This garlic butter shrimp pasta is so simple AND on the table in 20 minutes. If you’re looking for a restaurant-worthy meal you can pull off on a weeknight, this is it!
I have a few pasta dishes on rotation in my house because they come together so quickly, and pasta is ALWAYS a winner with the younger members of the family. This one is no exception!
What kind of shrimp should I use?
I like to use shrimp that are on the smaller size for this recipe, as I like to get a whole shrimp AND some pasta on my fork at the same time.
Shrimp are sized by the number per pound. So for small shrimp like the ones I used here, the bag should say roughly 51-60 shrimp per pound.
Fresh or Frozen?
I am a big fan of frozen shrimp. Shrimp are frozen at the peak of freshness, and “fresh” shrimp at the grocery store are usually shrimp that were previously frozen and thawed anyway.
It takes less than 30 minutes to thaw shrimp by submerging the bag in cold water. Also, it’s so convenient to keep a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer for last minute meals!
That said, if you have access to REAL fresh shrimp, go for it!
What if I don’t want to use wine?
Most of the wine in this recipe cooks off when the sauce reduces, and the dish doesn’t taste especially “winey”. But if you prefer not to use it, you can simply add an equal amount of chicken broth.
So you’ll be using one full cup of chicken broth instead of a half cup, and eliminating the wine.
How to Make Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta Step-by-Step
- Cook 1 lb of pasta according to the package directions, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water before draining. I like linguine, but feel free to use the shape you prefer.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat.
- Add the shrimp to the pan in one layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook until opaque, about 1-2 minutes per side, depending on the size. Be careful not to overcook them or they will be rubbery. Transfer the cooked shrimp to a bowl and put the pan back on the heat.
4. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter and the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
5. Add the wine, chicken broth, and lemon juice (you can substitute the wine for more chicken broth if you like). Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, scraping up the brown shrimpy bits from the pan with a wooden spoon, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 6-8 minutes.
6. Add the shrimp back to the pan, sprinkle with red pepper flakes, and stir to coat with sauce.
7. Add the cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, and parsley.
8. Toss to combine, adding some of the reserved pasta water to loosen and moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
What to serve with garlic butter shrimp pasta?
I sometimes like to add some steamed broccoli to the pasta for extra nutrition. Another great option is to serve some Parmesan roasted broccoli on the side.
Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta
- 1 lb linguine or other pasta shape
- 6 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb shrimp uncooked, peeled and deveined*
- salt and pepper
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice from about 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, before draining.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pan in one layer. Cook for about 1-2 minutes per side, just until opaque. Remove the shrimp to a bowl and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter and the garlic. Cook until the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the wine, chicken stock, and lemon juice and bring to a boil, scraping up those shrimpy brown bits from the bottom. Continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by about half, about 6-7 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and red pepper flakes, and stir to combine.
- Add the pasta, parmesan, and parsley and toss to combine. Add a little pasta water to loosen and moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Hi! I’m Ann and I blog at Our Happy Mess. I’m all about fast, fresh, and family-friendly recipes. I believe cooking from scratch can not only be doable but FUN, no matter how busy life gets!
You can find more of my recipes at Our Happy Mess.