Shrimp Pasta

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You only need 7 ingredients and 30 minutes to get this Shrimp Pasta recipe on the dinner table. This easy dinner has flavors of lemon, garlic and black pepper.

We’re in the middle of that season that is almost as busy as December. It’s the month of May. Have you heard of “Maycember”? Yeah. We’re feeling it.

Last weekend was Maddie’s wedding, this week is Kinslee’s high school graduation party. After that? I’m ready for all things summer. That means I want to be in the kitchen the least amount of time possible. This 30 minute Shrimp Pasta recipe is a lifesaver!

a skillet sitting on a table with shrimp pasta in it

About this Shrimp Pasta Recipe:

  • Flavor: Lemon, butter, garlic, black pepper and Parmesan are the key flavors you’ll taste in this pasta & shrimp. This has a lightly cheesy flavor rather than a heavy cream sauce flavor.
  • Texture: The thick pasta noodles are cooked to al dente and the shrimp is tender and plump.
  • Method: This cooks completely on the stovetop. You’ll need a pot to boil the spaghetti and a large skillet to assemble the shrimp & pasta dish.

This skillet dinner recipe is simple yet elegant. It’s quick enough for a weeknight dinner, yet sophisticated enough for a dinner party.

Ingredients

ingredients for shrimp pasta on a table

Because there are just a handful of ingredients in this recipe, use fresh ingredients for the best flavor. Fresh lemon rather than lemon juice concentrate. Freshly cracked black pepper and fresh garlic cloves. Even freshly shredded parmesan cheese is ideal.

  • Thick spaghetti noodles. This dish works best if you use a thick spaghetti pasta since you boil the pasta and then also let the pasta heat in a skillet. Look for a package that says “thick” rather than thin or angel hair pasta so it doesn’t get soggy.
  • Shrimp. Buy shrimp that is already peeled and deveined if you’d like. I used extra large shrimp.

Tips for Cooking with Shrimp

  • Defrost Properly: If using frozen shrimp, allow them to thaw completely before cooking. The best way to do this is by leaving them in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re in a rush or forgot to defrost the shrimp, place them in a colander under cold running water. Never use warm or hot water as it can start to cook the shrimp.
  • Don’t Overcook: Shrimp cook very quickly, and when they’re done, they’ll turn a pink color. As soon as they curl into a C shape, they’re ready. If they start to curl into an O shape, they’re likely overcooked, which can make them rubbery. Extra large shrimp cook in just a short time, about 1-2 minutes per side. Watch them closely.
  • Preheat Your Pan: Before adding the shrimp, make sure your pan is sufficiently hot. This will help to sear the shrimp quickly, locking in the juices and creating a nice, flavorful crust.

How to Make Shrimp Pasta

  • Bring 4 cups of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti and cook for 9 minutes. The pasta may not be cooked all the way, but that is ok. It will continue to cook as you make the recipe. Don’t drain pasta. You’ll use the pasta water in the recipe.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add cracked pepper to the pan and roast for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, grate the garlic cloves into the pan and stir. Cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  • Very carefully add ½ cup of the pasta water to the frying pan and stir well. *The water will boil and steam once poured into the pan so be very careful doing this!*
minced garlic sautéed in oil in a skillet
  • Place the grated parmesan cheese into a bowl. Add ¼ cup of pasta water and lemon juice to the cheese and stir until the cheese is slightly melted.
  • Remove the spaghetti from the pasta water and add to the frying pan. Add ½ cup of pasta water and stir. Add a pinch of black pepper and toss to coat. Continue to stir for 3 minutes to finish cooking the pasta.
  • Move the pasta to one side of the pan and add the butter to the empty side. Once melted, add the shrimp. Cook for 1 minute then turn and cook for 1 more minute. The shrimp is cooked through when it is an opaque white color and measures 145°F  in the thickest part.
spaghetti and shrimp in a skillet
  • Turn off the heat but keep the pan on the burner.
  • Add the cheese to the pasta. Stir and mix well to evenly coat the pasta.
spaghetti and shrimp with parmesan cheese on top
  • Garnish with fresh parsley, additional pepper, and parmesan cheese.

Recipe Variations

  • Sauté a couple tablespoons of finely diced onion with the cracked pepper.
  • Add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes for spice.
  • Add the zest of the lemon for more lemon flavor.
  • This is excellent with cajun seasoning as well. Add a teaspoon of cajun seasoning to the shrimp for a cajun shrimp pasta.
about tastes of lizzy t

Make it a meal.

What should you serve with shrimp and pasta? Try one of these sides:

a plate of shrimp pasta garnished with a lemon
shrimp pasta in a skillet with parsley and lemon
shrimp pasta in a skillet with parsley and lemon

Shrimp Pasta Recipe {30 Minutes}

4.50 from 4 votes
You only need 7 ingredients and 30 minutes to get this Shrimp Pasta recipe on the dinner table. This easy dinner has flavors of lemon, garlic and black pepper.
Servings 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

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Ingredients
 

  • ½ pound thick spaghetti
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 pound extra large shrimp peeled and deveined

For garnishing:

  • fresh chopped parsley
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Bring 4 cups of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti and cook for 9 minutes. The pasta may not be cooked all the way, but that is ok. It will continue to cook as you make the recipe. Don’t drain pasta. You'll use the pasta water in the recipe.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add cracked pepper to the pan and roast for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, grate the garlic cloves into the pan and stir. Cook until fragrant (about 1 minute)
  • Very carefully add ½ cup of the pasta water to the frying pan and stir well. *The water will boil and steam once poured into the pan so be very careful doing this!*
  • Place the grated parmesan cheese into a bowl. Add ¼ cup of pasta water and lemon juice to the cheese and stir until the cheese is slightly melted and smooth.
  • Remove the cooked pasta from the pasta water and add to the frying pan. Add ½ cup of pasta water and stir. Add a pinch of black pepper and toss to coat. Continue to stir for 3 minutes to finish cooking the pasta.
  • Move the pasta to one side of the pan and add the butter to the empty side. Once melted, add the shrimp. Cook for 1 minute then turn and cook for 1 more minute. The shrimp is cooked through when it is an opaque white color and measures 145 °F  in the thickest part.
  • Turn off the heat but keep the pan on the burner.
  • Add the cheese to the pasta. Stir and mix well to evenly coat the pasta.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, additional pepper, and parmesan cheese.
  • Serve immediately. Add salt to taste.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Notes

Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 6, with 1 serving being ⅙ of the pasta. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 758mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 507IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 259mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 335
Keyword 30 minute dinner, easy pasta dinner, shrimp dinner

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About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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