Garlic Shrimp Pasta is easy to make with just a handful of ingredients, and can be on the dinner table in less than 30 minutes! A simple parmesan cheese cream sauce is stirred together, and then tossed with seasoned pan-fried shrimp and linguine noodles. It’s an insanely delicious meal and sure to become a new family favorite!
Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta is such a flavorful dish that’s quick to make with very little effort. The entire family will go crazy for it! You can be cooking the shrimp while the pasta is boiling, which only takes a few minutes. Then, mix and simmer the sauce ingredients until melty and delicious. Next, add the pasta and shrimp to the sauce and get ready to dig into your new favorite dinner! Serve with a caesar salad and some crusty garlic bread for an incredible restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of your own home.
Why you will love this recipe
- So much delicious flavor: The joining together of garlic, seasonings, shrimp, parmesan cheese, and cream makes this dish taste so amazing. This is a great one to serve guests because it always impresses!
- Quick and simple: It is really easy to make with very little prep time, especially if you buy the shrimp already peeled and deveined, and about 15 minutes of cook time. You will have this ready to serve in less than 30 minutes.
- Hassle-free: All made in one pan (other than the pasta) with no need for fancy techniques or lots of chopping. You also don’t need a ton of crazy ingredients to make it. Such a good recipe for busy weeknights!
What you will Need
Most of the ingredients needed to make this garlic shrimp recipe are basics that you probably already have on hand. They come together so easily to create one of our best shrimp recipes!
- Pasta: We typically use linguine noodles for this recipe, but really any pasta you like will work fine.
- Shrimp: Use peeled and deveined large-sized shrimp. If using frozen shrimp, make sure it’s thawed before cooking. It thaws very quickly in a bowl of cold water.
- Olive oil: Helps the seasonings adhere to the shrimp.
- Seasonings: A blend of cajun seasoning (or old bay seasoning), garlic powder, Italian seasoning (or oregano), salt and pepper add delicious bold flavor the shrimp.
- Butter: For cooking the shrimp.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic adds a sweet and savory flavor to the sauce.
- Heavy Cream: The rich and creamy base of the sauce.
- Parmesan Cheese: Use freshly grated cheese from a block, if possible, to give the sauce the best smooth texture.
How to make this recipe
This is one of those meals that’s great to make whether you just want an easy dinner or you’re serving guests. So easy, yet appears elevated. Here’s how everything comes together:
- Make pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente (about 10 minutes). Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water then drain pasta.
- Season shrimp: While the pasta is cooking, combine the shrimp, olive oil, and seasoning in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
- Sauté the shrimp: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the shrimp to the skillet. Cook the shrimp for 1 minute per side or until the shrimp is charred. Remove shrimp from the skillet and add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Add the garlic and cook the garlic for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Make the sauce: Pour in the heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and reserved pasta water. Stir until parmesan has melted through and sauce has loosened. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
- Combine pasta with sauce and shrimp: Toss in the cooked pasta until fully coated with the sauce. Top with the shrimp and gently toss to combine. Garnish with fresh chopped presley, more parmesan, or red pepper flakes. Serve immediately!
- Time saving tip: To cut down on prep time, purchase shrimp that is already peeled and deveined. Fresh or frozen shrimp will work, if you are going to use frozen shrimp, thaw it by placing it in a bowl of cool water for a few minutes.
- Different protein: Mix things up and try using different proteins with the pasta and sauce. Chicken or scallops would be delicious, just be sure to adjust the cook time.
- Salt the pasta water: To season the pasta, be sure to add about 1 tablespoon of salt to the cooking water.
- Reserve pasta water: Save about half a cup of the pasta cooking water, it contains quite a bit of starch and works well to loosen up the sauce.
Frequently asked questions
What pasta shape goes best with shrimp?
Shrimp can really be paired with any pasta, but you’ll most commonly see it tossed with linguine. Feel free to sub the linguine in this recipe with fettuccine, spaghetti, penne or farfalle pasta.
What can I use instead of cream for pasta?
If you’d like to make this a bit lower in fat and calories, you can substitute the heavy cream for whole milk or half-and-half. The sauce won’t be quite as rich or thick, but the pasta will still turn out delicious.
Why do people leave the tails on shrimp in pasta?
We prefer to remove the tails for this recipe, however for aesthetic reasons some people like to leave it on the shrimp. If you prefer to pick up your shrimp by the tail to eat it, feel free to leave just the tails attached.
With how satisfying this meal is, you could honestly just serve it with some crusty bread and call it a day, but if you want to balance out the meal with some side dishes, here are some options.
- Slice of crusty bread
- Air fryer garlic bread
- Roasted broccoli
- Air fryer brussels sprouts
- Caesar salad, Italian salad or a simple fresh green salad
Like most shrimp dishes, this is best served immediately after cooking. However, leftovers can be stored and enjoyed for a few days after making it.
- To store: Place leftovers in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To reheat: Rewarm servings in 30 second intervals in the microwave until warmed through. It may be necessary to add a splash of water or broth to loosen up the pasta and keep it from being overly dry.
More pasta recipes to try
- Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Creamy Garlic Chicken Pasta
- Cheeseburger Pasta
- Creamy Spinach Mushroom Pasta Bake
Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- 8 ounces linguine pasta, or pasta of choice
- 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled, and deveined shrimp
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cajun or old bay seasoning
- ½ teaspoon EACH garlic powder, Italian seasoning (or oregano), salt, pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup parmesan , grated
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente (about 10 minutes). Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water then drain pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, combine the shrimp, olive oil, and seasoning in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the shrimp to the skillet. Cook the shrimp for 1 minute per side or until the shrimp is charred. Remove shrimp from the skillet and add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Add the garlic and cook the garlic for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Pour in the heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and reserved pasta water. Stir until parmesan has melted through and sauce has loosened. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
- Toss in the cooked pasta until fully coated with the sauce. Top with the shrimp and gently toss to combine. Garnish with fresh chopped presley, more parmesan, or red pepper flakes. Serve immediately!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe by: Layla Atik // Gimme Delicious | Photography by: Eat Love Eats