Shrimp spaghetti is a delicious combination of succulent shrimp, spinach and tomatoes in a garlic cream sauce. This light and flavorful shrimp pasta meal is ready in just 30 minutes so it's perfect for busy weeknights but also a great meal for a dinner party.
I love making shrimp spaghetti for dinner! It's a delicious and easy recipe that's loved and enjoyed by family and friends. The shrimp is succulent and juicy, the sauce light and creamy and the addition of tomatoes and spinach makes it colorful and delicious. It's a simple yet flavorful dish that's perfect for any occasion!
Shrimp seafood pasta with spinach and tomatoes comes together quickly. This simple recipe is ready in under 30 minutes which, if your home is as busy as mine, is always a bonus. I love that this easy dinner meal looks stunning on the plate as well. Add some crusty bread and a fresh salad or steamed vegetable and it's the kind of meal I'd gladly serve to guests.
- Spaghetti – Use regular or gluten-free spaghetti or substitute with your favorite pasta.
- Olive Oil – I love using extra-virgin olive oil but you can really use any light, neutral-flavored oil.
- Aromatics – Peel and chop a sweet onion and add fresh garlic.
- Shrimp – Use large deveined shrimp that have been peeled. I prefer them with the tails off.
- Pesto Sauce – Use homemade or store-bought prepared pesto.
- Tomatoes – Fresh grape or cherry tomatoes work well. If they are large, slice them in half.
- Baby Spinach – You can also use kale with the stems removed.
- Heavy Cream – Heavy cream is preferred but you can substitute half and half for a lighter pasta sauce.
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper - To taste.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Shrimp Spaghetti
- Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water on medium-high heat according to package directions.
2. In a large skillet or pan, heat oil then saute the onion and garlic golden then add the shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes, or until light pink. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pesto and stir until well combined.
3. Pour in the heavy cream then add the halved tomatoes and cook until they are softened. Add the spinach and remove from heat when sauce has thickened.
4. Toss the shrimp mixture with the spaghetti in a big bowl. Divide into serving portions and serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Hint: Don't overcook the shrimp or they will become rubbery and chewy.
- Gluten Free - Swap the spaghetti for gluten-free pasta so everyone in your family can enjoy this simple meal. Or you can use zucchini noodles to make it a low carb meal.
- Swap the Pasta - Use fettuccini, linguini or your favorite long pasta noodle.
- Swap the Protein - Use scallops or thinly sliced chicken in place of the shrimp.
- Make It Spicy – Add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to give the dish a bit of spiciness.
- Add More Flavor – Add lemon pepper, cajun seasoning or a bit of fresh parsley or basil to add more flavor to the shrimp pasta.
- Add More Veggies – Add mushrooms, chopped red peppers or your favorite veggies to bulk up the pasta and give it more goodness.
Leftover garlic shrimp spaghetti recipe can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or skillet until just warmed through. Add a splash of water, if needed to loosen the sauce. Avoid overcooking the shrimp while reheating.
Cooking Tips for Making Shrimp Pasta
- Choose good-quality shrimp. Fresh shrimp should be firm, plump, and have a mild sea-like scent.
- If using frozen shrimp, defrost completely before cooking. I prefer to buy large or jumbo shrimp that are raw but has been peeled and deveined.
- Don't overcook the shrimp or they can become rubbery and lose their delicate texture. Cook them just until they turn pink and opaque.
- Season the shrimp: Before cooking the shrimp, season them with salt, pepper, and any additional spices or herbs you prefer. This will help enhance their flavor.
- Be careful not to burn the garlic, as burnt garlic can taste bitter.
- Cook the spaghetti al dente. It will continue to cook once tossed with the sauce.
- Before draining the cooked spaghetti, reserve a cup of pasta water. The starchy reserved pasta water can be used to thin out the sauce or add some extra moisture if needed.
- Garnish and serve while it's hot to enjoy the best flavors and textures.
Frozen raw shrimp is convenient and affordable. Look for jumbo or large shrimp that has been peeled and deveined. Be sure to thaw frozen shrimp completely before making the recipe.
If using pre-cooked shrimp reduce the cooking time so that the shrimp don't overcook. They will only need to be warmed though.
Yes! Instead of spaghetti, try linguini, fettuccini, penne or any pasta that holds sauce well.
More Pasta Recipes
- Pasta al Forno - With Ziti, Rigatoni or Penne Pasta!
- Spaghetti with Turkey Bolognese
- Angel Hair Pasta With Blush Sauce
- Vegetarian Penne Pasta with Artichokes, Sun Dried Tomatoes & Peas
- Taco Pasta Salad from Recipes from a Pantry
When cooking seafood, it's important to take safety measures to ensure that everything is fresh and flavorful.
- When buying fresh fish, purchase from a reputable seller.
- When using frozen fish, safely thaw overnight in the fridge or under cold running water for 15-20 minutes.
- Refrigerate seafood until ready to use.
- Consume seafood by the sell by date. Discard any seafood that smells off or has a slimy texture.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils for seafood, that you will use for other foods unless they have been washed with hot, soapy water.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
If you like this Shrimp Pasta recipe, please leave a 5-star rating.
Shrimp Spaghetti with Spinach and Tomatoes
- 16 ounces spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 16 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoon prepared pesto sauce
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 4 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water according to package instructions.
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil on medium then add the onion and garlic. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes until they start to turn golden.
- Add the peeled shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes, or until light pink. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pesto and stir until well combined.
- Pour in the heavy cream, stir, and let simmer on low for a few minutes. Add the halved tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes or until they are softened. Then add the spinach, cook for 3 more minutes, and remove from heat when sauce has thickened.
- Toss the shrimp and vegetable mixture with the spaghetti in a big bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide into serving portions and serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.
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