, and Banting diets.

Low-Carb Basil Parmesan Shrimp

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This dish has a delicious creamy parmesan sauce with hints of lemon and garlic. Green ribbons of basil add some Italian flavor and a bit of red pepper flakes keep it interesting. The shrimp are sautéed in butter to golden brown before they are drenched in the sauce. This end result makes a delicious main course with an Italian flair.

Basil and parmesan cheese make an awesome flavor combination! The Italians sure had the right idea when they made pesto. In fact, pesto was on my mind when I created this recipe. My idea began as “pesto shrimp”. I originally planned to use prepackaged pesto as an ingredient, but I wanted to keep the flavors as fresh as possible. I also decided to keep the recipe as simple as I could, so, in the end, I decided to ditch the pine nuts and the grinding process that goes along with true pesto. My goal was to simplify, but still end up with amazing flavor.

When making this dish, to get beautifully browned shrimp without overcooking them, be sure to follow these three bits of advice. First, be sure the shrimp are completely dry before cooking. I almost always use frozen shrimp for this dish and defrost them in the refrigerator prior to cooking them. I then rinse and drain them and dry them with paper towels. Second, make sure the pan is truly hot before adding the shrimp. Third, don’t crowd the shrimp in the pan. They should not touch, otherwise, they will steam instead of brown. Cook them in batches if your pan is too small to cook them all without them touching each other.

This recipe for Low-Carb Basil Parmesan Shrimp makes a quick and easy meal. Serve it over zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice if you like. It’s also great with just a side salad. Enjoy!



Low-Carb Basil Parmesan Shrimp

5 from 2 votes

Low-Carb Basil Parmesan Shrimp

This Low-Carb Basil Parmesan Shrimp recipe is delicious and quick to make. It is also appropriate for people on low-carb, ketogenic, Atkins, gluten-free, and Banting diets.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Annissa Slusher


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 12 ounces shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves stacked, then sliced to form strips
  • 1 dash red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add butter to the skillet. 

  2. When butter melts and stops foaming, add shrimp to the skillet. Be sure the shrimp do not touch. If skillet is too small, cook shrimp in batches. 

  3. When the first side of the shrimp browns, turn shrimp over. When second side of shrimp is browned and shrimp is opaque, remove shrimp to a plate and set aside.

  4. Turn heat to medium-low. Add garlic to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. 

  5. Add lemon juice to skillet. Cook, scraping up browned bits on the pan, until lemon juice is almost completely evaporated.

  6. Pour cream into the skillet. Turn heat to medium and bring to a simmer while whisking frequently. Turn heat to low.

  7. Stir in parmesan cheese. When cheese has melted and sauce has thickened, add the shrimp and any accumulated drippings. Turn off the heat.

  8. Stir in the basil, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Taste the sauce before adding the salt as the parmesan cheese adds a bit of saltiness as well. After salting, taste again and adjust seasoning if desired. 

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 1/4 of the recipe

Calories: 428

Fat (g): 33

Carbs (g): 3

Fiber (g): 0

Protein (g): 29

Net Carbs (g): 3