This creamy garlic Tuscan shrimp recipe with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and basil is rich, decadent, and ready in about 15 minutes!
You may also like my Creamy Lemon Garlic Parmesan Shrimp or this Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi recipe.
Why you'll love it
This creamy Tuscan shrimp recipe is one of those dinners that makes it seem like you tried very hard, but the minimal time and effort involved makes it perfect for weeknights! It's super easy, quick, and really, really tasty and impressive.
The classic flavors of sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and basil are the ideal bright contrast to the cream, and it all just goes so well together. And there's plenty of garlic. Nobody can say no to this restaurant-quality shrimp recipe whenever we serve it for easy entertaining.
Ingredients you'll need
- Shrimp - I used frozen ones that are deveined and already peeled for convenience.
- Butter and flour - to make a quick roux that'll thicken up the sauce
- Garlic - we're pretty generous here, but add even more if you like! This garlic press makes mincing effortless without having to peel the cloves.
- Heavy cream - to make the sauce luxurious. I wouldn't sub it out for anything else.
- Lemon juice - for a little bit of acidity and brightness. Always use freshly squeezed.
- Italian seasoning - it's a versatile blend of dried herbs in a single jar that includes rosemary and thyme and others to jazz up so many dishes
- Sun-dried tomatoes - one of our star components that plays so well with the basil
- Spinach and basil - for a burst of freshness, texture, and flavor
- I don't recommend subbing the cream for something like half-and-half of milk since the sauce may curdle and it'll end up thinner and less rich. You'd have to add more flour for the sauce to thicken properly as well.
How to make Tuscan shrimp
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the flour to make a roux, followed by the garlic. Stir in the cream, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and sun-dried tomatoes and simmer.
Add in the shrimp, and cook until they're pink and cooked through and the sauce has thickened up a bit. Stir in the spinach and basil and simmer until wilted. Season with salt & pepper and serve immediately. Top with a squeeze of lemon and fresh parmesan if desired.
Shrimp tips for success
- I used 31-40 count size shrimp in this Tuscan garlic butter shrimp recipe. Technically these are considered large shrimp, but to me they're more of a medium size when compared to some of the REALLY large shrimp out there. Anyway, any medium-to-large shrimp would work. To thaw, just run under cool water.
- Unless you live right by the ocean, frozen shrimp are actually a great choice because the ones at the seafood counter are usually just thawed anyway and less fresh when you get them.
- I prefer using raw shrimp in 99% of recipes, including this one, because they cook very fast and double-cooking can lead to rubbery shrimp. You could use already cooked shrimp, but be sure to just heat them through!
- I don't take the tails off the shrimp (mostly for the photos to add some contrast), but feel free to take them off if you prefer.
Substitutions and variations
- If you're not a fan of sun-dried tomatoes, you could use a chopped fresh tomato, but then it will no longer be that iconic Tuscan flavor combo. Also, the sauce may end up thinner, but you're welcome to try it that way.
- I highly suggest using fresh spinach, but in a pinch you can use frozen as long as you thaw it and thoroughly squeeze out all the excess water. But do try to get your hands on the fresh variety for the full experience!
How to serve Tuscan shrimp
- They're great served over pasta, rice, or Mashed Potatoes.
- A dusting of freshly grated parmesan over top would be extremely tasty.
- You can also just eat this recipe as-is and grab a big slice of crusty bread for all that delicious sauce! Or go all out and have a slice of Garlic Bread.
- Pair it with a side salad. Try mixed greens with this Easy Italian Dressing.
Leftovers and storage
- These creamy Tuscan shrimp will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Make sure you don't leave them sitting out for too long before refrigerating leftovers, though.
- I wouldn't recommend freezing this since the cream sauce won't hold up well.
- To reheat, warm up slowly in a small saucepan over a low heat so the sauce doesn't separate, stirring occasionally.
Questions, or want to leave a review? Talk to me in the comments below! 🙂 You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram.
Creamy Tuscan Shrimp
- 1 pound shrimp (I used 31-40 count size) thawed & peeled
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped or julienned
- 1-2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- Handful fresh basil cut into thin strips
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring until smooth.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Stir in the cream, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer for 2 minutes. Reduce heat if it's bubbling too much.
- Add the shrimp and cook for around 5 minutes or until they're cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened, taking care not to overcook them.
- Add the spinach and basil and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt & pepper as needed. Serve immediately. I like to squeeze extra lemon juice over top when serving (up to you). You could also grate some fresh parmesan over top if you wish.
- I used sun-dried tomatoes that were packed in oil (I drained the oil). Feel free to use more or less than suggested.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
This recipe was originally published on November 29, 2017. It's been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!
I just made this dish for my granddaughter and it was so easy and tasted phenomenal! I will be making this again very soon!
I'm so happy to hear that, Eileen! 🙂
Ann Marie says
Excellent, thank you!
