Spicy Shrimp with Cauliflower Mash and Garlic Kale Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Spicy Shrimp with Cauliflower Mash and Garlic Kale

67 reviews / 4.7 average

This spicy / creamy / green combination is pretty much life goals. 

A pile of creamy cauliflower mash sets the stage and then gets tucked in by those smoky greens before finally getting piled high with a mound of aggressively seasoned, salty, juicy shrimp.

Do you even hear me? Leave work immediately. Pack the kids in the car. Go to the grocery store. Make this your life’s mission.

It is peak cozy, nutritious, and cool-weather wonderful.

Shrimp and cauliflower mash on a plate with a fork.

Let’s Talk Kale and Bacon Fat

Let’s break this down, because shrimp is straightforward, and cauliflower mash is mostly reasonable, but when I say smoky garlic kale, what I really mean is KALE or KALETTES (!!) sautéed with garlic in a little knoblet of bacon fat.

Fingers holding pieces of kale.

That adorable thing would be called a kalette: a cross between kale and brussels sprouts. I bought mine at Super Target, so it would appear that we regulars have access to these little wonders without a trip to any special grocery store (but regular kale works, too).

Related – that knob of bacon fat that I mentioned? The one that makes the greens especially delicious? It’s something you should just do, like, regularly.

I keep a little container in my fridge – it’s called the Fat Trapper – for bacon grease! Almost any recipe can benefit from a little depth and smoky-rich flavor. Just swap some butter or oil with a little bacon fat. This is one of my favorite easy little cooking hacks. Every time I do this, people go above and beyond in their food compliments. Because people may not know it, but they do, in fact, love bacon fat.

Pieces of shrimp.

Onto The Shrimp and Cauliflower Mash

The thing you need to know about these shrimp is that they really, really want you to cover them thoroughly in spices. They don’t have to be SPICY spicy – they could just be very well-seasoned. But they want some kick. They want to wow you.

The other thing you need to know about the shrimp is that while you will be tempted to eat every last one of them straight out of the sizzling hot pan, you MUST exercise enough self control to get them on the plate, tucked between your garlicky greens and your creamy cauliflower mash. It is really the combo of all three of these wonders that makes this a repeat-dinner-winner.

And that cauliflower mash? Easy, creamy, comforting, *mostly* healthy, and so, so good.

Spicy shrimp with cauliflower mash and kale on a plate with a fork.

I mean, if you happened to give the whole thing a quick lemon squeeze before devouring?

You would not be wrong.

Spicy shrimp with cauliflower mash and kale on a plate with a fork.

Check Out Our Video For How To Make Spicy Shrimp and Cauliflower Mash (1 Min):

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A picture of Spicy Shrimp with Cauliflower Mash and Garlic Kale

Spicy Shrimp with Cauliflower Mash and Garlic Kale

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Spicy Shrimp with Cauliflower Mash and Garlic Kale – tender-sweet shrimp and smoky garlic kale over creamy cauliflower mash. The most DELICIOUS fake-fancy weeknight dinner!


Units Scale

For the Cauliflower Mash

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • one 14-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese, like sharp cheddar or havarti
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Kale

  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat (or olive oil)
  • 3 cups kalettes OR chopped kale
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

For the Shrimp

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb. shrimp (enough for 4 people)
  • a few good shakes of garlic salt, chili powder, cayenne, and/or black pepper


  1. Cauliflower Mash: Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the cauliflower and garlic. Saute for a minute or two, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the milk and 2 cups broth. Simmer for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the white beans and mash roughly with the back of a large wooden spoon. It will be soupy – that’s okay. Stir in the cornmeal and things will start to thicken a bit. Adjust the consistency by adding in the last cup of broth as needed. Stir in the cheese and season to taste.
  2. Kale: Heat the bacon fat in a nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Add the greens and garlic and saute until softened. For the kalettes, I added a little water at the end to sort of steam them to finish them off. Remove kale and wipe out pan with a paper towel.
  3. Shrimp: In the same skillet, add the oil over medium heat. Pat the shrimp dry. Add to the pan and sprinkle with seasonings to taste. Cook for just a few minutes and then add a quick splash of water or broth to the pan (about 2 tablespoons) to pull the browned bits and spices into something of a saucy-coating for the shrimp. It’s delicious.
  4. Serve: Serve the shrimp and kale over a big pile of cauliflower mash! SO yummy.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: spicy shrimp recipe, cauliflower mash, healthy shrimp recipe, gluten-free recipe, healthy dinner recipe

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Note: this post contains an affiliate link for the nifty little bacon FAT TRAPPER! Annnd that’s probably my best blog line ever.

One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our collection of easy shrimp recipes. Check it out!

