Frugal Family Feast: Shrimp with Cheese Sauce

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Shrimp with cheese sauce served over acorn squash is creamy comfort food at its finest. This Frugal Family Feast recipe will feed a family of four for less than $15.

Chef Marcela Guzman Galan, instructor at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, shared her technique with Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson. Watch the video and read on for the recipe.

The cheesy, creamy, savory sauce is a treat to eat. If you’ve never had hearts of palm, or only had them in salads before, you’ll appreciate the way they add texture to the dish. This recipe makes plenty of food, so you can serve seconds or have leftovers.

Chef Marcela says you can easily make this meal for less than $15, even with the cost of shrimp. The key is using smaller shrimp in the sauce. She recommends the 41-to-60 count. (This refers to the average number of shrimp you get in each pound.)

Roasting the squash

The acorn squash will serve as a little boat to hold the shrimp. Cut the squash in half, clean the seeds out, and cut in half again to make four wedges. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roast the squash in a 350-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes. The flesh will be soft and have some browned bits. Set aside when done.

Preparing the shrimp

The shrimp in cheese sauce comes together quickly.

You start by sautéing the thinly sliced onion in butter over medium heat until it softens and gets clear. Add the thinly sliced hearts of palm, cream cheese and heavy cream. Stir together and cook for three to four minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until it’s opaque. Then add the Parmesan cheese to finish it off.

Serve over a wedge of roasted squash with chopped parsley sprinkled on top. You can scoop the squash out of the skin as you enjoy each bite.

Shrimp with cheese sauce – courtesy of the International Culinary School


  • one acorn squash, about 1 pound
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound shrimp 41-60 count (if frozen, they should be thawed)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces hearts of palm, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the acorn squash:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut the squash in half.
  • Scoop out seeds.
  • Cut each half in half again.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Roast in oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

To prepare the shrimp:

  • Peel, devein the shrimp (if using fresh).
  • Sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the hearts of palm, cream cheese and heavy cream. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated.
  • Add the shrimp and cook until they are opaque, about three minutes.
  • Toss in the Parmesan cheese.
  • Adjust salt to taste.
  • Serve sprinkled with parsley.

After you try this recipe, go to our Facebook page and let us know how you like it.

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