Shrimp Fra Diavolo w/ Spaghetti Squash (Paleo)

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Fra Diavolo is a spicy tomato based sauce that is often paired with shrimp and pasta.  I’ve never been a huge fan of it personally.  I’ve also never been that impressed with spaghetti squash.  As a gluten free or low carb pasta substitute I always find it lacking, so I rarely use it.

Ironically though, when I put these two things that I’m not at all passionate about together, I fell instantly in love.  So much so that the shrimp, (which were delicious) totally took a back seat, and I ended up eating all of the squash and sauce first.  It’s a big deal for me people – shocking and maybe a teeny bit life changing!  I love it when that happens.

Spicy and slightly sweet, this is the kind of meal that you just want to keep eating, and it’s so good that you feel a little sad when it’s gone.  But don’t be too sad, because another great thing about this recipe is that it comes together very quickly, so you can throw some together as often as you like.

If whole shrimp skeeve you out (i.e. you don’t like it when your food stares back at you), you can use peeled, raw shrimp in this recipe.

Serves 6

Recipe Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 Tbl red pepper flakes
1.5 lb raw shrimp
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbl garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano

1 large spaghetti squash
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbl chopped parsley

Rinse your spaghetti squash and pierce all over with a sharp knife.  Microwave it (whole) on high for 25 minutes.  Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then cut in half, remove seeds and scrape out the strands of faux “pasta.” Put the squash in a medium bowl and toss with 1 tsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  While the squash is cooking, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a medium saute pan and toss in the red pepper flakes.  Add the shrimp (be careful of popping oil since the shrimp have a high water content!) and cook for a couple of minutes until just opaque and starting to curl.  Don’t overcook them people!  Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.  Add your onion to the pan and cook for several minutes until translucent.  Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute or two, being careful not to scorch it.  Pour the crushed tomatoes into the pan and add your oregano and salt and pepper to taste.  Let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes.  It should be done by the time your squash is ready.  To assemble, spoon about 1/4 of the sauce into a shallow pasta bowl and top with a generous portion of the squash.  Top with shrimp and garnish with parsley to serve.  You could also garnish with grated Parmesan cheese if you aren’t doing the Whole 30 which doesn’t allow dairy.  I didn’t miss the cheese at all, but my husband, who ate it with cheese, liked it.  Either way it’s going to be delicious!  Can’t wait to hear what you guys think!  I’ll be making this one again soon – and I might even skip the shrimp altogether for a Meatless Monday, or maybe serve it with chicken or fish next time.

One thing of note – because of the tomato sauce, onions, and spaghetti squash, this dish has more carbs than some of you might be able to fit into your plan (e.g. Keto, Atkins Induction, etc.) at this time.  If so, you can look forward to eating this when you’re in maintenance mode!

Approximate nutrition information per serving:  280 calories, 13g fat, 14g net carbs, 26g protein
For more great recipes, check out my new e-cookbook The Gluten Free Low Carber!





  1. Deebo Jones
    Deebo Jones08-25-2012

    I am SO glad to have found your blog! Right now I am doing a “metabolic diet” which is sugar free, bad fat free, low dairy, low sodium, and low carb.. I’m in the first part of it, I cannot exceed 2g net carbs per serving (every 3-4 hours) and have to stay under 20g net carbs per day. It’s definitely not easy, since I’m on such a budget.. I was wondering if you have a favourite meal/flour you like to work with? I’m not sure what to buy, and I would be so sad if I bought something that turned out to not be any good. I’m really just looking for something I can make crackers/anything resembling toast with! I was thinking flax meal, but I’ve heard it can be pretty funky in texture! Any help would be appreciated, and thank you so much!! I can’t wait to shop again so I can try out some of your recipes :)

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny08-25-2012

      Hi Deebo and welcome! You’ve come to the right place! My favorite crackers recipe is the rosemary flax crackers which have 2 grams of net carbs per batch! http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/2012/01/low-carb-rosemary-sea-salt-flax.html
      They use flax meal and parmesan to keep the carbs low. I have a few other variations in my e-cookbook which you can get more info on at the sidebar. My favorite flour to use right now is coconut and I use it in conjunction with parmesan cheese and/or nut flours. The cheapest way to get it is to order it online I’ve found. Go through the other blog recipes and let me know if you have any questions about ingredients on them. Hope you do well on your metabolic diet and please keep us posted on your progress!

    • Deanna Taylor
      Deanna Taylor08-25-2012

      Thank you so much for the reply! (Haha ignore the name change, figured my real name would make more sense).

      I’m definitely going to pick up some flax meal, I’d love to get some coconut flour, too! Actually, the flax cracker recipe is how I found your blog. I shouldn’t say this is a diet, it’s my new lifestyle! When I have a bit more time, I’m going to browse some more of your recipes.. Maybe talk DP into letting me buy your ebook haha!
      Oh, and I lost 7lbs in the first two weeks! (I only weigh in every two weeks, or else I will be come obsessive with the scale) :)

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny08-25-2012

      Hey Deanna! I am already obsessed with the scale and would have a hard time weighing in only every two weeks – though it would probably be better for me if I did! Congrats on losing 7 lbs – that’s awesome! Hope you like the crackers, let me know how they turn out! :)

  2. Marge Burkell
    Marge Burkell08-25-2012

    Oh Mellissa this one sounds YUMMY! I love my pasta so low-carb is HARD! I am “Springpadding” this one to make this week!
    THANKS!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny08-25-2012

      Hi Marge! I haven’t really missed pasta that much, for me it’s more pizza and nachos! But I really loved this dish! I hope it works for you, let me know how you like it!

  3. Emily
    Emily08-26-2012

    This is my favorite Italian dish. I haven’t seen any spaghetti squash just yet this year but I will be keeping this recipe in the back pocket for when I spot it.

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny08-31-2012

      Hi Emily, for years I wasn’t a fan of Fra Diavalo sauce but now I’m a convert! Can’t believe I wasted all of this time not eating it! Let me know how you like it with the spaghetti squash!

  4. MarieGray
    MarieGray08-29-2012

    Melissa, Hi there, frequent visitor, love your recipes. I plan to use the zucchini sweet potato latkes for breakfast tomorrow (making them tonite) but what I really want to know is how are you doing….day 29 (?) of your Whole 30? I am having one hell of a time getting started…because I’m hung up on Day 1 being PERFECT….maybe that’s the wrong approach. Just thought I’d ask how you were faring. Also, I loved the avocado lime dessert….what a surprisingly delicious sweet! Thanks, Marie

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny08-31-2012

      Hi Marie! Hope your Whole 30 is going well! Mine was great but today is my last day and I’m kind of glad! I’ll be posting early next week about my results, conclusions, etc. so stay tuned!

  5. Carrie L.
    Carrie L.08-29-2012

    I am on day six of a low carb lifestyle and came across your blog today! I can’t stop perusing through all these recipes, but I need to get back to work! Can’t wait to go home and try. You may be my new favorite person : )

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny08-31-2012

      Thanks Carrie and welcome to IBIH! Keep us posted on your progress with low carb and let me know how you like the recipes! You can always get in touch with me through the facebook page or email!

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