This lemon garlic shrimp pasta is fantastic! The combination of lemon, shrimp, parmesan, and fettuccine is perfectly balanced to create the ultimate pasta dish. Better yet, you'll have this ready in 30 minutes, and it only requires one pot.
🦐 Garlic shrimp pasta
I had some fresh shrimp on hand and decided to make an easy garlic shrimp pasta with a touch of lemon.
I love simple recipes, and this 30 min, one-pot checks all of the boxes for a quick weeknight meal. I serve this recipe to my family regularly, and every time I do, I get positive reviews from everyone.
Another thing to consider is the flexibility of this recipe. With a few simple substitutions, you can turn this into a creamy shrimp pasta, swap shrimp for salmon, or even kick it up a notch with cayenne pepper.
Overall this is a fantastic recipe for beginners and home cooks looking for a quick pasta night win. Follow my easy step-by-step instructions, and you'll certainly have a delicious dish ready to impress.
🍽 What you need
For this quick and easy dinner, you'll need a large pot to cook the pasta and a heavy-bottomed skillet. Ingredients-wise, fettuccine, garlic, fresh lemon, and shrimp are the key ingredients.
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- Fettuccine - ½ pound
- Butter - ½ cup, separated
- Cloves garlic- 4, minced
- Crushed red pepper - 1 teaspoon
- Lemon juice - 3 tablespoon, fresh squeezed
- Shrimp - 1 pound, peeled and deveined
- Baby spinach - 2 cups
- Parmesan - ½ cup, freshly grated
- Fresh parsley - 2 tablespoons, chopped
- Salt and black pepper - to taste
🔪 How to make
Learn how to make this lemon garlic pasta recipe with step-by-step instructions, top tips, and a detailed recipe video. Expect this recipe to take about 30 minutes from stove to table.
- The first thing to do is heat a pan of boiling salted water, then boil the pasta until it is al Drain the pasta, do not rinse, and set it aside while heating the Skillet with half of the butter.
- Add the garlic and cook for two minutes, then add the lemon juice and crushed red pepper. Stir for a further 5 minutes until it is hot.
- Now season the shrimp generously with salt and pepper and add the shrimp to the Skillet. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes until the shrimp becomes pink.
- Mix in the other half of the butter, add the spinach and cooked pasta. Using tongs, combine the spinach until it reduces in size and becomes dark green.
- Lastly, add the parmesan cheese and combine well before plating up using the tongs.
- Garnish with chopped parsley, and enjoy!
💭 Top tips
- Use a timer for cooking the pasta and shrimps so that you do not over-cook them (you can even use your microwave or stove timer). Overcooking the pasta before adding it to the Skillet will make it too soft, and overcooking the shrimp will lose its chewy texture.
- Save a small cup of the pasta cooking water to add to the buttery lemon sauce if it becomes too thick to stir.
- If you have a good bottle of olive oil, feel free to drizzle it on top for serving. This gives it an earthy light olive taste the I believe ties everything together.
- If you don't have shrimp, you can swap it with other seafood, chicken, beef, or add extra veggies like asparagus to make it vegetarian.
- To make the lemon & shrimp pasta creamy, add 100ml of cream or 200 grams of cream If you don't have shrimp, you can swap it with other seafood, chicken, beef or add extra veggies like asparagus to make it vegetarian.
- To make the lemon & shrimp pasta creamy, add 100ml of cream or 200 grams of cream cheese. Either option works great!
- Fancy adding a bit of heat to the dish? Mix a teaspoon of curry powder, a touch of cumin, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes, and coat the prawns before adding to the butter sauce to infuse the flavors.
- Instead of using pasta in the recipe, why not cook up some rice and pour the lemon & garlic shrimps sauce over the rice.
🥗 What to serve with
- Serve this healthy, fragrant meal up with an arugula salad. Mix some cherry tomatoes, shaved carrots, sliced red onion, pine nuts, and a balsamic dressing into the arugula leaves.
- I am all about healthy meals and side dishes, so serve it up with slices of avocado and a drizzle of olive oil.
- This is more of an English side dish, but I tried it, and to be honest, it works rather well. Make or buy some garlic bread and cook it to serve with the shrimp pasta.
This recipe stores equally well in the fridge or freezer, and it is super easy to reheat and serve.
Once everyone has finished eating and the dish has completely cooled down, transfer the lemon & garlic shrimp pasta to an airtight container and pop it in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you don't have an airtight container, you can also use cling film to cover the dish completely.
Freeze this recipe for up to 6 months. Unthaw in the fridge and reheat in a pan, oven, or microwave when you're ready. I recommend the oven or pan until hot and serve.
⏲️ Make ahead
This pasta is the perfect weeknight meal to prepare for busy people working weeknights or have children running around all day.
Pre-cook the fettuccine pasta until it is al dente, cool it down under cold running water, and mix olive oil, so the pasta doesn't stick together.
Make the butter sauce by adding the minced garlic cloves, lemon juice, and red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the shrimp and salt and pepper to taste.
Add the spinach and take it off the heat to cool down for storing in the fridge in a bowl.
Chop the parsley into fine pieces and store it in a zip bag to keep it fresh.
When the time comes for dinner, reheat the shrimp & lemon sauce for 3 to 4 minutes, mix in the pasta and parmesan cheese until everything is hot, and serve with the chopped parsley.
👪 Serving size
This super easy garlic shrimp pasta with lemon sauce makes 4 servings. Of course, you can quickly scale this recipe to accommodate a small dinner party for 8 - 12 people.
All-in-all, this recipe is SUPER-EASY to prepare and is sure to please the crowds with its ZINGY lemon & garlic butter sauce. Be prepared for regular requests to make it for lunch and dinner!
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- ½ pound fettuccine
- ½ cup butter - separated
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper - crushed
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice - fresh squeezed
- 1 pound shrimp - peeled and deveined
- to taste salt and pepper
- 2 cups baby spinach
- ½ cup parmesan - freshly grated
- 2 tablespoons parsley - chopped fresh
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, cook the pasta to al dente - about one minute less than package directions. Drain it well and set aside. Do not rinse.
- Melt half of the butter in a large, heavy bottomed skillet. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, then add the crushed red pepper and lemon juice. Stir until hot.
- Add the shrimp, season generously with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until pink - about 3 - 4 minutes.
- Add the remaining butter, the cooked pasta and spinach, and stir with tongs to combine and wilt the spinach. Add the parmesan and stir more to combine.
- Use the tongs to serve the pasta immediately and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.