This creamy garlic Tuscan shrimp recipe with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and basil is rich, decadent, and ready in about 15 minutes!
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? Talk to me in the comments below! 🙂
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!