You're very welcome, Ann! 🙂
This was delicious! I did add a little bit of chicken broth and doubled the spinach so I wouldn’t need a side. Served over angel hair a topped with grated parmigiana cheese. My husband loved it ... will definitely serve again.
I'm so glad you guys enjoyed it, Lynn!
Made this for Mother’s Day to serve my Mom and sister’s family. Everyone went back for seconds. Super quick, I served it over angel hair pasta with a green salad. I will definitely make this again.
That makes me so happy! 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!
So excited to make this recipe for friends tomorrow! Do I have to thaw the shrimp before cooking?
I hope you enjoy it! Yes, the ingredients list indicates "thawed & peeled". 🙂 Unless I'm boiling shrimp, I always thaw them before cooking.
This recipe was awesome
Thank you!!! 🙂
Rose Anne says
I made this tonight. I’ve pretty much burned out cooking so much this past year. I made this for dinner and it was a 10! My husband also loved it.
Aww I'm so happy to hear that. I know what you mean about cooking so much! 🙂
Angie Wingo says
Can i use fresh cut asparagus instead of the spinach or would it work to just add some asparagus to the recipe as is?
I think you could for sure add some asparagus. It'll take a little bit longer to cook that spinach, though. But thin pieces should cook quite fast.
Great dish and so easy, rave reviews from all!
I'm thrilled to hear that! Thanks for taking the time to write me a review. 🙂
Can you use frozen spinach
You can but I don’t think it’ll be as good. Be sure to thaw it and squeeze the water out. You may want to look thru the comments to see if others have tried it.
Is there enough sauce to mix with a pound of pasta?
Hmmm... I think that you'll probably be ok. It really depends how much sauce you like, though. Like there won't be a crazy amount, so I'd double the sauce if you want lots.
There never is enough sauce ... always expand the original recipe. I learned that in over 50 yrs of cooking.. and use anything but Angel Hair for a creamy sauce... Angel Hair tends to compact in cream..
Fixed this tonight. I’m not the best cook by any means but this turned out perfect. 4 nice size servings. Very tasty - I didn’t even need to add salt and I love salt. Used fresh everything and cooked exactly as you directed. This was very easy and quick and I will definitely make again. Thank you!
Wonderful!! I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the recipe and found it easy. 🙂
I'm not a fan if sundries tomatoes. Is there something I can substitute or can I leave them out altogether?
Regular tomatoes will be fine. The sauce just may end up a little thinner. Or leave them out, but you may be missing some flavor.
I made this exactly the first time and my husband, who has extremely high standards for food, said it was restaurant quality!
The second time I made it with chicken instead of shrimp (just pan fried the chicken in cubes before everything else) and it was very good as well!
I'm so glad to hear that it was a hit!! 😀
Made this tonight and it was delicious! Quick and easy to whip up. Love the simple ingredients. Best of all it feels so elegant! Pairs perfectly with a glass of wine. This recipe is a keeper. Kudos!
Fantastic! 🙂 So glad you liked it!
Um first of all I love this recipe! I made it once then lost the recipe and forgot the steps y’all I WAS HURT! but found it again I will never lose it as long as it’s up! My son loves it but I make it without shrimp because shrimps are our friends and not food. [edited]
My family loves this and I agree it’s looks like I worked all day on this!
Fabulous!! That's what I like to hear.
Could I use cherry tomatoes instead?
Chelsea stach says
This was fantastic! I roasted a spaghetti squash and served this on top. I would maybe add more spinach & maybe some peas next time, because we like lots of veggies. We will definitely do this again!
Thank you! So glad it was a hit! 🙂
This shrimp recipe was great and simple. I had no idea how to make this dish. This was easy and good
Why so many carbs?
I'm not sure I understand your question. 8g of carbs isn't a lot of carbs for a meal. This is not a low-carb website... that is not something I considered when developing this particular recipe.
This was superb. Tuscan chicken is one of my fav dishes and im so happy that i found an easy recipe for tuscan shrimp. The dish was wiped clean. Served it with some fettuccine. Added a tsp of red pepper flakes to give it some heat. Lovely!
Will be trying more of your recipes.
I'm thrilled to hear that!! 🙂 Let me know if you try anything else.
I made this last night, and it was a huge hit! I had already cooked the shrimp, so I added it in, and let it warm up, then added the spinach. Talk about wonderful, and so so easy and quick. This is a keeper!
Awesome!! So happy you liked it, Anne. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a review.
This is a quick and simple meal to make. Everyone enjoyed it! Put over a little bit of white rice and ta-da you have yourself a scrumptious meal!! Thank you!
Fab!! You're welcome 🙂
Soooooo good and sooooo easy!! I always take my tails off shrimp because I just love to eat them. Only thing I did different was add more sauce and more spinach! It was delicious!! Thank you!!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! I usually take the tails off too. They're much easier to photograph with the tails for a little definition - that's the main reason I leave them on haha.
