Authentic Garlic Shrimp Pasta

This shrimp pasta dish is bursting with flavor, and its elegant appearance makes it the perfect choice for any date night or special occasion! This easy-to-make dish can be ready in just a mere 15 minutes and is perfect for a special date with your significant other or for the entire family. Regardless of when you make it, everyone is sure to love the dish!

Delicious, buttery shrimp infused with garlic and succulent flavors, sizzling in a delectable cream sauce. This entrée is perfect for seafood lovers who enjoy pasta as a side. Italians would recommend this dish to their friends so you know it’s authentic.

After one night of cooking garlic butter pasta for dinner I came up with the idea to add some fresh shrimp to the recipe. Of course, I added some cream for extra richness and just had to share the irresistible results.

garlic shrimp pasta

This dish looks like you’ve spend a lot of time and energy on it, but in reality it’s quite simple to make. It’s the perfect type of dish you would make to impress everyone in the room. This garlicky, creamy shrimp pasta recipe is packed with flavor and the cream sauce is so rich and creamy! The textures are also perfect with al dente pasta and juicy shrimp… Yum! You could even add some bacon bits, cherry tomatoes, or lemon zest to the dish to give it some extra delicious pops of flavor.

The garlic shrimp pasta hits the perfect notes of flavor while still not being too heavy on your stomach. You’ll appreciate how good it is without being loaded with extra fat and salt like you would get at a restaurant.

Once you start making this dish you’ll pretty soon have to create even more pasta recipes like a lemon juice pasta.

Shrimp Pasta Ingredients

You won’t find any ingredients on this list that will be hard to find and you’ll be able to get everything at your local grocery store. Here’s everything you need to start cooking:

  • ShrimpFrozen raw shrimp usually works best for this dish since you can use it when you need instead of having to get rid of it before it starts to go bad. I recommend using peeled and deveined shrimp because it will save you a ton of time from having to do it all yourself. Big or small shrimp works just as well so it will be your personal preference. Just remember not to overcook it and you’ll do just fine. Save even more time by making the shrimp ahead of time and storing it in the fridge for later use. To get really tender shrimp you’ll want to poach it and it’s even better if you have a homemade cocktail sauce to go with it.
  • Olive oil, butter, and garlic – Don’t go light on these ingredients because this is where you’ll get most of your flavor. Of course, they aren’t good for your health so align the portions with the diet you’re currently on. You can make this even more unique and turn it into a lemon garlic shrimp pasta dish.
  • Pasta – Use long strands of pasta like spaghetti, angel hair pasta, or linguini. Smaller noodles won’t wrap around the shrimp as well and you’ll be left with a disproportionate bite.
  • Cream – The higher fat content in heavy cream creates a stable emulsion with the reserved pasta cooking water, forming a rich and silky sauce that drips all over every noodle. Half and half will work too but you won’t get as good results and it will take you more time to try and thicken it up.
  • Parmesan – This is really the secret ingredient as a high-quality parmesan cheese will make all the difference in taste. If you want to get that really cheesy flavor, use a block of parmesan and grate it yourself. The cheese also helps to thicken up your sauce.
  • Optional seasoning – Once you get used to the recipe you can use pretty much any seasonings you like. Italian seasonings like basil and oregano go really well with this dish. You can also use black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, or cayenne to give it some spice.
  • Salt, pepper, and parsley – Use these as sparingly or heavily as you want. Fresh parsley should be saved as a garnish when you are ready to serve.

How To Make Creamy Shrimp Pasta

shrimp pasta recipe
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add your pasta. Cook until the noodles are soft but still have some firmness. Package instructions should be able to give you a general guideline of the time required. Take out 1 cup of pasta water after the pasta is done cooking and then drain the rest of the water.
  2. Take a large-sized skillet and put your stovetop to medium heat. Add in your butter and olive oil. Once the butter is melted, cook the shrimp for approximately one minute and add your seasonings. You will be adding in more salt and pepper to taste so don’t go heavy just yet.
  3. Ideally, you want your shrimp to have a nice pink color when you are done. If you’re concerned about overcooking, do this in smaller batches. Afterward, remove the cooked shrimp onto a plate and set it to the side for now.
  4. Go ahead and add more butter to the pan and throw in your fresh garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds or until you start to recognize the wonderful smell of garlic. Throw in your heavy cream and deglaze the pan to get all the flavor-filled pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Now you’re ready to add parmesan to the sauce. Once the cheese melts, add in your pasta water and simmer everything for a couple of minutes. This is where you finally get to taste the sauce to see if it needs more salt or pepper.
  6. Throw the sauce in with the pasta and mix until everything is equally coated. Throw the shrimp back in to reheat slightly and then garnish with some chopped parsley.


  • Make sure the pasta ends up being al dente. As long as you toss your pasta in with the sauce over a very light heat then you won’t have to worry about the pasta overcooking and getting to soft.
  • Defrosting shrimp prior to cooking emits liquid, and that is totally normal! It will only take a minute or so for the juices to reduce and you won’t have to worry about overcooking your seafood. For the best possible results, thaw out your shrimp ahead of time and try to pat them down with a paper towel.
  • Don’t forget to reserve some of the pasta cooking water before you drain it. The water is quite starchy and can help loosen up the sauce if it’s too thick. More than likely, you won’t actually need the full cup of water but its always better to have a little extra than not enough. You can always toss the rest of the water you don’t use.

