Garlic Shrimp Pasta

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Garlic Shrimp Pasta is the perfect easy recipe for a busy weeknight. Pasta and sautéed shrimp are tossed in a creamy homemade white wine sauce for a light yet hearty meal. 

Serve with a side of garlic bread and a fresh arugula salad for a delicious summer dinner ‘al fresco’.

Closeup of Shrimp Garlic Pasta in a skillet

Dinner in Minutes

Shrimp is a great weeknight protein because it cooks in about 5 minutes whether you’re making Grilled Shrimp or shrimp tacos. In this recipe the shrimp and sauce are all made in one pan as the pasta cooks and the whole thing is table ready in about 30 minutes!

How to Make Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Garlic butter shrimp pasta is a perfect example of simple ingredients making an extraordinary meal with just a few easy steps.

  • Cook pasta, reserving one cup of pasta water to add to the sauce, if necessary.
  • While the pasta is cooking, season (per recipe below) and cook the shrimp. Cook just until pink, it’ll cook a bit more in the sauce so be sure you do not overcook.
  • Remove and deglaze pan with white wine and lemon juice.

What is Deglazing? It simply means to use liquid to release the seasoned bits from the bottom of the pan. This helps to create a more flavorful sauce.

Overhead shot of shrimp cooking in one pan, other pan has butter, cream and spices in it

  • Add remaining ingredients, stirring constantly until sauce is barely thickened.
  • Add shrimp and pasta back to the pot and add the parsley. Continue stirring until heated thoroughly.

Serve with a generous dose of parmesan cheese…and more vino of course!

A pan of shrimp in cream sauce and another pan with pasta added to the shrimp

My Favorite Wines to Use

To make garlic shrimp pasta, select a wine that complements the lemon juice and the garlic.

Dry wines like Chardonnay have buttery undertones that go great with the delicate flavor of shrimp. But for a creamier, sweeter sauce flavor, try a Pino Grigio or even a Riesling.

Whatever white wine you choose, pour a glass for the chef! ;)

Overhead shot of Shrimp Garlic Pasta in a skillet

What to Serve with Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Breadsticks are definitely the go-to here, especially for soaking up any leftover sauce. A bright salad with a tangy vinaigrette works well too since the acidic dressing will ‘cleanse’ the palate from this rich, alfredo-style sauce.

Got Leftovers?

Fridge: Make sure leftovers are kept in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Freezer: Cooked pasta in creamy sauces rarely freeze well. I’d recommend refrigerating leftovers and enjoying within a few days (this recipe can be halved if needed).

Reheating: Reheat this in a shallow pan on the stove on low or in the microwave! If it’s been in the fridge, give it a stir and adjust the flavors with a splash (or two!) of wine/cream, a pinch of red pepper flakes and some salt & pepper.

Fave Seafood Pastas

Closeup of Shrimp Garlic Pasta in a skillet
4.93 from 27 votes
Review Recipe

Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Holly Nilsson
Garlic Shrimp Pasta is the perfect easy recipe for a busy weeknight. Spaghetti and sautéed shrimp are tossed in a creamy homemade white wine sauce for a light yet hearty meal.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • ¾ pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup parsley

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Instructions

  • Cook spaghetti in salted water according to package directions.
  • Season shrimp with old bay seasoning, red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper to taste.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the shrimp and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, turn over and cook 1 minute more. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  • Add wine and lemon juice to deglaze pan. Add butter, cream and chicken broth. Simmer 5 minutes or until slightly reduced.
  • Drain spaghetti, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
  • Return the shrimp to the skillet and cook until heated through. Stir in pasta and parsley and cook until heated through adding pasta water if needed.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 606, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 286mg, Sodium: 893mg, Potassium: 301mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1195IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 177mg, Iron: 3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
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Garlic Shrimp Pasta in a skillet with a title
Garlic Shrimp Pasta with a title
About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. This was last nights supper. Had ruby red shrimp from local seafood market. I used 2 pounds. Doubled sauce. Just a few red pepper flakes and about 4 garlic cloves, minced. Maybe a little more lemon juice.
    It was excellent. Kept pasta separate and let family put the shrimp and sauce over what pasta they wanted. My sauce was a little thinner than I wanted, but it had a great taste. I did add a little Parmesan cheese. Everyone loved it! Thank you for this recipe5 stars

  2. This went over so we’ll last night I have to make more tonight. It didn’t make enough for a hungry family of 45 stars

    1. It does add a nice flavor to the sauce but you could replace it with additional chicken broth if you preferred, Avery.

