Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Filed under recipes that make me feel like a fancy restaurant chef, even though what I’m actually doing is opening a box of pasta and drinking white wine: Garlic Shrimp Pasta! This quick, easy, and healthy shrimp dinner tastes like the sort of special date-night dinner I crave on a Friday, all for the level of effort I’m willing to put in on a Wednesday. Read: VERY LITTLE EFFORT.
Keeping this healthy shrimp pasta recipe freaky fast and weeknight easy: freezer staples.
Freezer Staple One: Frozen Veggies.
Please do not judge me and my Asian medley stir-fry pack. As much as I adore fresh veg, here in Wisconsin in the winter, the produce pickins are s-l-i-m.
When hearty winter potatoes and I need a bit of a break, frozen vegetables are my saving grace. They’re frozen shortly after being picked, so they maintain their nutritional value, they’re never out of season, and best of all: I don’t have to chop them!
Freezer Staple Two: Frozen Shrimp.
I KNOW. I can hear the seafood purists on my tail now. BUT speaking of tails…you can buy frozen raw shrimp with the tails (and veins and shells) already removed and save yourself oodles of time. Think about it.
Frozen shrimp thaw quickly and cook in less than four minutes. FOUR. I can’t even check Facebook that quickly.
Of course, if you’d like to make this Garlic Shrimp Pasta with fresh veggies and fresh shrimp, please please do.
Using fresh shrimp and veggies in this recipe will be unquestionably delicious and is exactly how I would make it if it were a leisurely evening and my most pressing task was to decide which episode of The Great British Bake Off to watch next, instead of whether or not I can, in fact, put off washing my hair one additional day.
Garlic Shrimp Pasta—A Fast and Healthy Favorite
Although this healthy Garlic Shrimp Pasta does take advantage of freezer shortcuts, it still tastes fresh and vibrant thanks to an infusion of boldly flavored ingredients: lemon, garlic, white wine (you can swap chicken stock if you prefer the shrimp pasta to be wine free), and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
This easy garlic shrimp pasta cooks in thee parts (veggies, lemon-garlic shrimp, and the pasta noodles themselves). The shrimp and vegetables cook quickly, so you’ll likely have them sautéed by the time the pasta water has boiled.
Flavor-wise, this recipe is similar to a garlic shrimp scampi pasta but is much lighter.
I didn’t use any butter—I found that with the vibrancy of the garlic, the freshness of the lemon zest, and the perk of the Parmesan cheese, the shrimp pasta didn’t need it—but if you’d like to make this a more indulgent garlic butter shrimp pasta, you could sauté the shrimp in butter instead of olive oil (or check out this recipe for Healthy Shrimp Scampi.)
As its name suggests, this Garlic Shrimp Pasta is not shy in the garlic arena. If you do decide to make it for a date, you could either:
- Scale back on the garlic (nahhhhh),
- Use it to determine just how badly your date wants to kiss you (I mean, if you both have garlic breath….), or
- Embrace it. Kick off the meal with Garlic Feta Dip, serve it with garlic bread, and if that goes well, you can plan on making Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa on your next date!
Final recipe note: Depending on how spicy you want to let things get, the amount of red pepper flakes in the recipe is variable. Our house likes a good kick, so I used a full teaspoon, but if any members of your household are sensitive to spice, I recommend scaling back a bit.
And now, a recipe video! Here I am on camera, showing you just how easy this Garlic Shrimp Pasta really is to make.
Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- 8 ounces whole-wheat linguine — or similar thin pasta noodles
- 1 pound fresh or frozen raw shrimp — peeled, tails removed (if frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil — divided
- 1 shallot — peeled and diced
- 5 cloves garlic — minced
- 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes — divided (use less if sensitive to spice; 1 teaspoon will have a good kick)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt — divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper — divided
- 24 ounces mixed vegetables — of your choice, fresh or frozen. If frozen, thaw and drain
- 1/4 cup dry white wine — such as Sauvignon Blanc (or substitute low-sodium chicken broth)
- Zest and juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese — plus additional as desired
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley — plus additional as desired
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, drain remaining water, and then toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
Meanwhile, rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 additional minute. Add the shrimp, and then sprinkle with half the amount of red pepper (1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon depending upon your desired spice level), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté, stirring to coat with garlic, just until cooked through (both sides will be pink and opaque), about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high. Add the vegetables and the remaining 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until the vegetables are hot and lightly sautéed, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the white wine and return the shrimp to the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, allowing the wine to reduce. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and remove from heat.
Add the pasta to the skillet and toss. If the pasta is too dry, add a bit of the reserved pasta water. Serve warm, topped with Parmesan and parsley.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat very gently with a splash of water or chicken broth to keep the pasta from drying out. (This recipe can also be frozen, but I find it does not retain its texture as well, so I recommend avoiding the freezer if possible.)
- To make gluten free: Use gluten-free pasta noodles and rinse them before adding them to the pan with the other ingredients in Step 4.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 4)) — Calories: 460, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 173mg, Sodium: 554mg, Carbohydrates: 55g, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 5g, Protein: 38g
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