This lemon garlic shrimp pasta is lemony, garlicky and easy to make. With al dente pasta contrasting beautifully against the tender, succulent shrimp, bursting with flavor in a rich, citrusy sauce, this is a truly wonderful take on an Italian classic.
Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta
We’ve put together what we think is genuinely the best ever rich, lemon garlic butter pasta. With plenty of flavor and freshness, it’s an awesome meal for weeknights or lunchtimes. Lemon and garlic really is one of the best complements to shrimp and other seafood. The combo of garlicky tang, lemon zest, and the natural salty-but-sweet flavor of the shrimp works really well. They seem to bring out the best in each other.
If you feel like you need an extra hour in the day, you need something easy to make that everyone will love. This shrimp pasta perfectly ticks that box. You can have it on the table in twenty minutes, freeing your evening for other fun activities.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This recipe tastes so indulgent, but it’s pretty healthy.
It’s beautifully balanced between the fresh citrus, spicy pepper flakes, rich butter, and Pecorino Romano. It’s a great balance of the best ingredients.
Best of all, it’s as quick as it is tasty. Twenty minutes from start to finish and perfect for your favorite quick, light family dinner.
You’ll need to work with a few key ingredients for this dish. The flavor palate relies heavily on garlic and lemon, so make sure you have nice, fresh garlic cloves and lemons ready to go. The ingredients we’re using are:
- Pasta: You can use any type of long pasta for this recipe. Angel hair pasta, a very thin type of spaghetti, cooks really quickly. Linguine, which is long and flat, will beautifully coat itself in your delicious garlic butter.
- Oil: We recommend using extra virgin olive oil. It has the best flavor and will help keep your butter from burning.
- Butter: For the best flavor, be sure to use a nice rich, fatty butter. High-quality European butter such as Kerrygold, Plugra, Lurpak, Wuthrich, or Echire has high fat content, making it perfect for butter-based sauces.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic if you can.
- Red Chili flakes: If you want to add some heat and kick to this recipe, crushed red pepper flakes are a great option. They add an extra level of contrasting flavor to this recipe.
- Shrimp: Make sure you buy your shrimp uncooked. This helps make sure they are the most flavorful and succulent little morsels they can be. The shrimp will start off gray, but they turn pink when cooked. They cook really quickly and easily, too.
- Parsley: Parsley is an excellent garnish. It adds a burst of freshness and beautiful verdant color to your dinner. The taste of parsley is bright and fresh enough to wonderfully complement seafood, especially shrimp.
- Lemon: Lemon’s distinctively refreshing smell and taste is perfect for seafood. The bright, abrupt taste of lemon feels like it was made for this dish.
- Salt and pepper: As usual, salt and pepper are in this recipe to help highlight other flavors and bring out the best in the meal.
- Finally, Pecorino Romano cheese is a fantastic topping for any pasta recipe. Hard cheeses are great on any pasta. You could use Parmesan or asiago as well if you don’t have any Pecorino Romano handy.
How to Make Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
A few steps. Twenty minutes. That’s all you need to make this impressive dinner absolutely packed with “wow” factor. Get yourself a large skillet, a nice heavy pot, a pasta dish, and a zester, and we’re ready to go.
- The first thing to do is cook your pasta until al dente. Do this by adding eight ounces of dried spaghetti to boiling, salted water. Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the packaging, reducing the suggested cooking time by about one to two minutes for the perfect al dente texture. Drain your pasta – reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
- Next, saute your shrimp. In your skillet, you’ll want to heat olive oil with butter over medium-high heat. Once your butter has melted completely, stir in minced garlic and about a quarter teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Saute for about sixty seconds, at which point it should be nice and aromatic.
- At this point, add the shrimp to the hot skillet. Your shrimp should cook in three to four minutes of sauteeing. They should be pink, curly, and no longer transparent when cooked.
- Now add your pasta to the skillet. After you’ve cooked your pasta, and your shrimp is cooked, add your pasta directly to the hot, buttery skillet with the shrimp still in. You can add some of your pasta water to the pan if it looks too dry or claggy. Toss your pasta in the pan thoroughly to ensure an even coating of the buttery sauce and to make sure it’s fully heated all the way through.
- Finally, it’s time to add the last bits of flavor. Remove your skillet from the heat, tossing in the zest and juice of one lemon, freshly chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle on some Pecorino Romano cheese and serve!
You can add some cherry tomatoes to this recipe, or serve with a side of any fresh green veggies. Garnish, of course, with parsley and a slice of lemon.
Keep any leftovers into an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days at most.
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