This Garlic Parmesan Shrimp Pasta strikes that perfect balance between decadence and simplicity for those nights when we're craving something utterly scrumptious but don't have hours to spare.
Tender shrimp nestled in a velvety, garlic-infused cream sauce, all cozied up with perfectly cooked pasta. It's a dish that screams comfort food and is on the table in under 30 minutes.
Paired with some crusty bread or a simple side salad or veggies, you've got a complete meal, perfect for those busy evenings when you need a meal that's as easy as it is indulgent.
These notes are here to help make this recipe a success; they cover some but not all ingredients. For a complete ingredient list, check out the recipe card below.
Pasta: The creamy sauce is perfect with a long noodle like spaghetti or linguine. It also works with a chunk shape like rigatoni or penne.
Shrimp: I generally go for 20-25 or 26-30 count, which gives a good serving of shrimp per person - between 8-12. I usually buy frozen raw shrimp! But you can use fresh shelled and deveined shrimp. Ensure if you are using frozen that they are fully defrosted before cooking.
Garlic: Feel free to add more garlic to the sauce; like I always say, we measure garlic with your heart!
White wine: Use any dry white wine; if you don't consume alcohol, you can substitute it with additional broth.
Heavy cream: You want to use heavy cream, thickened cream, or double cream. The sauce will thicken less if you use a thinner option like half and half or single cream.
Broth/Stock: I recommend shrimp/seafood/fish broth for the sauce, but chicken or vegetable is a great alternative. I love Better than Bouillon for a quick broth/stock.
Parmesan cheese: It is best to buy a block of parmesan and grate it yourself. It will melt much more smoothly into the sauce.
Lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice cuts through the rich cream and adds a zing to the pasta. If you don't have any lemons, you can leave it out.
We've tested this recipe at least 3 times to ensure it works well for you. Have a look at our tips for getting the best dish you can!
- Don't overcook the shrimp; they only need around 3 minutes to cook. In the recipe, they are fried for 2 minutes and then added to the sauce to cook further.
- When you add the garlic to the butter, keep the heat low so the garlic doesn't burn. And have the wine ready so you can add it quickly to the pan.
- Salt the pasta cooking water generously; it seasons the pasta and enhances the whole dish. The recipe suggests 1 tablespoon of salt.
- The recipe reminds you to reserve 1½ cups of the pasta cooking water; this helps to thin the sauce and emulsify it with the pasta, so it sticks and clings to each strand rather than pooling at the bottom of the bowl. Add ½ cup of pasta cooking water; if the sauce thickens too much, add more as needed.
Why You'll Love This Garlic Parmesan Shrimp Pasta
These are all just suggestions and things that have worked in our test kitchen, but it is your dinner, so adapt it to suit your family. That is the beauty of cooking; we can all create our own delicious meals.
- This dish is delicious with crab, squid or scallops instead of shrimp, or if it is that time of year when lobster is cheap, you can substitute lobster chunks.
- Add some baby spinach at the end of cooking or steamed asparagus spears for extra veg.
- Add crumbled, cooked bacon for a crispy, salty, smoky hit.
- Add a pangratatto topping. These toasted breadcrumbs add a deliciously crunchy, crispy element to the pasta. Recipe coming soon for a variety of pangratatto options.
Serving Suggestions for Garlic Parmesan Shrimp Pasta
Sides: Serve this Garlic Parmesan Shrimp Pasta with a simple green salad and some crusty bread. Alternatively, add a side of steamed asparagus, green beans or broccoli.
Wine Pairing: Pick a buttery chardonnay to complement the velvety texture of the sauce, or opt for a crisp pinot grigio to balance its richness. If you're a fan of red wine, consider lightly chilling a pinot noir or a gamey for a delightful twist. And for those looking to indulge, enjoy this dish with a glass of rose champagne, as seafood and bubbles are always a hit combo.
If you make this Garlic Parmesan Shrimp Pasta, please come back and comment. You can also tag me on social media.
Any questions about the recipe? Use the comments section below.
Get the Recipe
Garlic Parmesan Shrimp Pasta
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 12 oz pasta
For the shrimp
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 15 oz raw shrimp peeled and deveined (see note 1)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the sauce
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- ⅓ cup dry white wine (see note 2)
- ½ cup broth low sodium (see note 3)
- 1½ cup heavy cream (see note 4)
- 1¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (see note 5)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- extra parmesan for garnish
- extra parsley for garnish
- Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add the salt and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the packet instructions.1 tablespoon salt12 oz pasta
- Once cooked, reserve 1½ cups of the pasta cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based skillet over medium-high heat.1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the skillet.15 oz raw shrimp½ teaspoon salt½ teaspoon black pepper
- Stir the shrimp for 2 minutes until almost cooked, then transfer to a plate.
- Melt the butter in the same skillet, add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.2 tablespoon butter6 cloves garlic
- Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the broth and simmer for 2 minutes.⅓ cup dry white wine½ cup broth
- Add the cream, then sprinkle over the parmesan. Stir until the parmesan has melted, then let the sauce simmer for 1 ½ minutes until it thickens slightly.1½ cup heavy cream1¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Add the drained pasta to the sauce and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water.
- Stir the pasta gently until it's coated in the sauce, then add the cooked shrimp and cook everything for 1 minute, tossing gently. Add more pasta cooking water if the sauce gets too thick.
- Add the lemon juice, most of the parsley and the black pepper.1 teaspoon lemon juice2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley½ teaspoon black pepper
- Serve immediately, garnished with the extra parsley and parmesan to taste.
- I generally go for 20-25 or 26-30 count, which gives a good serving of shrimp per person - between 8-12. I usually buy frozen raw shrimp! But you can use fresh shelled and deveined shrimp. Ensure if you are using frozen that they are fully defrosted before cooking.
- Use any dry white wine; if you don't consume alcohol, you can substitute it with additional broth.
- I recommend shrimp/seafood/fish broth for the sauce, but chicken or vegetable is a great alternative. I love Better than Bouillon for a quick broth/stock.
- You want to use heavy cream, thickened cream, or double cream. The sauce will thicken less if you use a thinner option like half and half or single cream.
- It is best to buy a block of parmesan and grate it yourself. It will melt much more smoothly into the sauce.
Nutrition is per serving