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    First of all, this looks freaking delicious! Those little kalettes are just.too.cute! Second, I’m so excited that you’ll be sharing your trip with all of us! I hope you guys have a wonderful and safe trip!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Straight up. I have been DYING to try Kalettes! They are SO freaking cute. And cute food is the best food. Also, so is food that happens after laziness. Like this. I NEED IT.
    AND, that is SO cool that you’re heading back! Can’t wait to see all the photos! Have safe travels! 🙂 Pinned!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Agree! I think you are responsible for the drool all over my keyboard right now.

      “sautéed with garlic in a little knob of bacon fat.” This quote from your blog post is all I need my friend. Bacon. Fat. Nuff. Said.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo


        You’re not the only one eating food at your computer keyboard with the food and sauce possibly slipping in between the computer keys… LOL 🙂

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Holy yum. This makes me wanna dance it looks so elegant but also like comfort food!
    Have the most wonderful trip – and know that everyone here who reads your blog each day reads because of you and wants to hear that story. I am looking forward to you sharing it!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I am not a shrimp fan but I love everything else about this! I bet it would be fab with salmon as well.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I followed along through your whole journey in the Philippines, so can’t wait to see more. Have a wonderful time. You are both doing amazing things!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks amazing. I have never heard of kalettes, I’m so excited to find them and make them!

    Have a great time in the Philippines! I can’t wait to read about it and see pictures!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love the kalettes. I didn’t know they existed but now I have a mission to find them PRONTO.
    Can’t be more excited about the return to the Philippines <3 I have been looking forward to updates. I read every post and I feel like there is a special place in my heart for those little kiddos and the authentic beauty you shared of that real life and I look forward to more! You did an amazing job of just putting it out there in the way people really want to experience it…roaches, lack of microwave and genuine feelings of a gal totally out of her comfort zone but allowing her (and her husband's 🙂 ) big heart to take over. Praying you guys have more life changing experiences and a hug-filled rich experience <3

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m totally making this for dinner tonight. I was just wondering what to make with the last of the shrimp I bought the other day.

    Kudos on getting rid of your tv. We currently have a 60-inch Mitsubishi tv that we found on the side of the road that works perfectly, but it’s happily moving on to my sister-in-law’s house soon. The 36-inch we found in the garbage last summer is big enough, thanks. (Side note: why do people throw away televisions that still work well?!)

    Pleeeeeease share your Philippines trip – we love your food posts, but girls’ weekends, SAGE, and other breaks are just as fun to read about. Happy travels!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks so fab and love the fact that the mash is not from potato’s 🙂 love the little kale pic..looks amazing and I wud replace the shrimp.with Quorn may be !!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Weeeee!! I’m so excited!!! I lovelovelove reading your food posts (not to mention the amazing numminess that results!), but I can’t wait to be virtually packed along in your suitcase and brought along on the Philippines trip! I love it when my favorite bloggers share life posts and peeks into their day-to-day, so I could not be more jazzed to get a longer stretch of real, live-as-it’s-happening (sort of ) feed into Bjork’s and your trip. Bring it on!! Thank you as always for being open and willing to share.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      That’s so fun to hear Hannah – thank you! I love it, too, on the other blogs that I read, which gives me confidence branching out from food a little bit. 🙂

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you Lindsey for introducing me to the kalette! I’ve never seen them before. I’m one of those weird people who just love, love, loves brussel sprouts so I’m anxious to try. Going to have to make a Target run!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Wow! On all fronts. Yes to kalettes. We get em here in the UK too. So we’re also winning in a big way. And yes to POY on location in the Philippines. Best of luck and have a great trip. If Sage is staying with grandparents I hope she gets spoiled and doesn’t miss you too much!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Rachel Strobridge

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! We’ve been getting kale and cauliflower out the wazoo from our CSA boxes and I’ve been struggling to incorporate them before they go bad. This is PERFECT. I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      This is the way to do it! Finishing them in the oven to get them a little crispy will take them to next level status.

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks amazing — I would love to try it this week. By chance do you have the nutritional info? (Looking for calories…) Thanks!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Ooh, so exciting! I can’t wait to hear all about it! I like non-food posts better than recipe posts anyway. 🙂

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    KALETTES? What even?! I am so excited about this development. Thank you for introducing them to me. Must go to Target now!

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This recipe looks so yummy! It’s got everything I love to eat — cauliflower, kale, shrimp!! And, your photos are so beautiful. What’s your secret? Maybe one day I’ll improve my photos. 🙂

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Ugh I made the mistake of reading one of your posts before lunch! So hungry!! I have been craving shrimp and I really need to try cauliflower mash – yum! Thanks for the inspiration ✨