  3. I just now made this and had to toss the sauce. It was too lemony and the cream curdled. For reference, I used the Walmart brand “Heavy Whipping Cream.” I’m glad I tasted the sauce before adding the shrimp so was able to whip together cream, parmesan cheese, chopped garlic and butter with a bit of salt and save dinner.3 stars

    1. You mentioned you used Heavy Whipping Cream. What is the %fat on the label? A heavy cream is 35% M.F. or higher, a lighter cream may curdle when mixed with the lemon. It won’t make you sick or go bad, it just looks unpleasant. I hope that helps.

  4. This is a restaurant quality recipe. One of the best shrimp pastas I have ever had. Made a couple of small adjustments. Used half and half cream and added some mozzarella cheese to the recipe. Added some freshly grated parmesan at the end. Overall a huge hit. Will definitely make this again.5 stars

  5. Absolutely the beat garlic shrimp pasta I’ve ever made! Bursting with delicious flavor. This will be my go-to recipe for garlic shrimp pasta!5 stars

  6. I am going to give this recipe a try tonight. Since I do not have heavy cream, can I use fat free half and half instead?

      1. I made this recipe tonight. It was awesome!! I used fat free half and half and it worked beautifully. I was concerned that the sauce wouldn’t cling to the pasta, but it did. I also used linguine instead of spaghetti. My dish was a hit and I will definitely make it again!!5 stars

  7. Idk what I did wrong I followed all the directions and my sauce was soooo runny. I’m embarrassed I made it at a Friends dinner.

    1. Oh no Mariah, how disappointing for you.

      Did you use heavy cream (or whipping cream)? If you did and it was too thin, it may have just needed more time to simmer as cream will thicken. Did you rinse the pasta after draining (the starches on the outside of the pasta can help thicken the sauce as well). I hope that helps.

    2. Did you add the whole 1 cup of reserved pasta water? If so, that may be the reason. It’s only to add little by little IF you need any to loosen the sauce. It’s not always needed, depending on how much you cook down the other liquids and what kind of cream you use.

  8. I made this following the recipe to the letter and it was amazing. My husband doesn’t like “heat” so next time I will cut down or leave out the red pepper flakes. My sauce was a little thin so I added about a half cup of grated Parmesan and it was perfection!! I will even make the pasta without the shrimp and serve with another protein, it was that good!! Definitely recommend and will add it to my weekly dinner schedule. ❤️‍5 stars

    1. What type of cream did you use (what is the %fat on the label)? A heavy cream is 35% M.F. or higher, a lighter cream may curdle when mixed with the lemon. It won’t make you sick or go bad, it just looks unpleasant. I hope that helps.

  9. This recipe was amazingly delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect. Thank you for a recipe that was both easy and a hit with the whole family!5 stars

  10. 30 mins. for a delicious pasta dinner. The sauce is slightly creamy but not too heavy. Flavors are amazing. Great recipe. Thanks for the tip.5 stars

    1. Hi Becky, we haven’t made this recipe with a white cooking wine but it should still turn out delicious. Cooking wines tend to have a bit milder of a flavor though. Let us know what you think!

      1. Cooking wines contain quite a bit of sodium, so they’ll throw the flavor of your recipe off to some extent. Just use the real thing, in order to get good results. I’ve been there when I once made Chicken Marsala, so now I’ve learned not to use that stuff.

    2. My husband just made the Garlic Shrimp Pasta (he does about 70% of the cooking) and it was DELICIOUS!!! Definitely a keeper. We didn’t have any heavy cream so he substituted coconut milk. Don’t know what difference that would make, just the coconut flavor I guess. We entertain fairly frequently and this is going to be on the menu for our guests next time. That’s how we judge new recipes, whether or not we would serve to guests. LOL I would imagine everybody will be asking for this recipe.
      Thank you so much

  11. I’m glad to have received this recipe today. I bought a Lb. of fresh shrimp yesterday, so I’ll give this dish a try tonight. I have everything to make this with in my pantry, so I’m looking forward to making & serving tonight’s delicious dinner to my family. I have Chardonnay (my usual go to white cooking wine) so that’s what I’ll use. Going to serve with a salad of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers & dill from our garden. THANKS for your terrific recipes. They never disappoint.5 stars