Pan-Seared Shrimp with Butternut Squash and Cilantro Pesto

For a few years now, Maggie Christopher provided delicious, nourishing recipes for us to include in our newsletters. Maggie’s schedule is filling up, so she sent us Julie Johnson to take over. We would like to thank Maggie and welcome Julie! Julie’s full bio appears at the end of this post, and here’s her first recipe, a perfect one for fall.

Tender shrimp, butternut squash, and flavorful cilantro pesto — what could be better for this beautiful season? Chicken can easily be substituted for the shrimp as well. I like to place this dish on top of cooked quinoa, or even serve with sautéed greens.

Shrimp and Squash

1 pound jumbo shrimp (peeled and deveined)

1 Tbs grapeseed oil (coconut oil works well too)

2 cups small diced butternut squash, peeled

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Lightly season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat the grapeseed oil in a medium-size sauté pan over high heat. Add the shrimp and sear until they turn pink and are cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.

To finish the dish, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté squash until it becomes tender and starts to caramelize (about 6-7 minutes). Add the shrimp and stir gently until everything is heated through. Remove from heat and add the Cilantro Pesto.

Cilantro Pesto

makes about 1 ½ cups

2 cups fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)

¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 Tbs fresh lime juice

½ tsp sea salt

pinch of chili flakes (more if you want spicy)

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely pureed.


JULIE JOHNSON, Holistic Health Coach, helps clients reach wellness goals through nutrition and life balance. She offers individual coaching or group coaching sessions that support health through whole food nutrition. Clients will receive guidance, recipes, and cooking sessions to make sustainable lifestyle changes. For a free consultation, visit Julie Johnson Health Coach.