Shrimp Pasta is the perfect 30 minute weeknight meal. With it’s easy creamy sauce, it’s like a Shrimp Alfredo Pasta that everyone will love.
My husband and I would eat recipes with pasta and shrimp once a week if it was just us. We love them. This easy shrimp pasta is made in 30 minutes, and has a creamy no fuss sauce that pulls it all together.
This dinner recipe is fast enough and easy enough to be a great weeknight meal, but fancy enough to serve to guests. Or, you could make it for the one you love and have a wonderful date night in.
How to Make Shrimp Pasta
For the full printable recipe with detailed instructions and ingredient amounts scroll to the bottom of the page.
- Cook the pasta: Make sure the water is at a roaring boil before you add the dry noodles, and add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to the water.
- Cook the shallots and garlic: Melt butter in a skillet and add garlic, shallots, and red pepper flakes. Make sure not to over cook or burn the garlic.
- Cook the shrimp: Add the skillet and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. The shrimp is done cooking when it has just turned pink. Be careful not to overcook. Remove the shrimp from the skillet.
- Make the sauce: Add in wine, and reduce it. Then add in cream and parmesan cheese.
- Combine it all: Add the cooked pasta and shrimp to the sauce and toss to combine.
What Pasta to Use
Because we are making something similar to an Alfredo sauce in this recipe, I went with fettuccine noodles. This recipe is very similar to my Shrimp Scampi which uses angel hair pasta.
Really, you can use whatever pasta you enjoy the most. The most important thing is to cook it for the length of time listed on the box. There is nothing worse than over cooked pasta.
While cooking pasta might seem like the simplest task when it comes to cooking, there are a few things that help it turn out perfect.
- Make sure to use enough water. We are cooking a pound of pasta here, so you will need 4 to 6 quarts of water.
- Make sure your water is at a roaring boil before you add the noodles.
- Salt the water. Adding 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to your boiling water will greatly improve this dish.
- Once you add the fettuccine, give it a good toss with some tongs. Do this again throughout the boiling time. If you skip this your noodles will stick together and won’t cook as well.
- Cook the fettuccine for the length of time on the box of pasta that you use.
Finally, before you add the pasta to the dish at the end, you may need to give it a quick rinse with lukewarm water if the pasta is sticking together.
What Shrimp to Buy
We are using a pound of shrimp in this garlic shrimp pasta. You want to purchase raw shrimp, that is 31 to 40 count. Because it makes for prettier pictures, I used tail on shrimp, but feel free to use shrimp that doesn’t have tails on.
How to Thaw Shrimp
Most shrimp will have a directions on the back of the bag for how to thaw it safely. The safest way to thaw your shrimp is in the refrigerator overnight. A quicker way to thaw shrimp is by running it under cold water for 20 minutes.
How to Know When Shrimp is Done
As mentioned earlier, there is nothing worse than overcooked shrimp. Regardless of what size shrimp you buy, you should pay closer attention to how it looks than the amount of time it has been over the heat.
Cook your shrimp until it has just turned pink on the first side, then flip it. Just after the shrimp has turned pink on the second side, remove it from the skillet. I find that metal tongs and a quick hand are the best way to handle the shrimp once it is in the skillet.
Using Freshly Grated Parmesan
The thing that makes an Alfredo sauce amazing is the combination of butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese. It is for that reason, that I think it is really important to use freshly grated Parmesan cheese in this shrimp and pasta. It will melt better and give you the smooth texture you are looking for in the sauce for this creamy shrimp pasta.
Wine for Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta
This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of dry white wine. Pinot Grigio is a really great wine for this recipe. You could also use a Sauvignon Blanc. Whatever wine you decide to use, I recommend picking something that you enjoy the taste of. The flavor will become more intense as you cook it.
That being said, my husband doesn’t like wine at all, and he loves this recipe. The wine is just one layer of flavor in this recipe. I recommend staying away from cooking wines, as those can be very bitter when cooked.
If your family avoids dishes with alcohol, simply substitute the wine for chicken stock.
What to Serve with Shrimp Pasta
If you make this garlic butter shrimp pasta or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
- 16 ounces fettuccine cooked according to package instructions
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small shallots diced fine (about 1/2 a cup)
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound shirmp peeled and deveined, and patted dry
- 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup fresh parmesan plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a roaring boil. Add in 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Add the fettuccine and cook according to the package instructions.
- While the water is coming to a boil, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallots, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the shallots are transluncent, about 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.
- Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until they have just turned pink, about 1 to 2 minutes, then flipped and 1 to 2 more minutes on the other side. Be careful not to over cook the shrimp. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside.
- Add the wine to the pan and scrape up the brown bits. Bring to a boil and and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until it has reduced by half. Whisk in the heavy cream and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and let the cheese melt.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and toss in the pasta and the shrimp. Add in the fresh parsley and parmesan cheese, serve and enjoy!