Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta is a great 30 minute meal, perfect for a weeknight dinner. I like to use both white wine and lemon juice to brighten up this buttery, rich pasta dish.
Are you familiar with the classic Italian-American Shrimp Scampi? Well this pasta dish is essentially shrimp scampi with a bit of lemon juice.
This Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta is easy enough for beginner cooks to master and only takes a half hour to whip up. Whether it’s family dinner or date night, this pasta fits the occasion.
- Shrimp- I like to peel and devein the shrimp while keeping the tails intact. Buy them pre-cleaned to save some time.
- Pasta– I use dried pasta for this dish. Spaghetti, linguine and fettuccine all work well.
- White wine– I suggest you get something you’d like to drink, but I wouldn’t waste an expensive wine for cooking. Honestly, there are times I use the “cooking wines” from the grocery store, and I think they’re fine if you’d like to save some money.
- Lemon– I like to use both the zest and the juice for maximum flavor pay off.
- Butter– You could use all extra virgin olive oil and skip the butter for a healthier dish. It will be more oily than creamy, but it will still be delicious.
Step by Step Instructions
First, season and sear the shrimp (1). Then, add butter, red pepper flakes and garlic to the pan (2).
Next, add white wine and reduce it by half (3). Once the pasta is cooked until just short of al dente, add that to the pan along with a little pasta water and more butter.
After the sauce comes together, add lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and the cooked shrimp (4). Allow the shrimp to warm through, and dig in!
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- Don’t overcook the shrimp- When you first saute the shrimp, undercook it slightly so it doesn’t become overcooked when you reheat it later.
- Cook out wine properly- I make sure to reduce the wine by half after adding it to the pan. If you’re unsure of yourself, it’s better to reduce the wine further than to under-do it and have a raw wine flavor in the sauce.
- Finish with Butter- For a glossy, creamy finish to the pasta make sure to add butter at the end and continuously stir until it emulsifies into the sauce.
- Make this recipe your own- If there’s an ingredient you don’t like, such as red pepper, herbs, lemon or wine, simply leave it out. You can also just omit the wine and use a little more lemon to taste, or vice versa. Try basil, mint or a little thyme instead of parsley. Try meyer lemon zest or fresh chilies instead of dried. The world is your pickle.
You can use fish stock or chicken stock. You can also just omit the wine and use a little more lemon juice at the end, to taste.
Sear them in a pan until just cooked through or very slightly undercooked. Later, after you toss the pasta in the sauce, add back shrimp and warm through.
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More Pasta Recipes
- Pasta with Peas and Pancetta
- Shrimp Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes
- Fregola with Clams
- Penne Alla Vodka
- Shells with Ricotta and Peas
- Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo Pasta
- Bucatini All’Amatriciana
- Italian Broccoli Pasta
- Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
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Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta is a great 30 minute meal, perfect for a weeknight dinner or special date night.
- ½ lb pasta (linguine, spaghetti or fettuccine)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (leave bottom of tale, if desired)
- 4 tbsp butter, sliced, divided
- 2–3 cloves garlic
- 1–2 pinches of hot red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- Zest of one lemon (about 1 tsp)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup loosely packed parsley, finely chopped chopped
- Bring water to boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Keep warm until ready to use.
- Sear shrimp: While the water heats up, warm a large pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add olive oil, followed by shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Sear 1-1 ½ minutes, flip and season on other side. Cook an additional minute until very slightly undercooked. Turn off heat. Transfer to a plate.
- Cook pasta: Salt pasta water heavily. It should be as salty as sea water. Add pasta and boil 1 minute short of al dente, stirring occasionally. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water. Drain.
- Cook aromatics: As pasta cooks, add 2 tablespoons of butter, garlic and red pepper flakes to pan used to cook shrimp. Turn heat to medium. After garlic heats and sizzles for several seconds, pour in wine. Increase heat to high and reduce wine by half, about 3-5 minutes.
- Finish & serve: Add pasta to sauce. Cook together over medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and ¼ cup of pasta cooking water, and stir to combine. Return shrimp to the pan. Toss with pasta until cooked and warmed through. Add in lemon zest and juice. Stir in parsley. Taste for seasoning, and add more pasta water, as needed. Enjoy.
I used linguine when I took photos of this dish, but any long, thin pasta works well.
If you don’t want to add wine, substitute for more lemon juice to taste at the end.
You could omit the lemon or parsley if you prefer.
You can use mint and/or basil as a substitute for parsley.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Saute
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: ⅓ of pasta
- Calories: 580
- Sugar: 2g
- Sodium: 100mg
- Fat: 26g
- Saturated Fat: 11g
- Unsaturated Fat: 15g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 58g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 26g
- Cholesterol: 160mg
Keywords: lemon garlic shrimp pasta, shrimp scampi pasta, shrimp pasta