Pesto Shrimp Couscous Bowls

Pesto Couscous Bowls with Shrimp and Zucchini

Pesto smothered couscous with shrimp and zucchini makes for a light but filling easy meal...
Pesto smothered couscous with shrimp and zucchini makes for a light but filling easy meal you can enjoy all year long (but best in the summer!) 
Pesto Shrimp Couscous Bowls
I’m always looking for meals that can be made by shopping locally and from the pantry – and this recipe is exactly that. Swing by the fish monger at the farmer’s market while picking up ingredients for pesto, zucchinis, and arugula and you’ve got this meal.
I love the zucchini here, because it’s quick cooking (you could saute instead of roast – even grill!) but feel free to sub in your favorite vegetables. And of course, you could swap in chickpeas if you’re vegetarian or even just a rotisserie chicken.
Pesto Shrimp Couscous Bowls
Overall, it’s just a quick weeknight meal that’s surprisingly exciting to eat that’ll get you through those kinds of weeks when you need easy!

Pesto Couscous Bowls with Shrimp and Zucchini

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 2 medium zucchinis, halved lengthwise and sliced cross wise into ¼-inch thick half moons
  • olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder, to season
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 1/3 cup pesto (or more)
  • 2 packed cups baby arugula
  • 1 pound medium to small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • red pepper flakes to garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and add the zucchini. Drizzle with olive oil and season with½ teaspoon of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and lay out in an even layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the couscous. Boil 4 cups of water in a medium pot. Once boiling, add the couscous and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pour the couscous into a large mixing bowl, add the pesto and stir to coat. Set aside. Once zucchini is done, add the zucchini and arugula.
  • Once couscous is done cooking, begin the shrimp. In a small bowl, add the shrimp and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Season with the remaining garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, add the shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes per side or until C-shaped and opaque. Remove from heat.
  • Divide the couscous mixture into bowls, top with shrimp, and serve, garnished with red pepper flakes.

with love, Ali

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Recipe Rating


  • Oh. My. Goodness. I rarely leave comments but I have to here. I want to bury my face in this. It’s so so good.
    • WE LOVE THAT!! What a great compliment!
  • Another delicious and easy recipe! I didn’t have arugula on hand so I used spinach instead. My husband didn’t think he’d like this because he usually doesn’t prefer to eat zucchini. Let’s just say I had to stop mid dinner to remind him that some of this was my lunch for the next day. He was going to polish it off otherwise! We both loved it!
    • So amazing to hear, Jennifer! Great addition with the spinach. Love that!
  • This was 100% delicious - made homemade pesto actually with cilantro and pepitas (YUM!!!). But the shrimp, zucchini, I added onion/garlic, etc., were 100% on point!! NOTE: Our local Walmart sells this couscous as Israeli couscous - I actually had to look up "pearl" couscous which is, actually, a semolina/pasta product, not a true grain! Didn't know that, but I guess you learn something every day, eh??? Regardless, "pearled" couscous and Israeli are the same thing!!! Blessings!!! ~Chrissie