That 100% makes sense lol
Easy and delicious. I didn't have the basil but it tasted great anyway.
Barbara Ann Busch says
WOW! I made this recipe last night and it was perfect. It's quick, easy and certainly elegant not to mention...DELISH! I wouldn't change a thing.
Thank you Natasha.
You're very welcome!! So happy you liked it. Thanks for your nice review! 🙂
Very good used half n half and a splash or 3 of Pinot and broccoli
Can I add cooking Sherry? If yes how much? Thank you!!
I'd probably add it in at the same time as the cream and then let the sauce reduce for a bit longer or up the amount of flour so the sauce still thickens properly. Maybe add like 1/4 cup?
RLK Smith says
This elegant dish, though high in calories, can be prepared and served for a special occasion. We served it over black cuttle fish ink pasta and the contrast of colors was so appetizing! We finished it off with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano . A real treat for an Italian dinner night!
Yes! It's definitely a treat. So happy you enjoyed it!
Derek Lu says
About to make this. Did you use salted butter or unsalted butter?
I typically use unsalted butter for everything. It's just personal preference since I like to add salt in at the end of recipes and taste & adjust. You can definitely use salted if that's all you've got on hand... it just means you'll not need to add any (or much) at the end. Hope you enjoy the recipe! 🙂
Easy and impressed hubby and son. Don't skimp on the seasoning though... it needs the kick. Hub doesn't take much interest in food and he told me to put it on our 'regular' rotation. Thanks!
Fabulous!! Agreed... creamy sauces definitely need at least salt added or they don't work as well.
Love this!!! I have made it once a week ever since I found the recipe. So easy and my kids love it! Hard to find something easy that we all love. Thank you!!!
That's awesome!! I'm so happy everyone enjoys it, Hilary! 🙂
Love love this recipe !! Wife is up to her ears with COVID issues in the health care biz, so I have taken over the cooking to give her some quiet time. Served it over cauliflower penne with steamed green beans on the side
That's so nice of you!! So happy you were able to make this and you guys enjoyed it. Please thank your wife for all she does. 🙂
Made this tonight and put it over a big plate of zoodles. So good!
I made this recipe on Saturday and it was a hit!! I LOVED IT and sooo easy!! I added Tortellini to it!! Very delicious!! ❤️❤️❤️
Wonderful! 🙂 XO
This was a quick and delicious recipe. I was generous with the salt, pepper, and sun dried tomatoes (love them) and also added a few splashes of chicken broth when I found the sauce getting really thick. Thanks for the great recipe!
You're welcome, Megan!
Lisa Bliesmer says
Made this tonight and LOVED it!!! I eliminated the basil and added red pepper flakes and fresh grated Parmesan in the sauce and on top! So tasty!! ♥️😋♥️
Well....I hate to be the lone person to say it was "just ok"...but I will. We followed the instructions to a t, and yet it just didn't have all that much taste. Needs something...but don't know quite what.
I am not quite the shrimp-lover that my husband is, yet even he found it lacking. It is easy, though, and certainly quick from stovetop to table. That's a plus!
It's ok! Not everyone has the same tastes. I'm wondering if you added enough salt? I find that cream sauces can be very bland if you don't season them quite well enough.
Sam Trink says
Wish you had it where we could print the recipe from your website.
There is a way. Go to the recipe (the recipe card) and there's a print button right below the stars recipe rating. 🙂
Can this be turned into a pasta casserole?
Hi! Hmm... I'm a bit worried the shrimp will overcook and you'll end up with a separated cream sauce.
El’Dora Butler says
Great! So glad you enjoyed it!
Pretty tasty. I was out of sundries tomatoes, but was still delicious.
Lisa Clark says
Cooked mine with a cajun twist. Was amazing!
I'm 15, but I cooked it for my younger brothers for dinner and they loved it. Thank youuuuu!
That's awesome!! I'm so glad it worked out, Kendall! 🙂
Fantastic! I added a little nutmeg and we loved it! So easy and quick! Double yum!
Adelle Ranola says
So easy to make OMg this is really best for last minute prep meal 👍🏼🍤So Delicious
I used half and half instead of whipping cream...served it over rice. Delicious! Family loved it.
Linda Delery says
I madethis the other night. To die for! Tonight I’m making it again minus the shrimp. Just as good.
Yay!! So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Hi, I love this recipe and I made this for the 3rd time, always wanting to impress my guest, usually I serve it with angel hair but today Im serving it with rice. Thank you for the recipe, I absolutely love it and its easy enough!
Wonderful!! I'm so happy to hear you like it! 🙂
Just made this incredible recipe put my own spin on it my seasoning the shrimp and not using the Italian bc I didn’t have any. I topped it over a bed of rice and it was really good. The gravy or cream was amazing really good on rice!!!!
This recipe was AMAZING! It is a keeper recipe.
Great!! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review! 🙂