This creamy shrimp and broccoli pasta is a quick and very flavorful pasta dish. Shrimp and broccoli is a surprisingly great combination for pasta. The salty, sweet flavor of seafood naturally balances out the crunch and bitterness of the broccoli to produce a surefire crowd-pleaser.
Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta
Typically, you’ll find shrimp and broccoli pasta dishes made with red sauce and a strong tomato flavor, but this one’s all about the Alfredo sauce! This Italian-American classic is a creamy, white sauce that’s huge on flavor and extremely satisfying.
Imagine al dente pasta, creamy sauce, melt-in-your-mouth shrimp and heart-warming broccoli. Put it all in one pot and you’ll have an awesome, satisfying meal done in only half an hour!
With this dish, you get all the cheesy, creamy goodness of alfredo sauce, with the nutrition and splash of color from the broccoli. Add the taste and texture of shrimp and you’ve got a great meal on your hands that’s just as easy to make as it is to eat.
What is Alfredo Sauce
Alfredo sauce is a creamy, cheesy pasta sauce that traces its origins to 1920s Rome. A restaurant owner named Alfredo, so the story goes, combined parmigiano, butter, and cream, and mixed it with fettuccine and pepper. The end result was extremely popular, and Italian migrants moving to the United States started making their own imitations at home.
Alfredo isn’t widely consumed in other parts of Italy, so it’s mostly considered an Italian-American phenomenon like baked ziti. To really take your Alfredo sauce to the next level, add a generous amount of garlic, and add some flour to thicken the sauce.
Ingredients for Creamy Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta
You will need olive oil, smoked bacon, shrimp, broccoli, onion, garlic, heavy cream ( or half and half), chicken stock, Parmesan cheese, pasta of your choice, salt and pepper to make this delicious pasta dish.
How to Make Creamy Shrimp Broccoli Pasta
- Cook bacon.
- Pan sear shrimp. Set aside.
- Make the creamy sauce.
- Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce.
- Add the shrimp and bacon. Mix and garnish with fresh parsley.
How do I Make Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta with Jar Sauce
Although, generally speaking, a sauce made from scratch will be tastier and better for you than jar sauce, sometimes you just don’t have time to make your own. Sometimes you’re missing ingredients, or you simply have a jar in the pantry that you need to use. Whatever the reason, sometimes we turn to jar sauce instead of the homemade sauces just like nonna used to make.
To use jarred Alfredo sauce, cook your pasta,smoked bacon, broccoli, and shrimp as per this recipe. Throw some butter in a pan, melt it, and add the pasta. Next, add your Alfredo sauce, a little at a time. Make sure it coats the pasta strands. Keep stirring, then throw in your broccoli and shrimp, and you’ve made this easy recipe even easier.
This recipe won’t take longer than half an hour to prepare, though, so we highly recommend following it and making your sauce as per the recipe.
What Side Dishes Should I Serve with Creamy Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta
Most pasta dishes work just fine as an entire meal in and of themselves. This is a filling, hearty dish, so you might enjoy simply eating it as is. However, sometimes you want to balance out the heavy, indulgent flavor of a creamy pasta dish with something bright and fresh. There are a few great ways to do this, and as with all Italian food, we can take our lead from the Italians themselves.
- A simple Cucumber and Tomato salad is a great way to brighten up your table and add some veggie content. Green salad, cucumber salad, and even iceberg salads are similarly good additions.
- If you really want to ramp up the vegetable content of your dinner, you can try roasting some broccoli, brussels sprouts, or sauteeing some green beans. Root vegetables can also do very well here, and you can simply peel and roast whole carrots or parsnips. Sweet potato wedges are a great snack, rubbed with olive oil and salt, and roasted in the oven on high heat for forty minutes.
- You can always add some crusty bread, like focaccia, or some garlic naan. These are also great for mopping up any sauce left on your plate when you’re finished with the pasta.
- For a truly authentic Italian touch, you could go all-out on a Mediterranean side platter. Think olives, basil, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil with halved cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle the mixture generously with salt and pepper to bring some tang and brightness to proceedings.
How to Make Alfredo Sauce Healthy
If you’re worried that alfredo sauce will be too heavy and fatty for your diet, there are a few ways you can make this recipe healthier. Heavy, creamy sauces are often high in calories and low in protein, but you can replace the cream with Greek yogurt. Parmesan cheese is pretty good for you, but using less of it can similarly make this a healthier meal. Greek yogurt is packed with protein and probiotics, it’s great for digestion, and way lower in calories than heavy cream. However, because it’s made from dairy, your Alfredo sauce won’t be considerably less creamy or tasty. Pro tip: the 0% fat variety is actually creamier and a better consistency for Alfredo sauce.
Extra virgin olive oil is a great oil for making dishes healthier as it contains antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and help digestion. If you can, try to use extra virgin rather than one of the more heavily processed varieties.
You can use wholemeal pasta if you like, which has more fiber than white pasta, to make this dish even healthier. Wholemeal pasta is also higher in protein than white pasta, and will keep you feeling full for longer. That’s perfect for people on diets who don’t want to overeat.
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