Storage And Reheating Instructions

  • Fridge: Throw your leftovers in an airtight container so they stay as fresh as possible. You can leave them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat: To reheat the pasta, place it in a skillet over low-medium heat and add water to help loosen up the sauce but do so a little at a time. You don’t want to water down your pasta sauce. You can use the microwave for this as well.
  • Freezer: A freezer is not going to be the best option for this type of dish. It works best fresh and some of the ingredients don’t do as well when defrosted.

What To Serve With Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Caesar salad

Most pasta dishes go perfectly with a side salad and this one is no different. If you really want to make it an authentic Italian dinner then try some homemade Caesar salad. Breadsticks will also make this dish feel authentic and they are great for getting all the sauce off your plate. Roasted veggies are more ideal for someone trying to balance out the dish with something healthy.


shrimp pasta


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make a healthier version of garlic shrimp pasta?

To make a healthier version of garlic shrimp pasta, use whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta as it contains more fiber. Moreover, reduce the amount of butter and oil used for cooking the shrimp and sauce. Incorporate more vegetables, like cherry tomatoes, spinach, or broccoli, for added nutrients.

What are some variations of garlic shrimp pasta?

Variations of garlic shrimp pasta include adding various ingredients for extra flavors. Try incorporating sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, or even artichoke hearts. You may also experiment with seasonings like red chili flakes, fresh basil, or oregano for a personalized touch.

What are the key ingredients in garlic shrimp Alfredo?

The key ingredients in garlic shrimp Alfredo include large shrimp, fettuccine or linguine pasta, garlic, butter, heavy cream, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Seasonings like salt, pepper, and parsley are added for enhanced flavors.

What side dishes pair well with shrimp pasta?

Side dishes that pair well with shrimp pasta include simple green salads, sautéed vegetables, steamed asparagus, crispy garlic bread, or roasted Brussels sprouts. Choosing a side dish that complements the pasta can help create a well-rounded meal.

How do I create a garlic butter sauce for shrimp pasta?

To create a garlic butter sauce for shrimp pasta, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in white wine (optional) or chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes, then add in cooked shrimp and pasta. Toss to combine before serving.

What are the cooking times for shrimp and pasta?

Cook the pasta according to package instructions, typically 8-10 minutes for al dente texture. Cooking times for shrimp may vary, but generally, it takes 2-3 minutes per side over medium heat. Shrimp will turn pink, opaque, and form a C shape when cooked through. Avoid overcooking, as this can lead to tough, rubbery shrimp.

garlic shrimp pasta

Garlic Shrimp Pasta Recipe

This creamy garlic butter shrimp pasta is a deliciously easy way to show your family or dinner guests that you know your way around the kitchen! 15 minutes is all it takes to have this decadent meal on the table. This dish goes well with a dinner for two, for the whole family, or just on special occasions. No mater what you make it for, everyone will be looking for seconds.
5 from 6 votes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 335 kcal


  • 8 oz pasta of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound raw frozen shrimp
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of your choice of seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Irish butter
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup high-quality parmesan grated
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley


  • Take a medium-sized pan and start boiling water. Add some salt and throw in your pasta when the water comes to a boil. After the pasta reaches al dente, reserve a cup of the pasta water and then drain the rest.
  • Take a skillet and bring it to medium heat. Add your butter and some olive oil and wait til the butter melts fully. Then, add your shrimp and cook for about a minute while throwing all your seasonings into the skillet.
  • Cook the shrimp in the skillet until it turns pink and if you are worried about overcooking, simply cook the shrimp in smaller batches. Once done, remove onto a separate plate and let it rest for now.
  • Using the same pan, throw in some more butter and add your garlic. Cook until its fragrant for just under a minute. Then, throw in your heavy cream and deglaze the pan of any pieces sticking to the bottom.
  • Throw in your parmesan and let it melt into the sauce. Throw in your pasta water and simmer all the ingredients for a minute or two. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss your cooked pasta with the cooked sauce until it is all covered equally. Throw the shrimp back in to heat it gently and garnish with some parsley when ready to serve.


Frozen shrimp is going to add some extra liquid when cooked but you don’t need to adjust your recipe too much. Just make sure to simmer down the liquid for an extra minute or two so your sauce doesn’t get watered down. For best results, simply thaw out your shrimp ahead of time.
Many people forget to reserve a cup of pasta water but the starchy water is great for getting the sauce to loosen up and stick to the noodles better. More than likely, you’ll use less than a cup but you’d rather have more than less. You can always drain out the remaining liquid when you’re done.
Depending on how large of servings you need, you can either get 3 or 4 servings from this recipe.
Keep your leftovers in an airtight container so oxygen doesn’t end up spoiling your food. It should be good for at least 3 days after you are finished cooking.
Don’t freeze the leftovers when you are finished. They won’t stay nearly as well in the freezer as they will in the fridge. Reheating the pasta should be done in a skillet and you’ll want to splash a little water over everything to loosen the sauce back up. You can follow the same method if you are using a microwave.


Calories: 335kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 29gSaturated Fat: 11g
Keyword garlic shrimp, garlic shrimp pasta recipe, shrimp pasta, shrimp pasta recipe
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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