This 30-minute creamy lemon shrimp pasta recipe is easy to make on a weeknight and impressive enough to serve at a dinner party! The creamy white wine sauce is so special.
Why you'll love it
Sometimes creamy pasta is the only thing that will do, and this creamy shrimp pasta recipe is one of my favorites. White wine, parmesan cheese, plump and juicy shrimp... say no more! This dish is comforting and decadent. The lemon cream sauce is everything you'd expect it to be. It's bright, silky, and rich.
And it's just so simple. This easy shrimp pasta cooks really fast, uses everyday ingredients, and the whole thing is ready in about half an hour. That makes it an awesome pasta for date night or when you're entertaining guests since it never fails to impress. My mom loves it as well, so you know it's good! It isn't exactly health food, but the occasional treat is encouraged. 😉
What you'll need
- Pasta - spaghetti is my preference since it looks elegant and the creamy sauce perfectly coats it
- Shrimp - we're using frozen uncooked shrimp. Unless you live right by the ocean, this is the best option. The kind at the seafood counter is also previously frozen then thawed, so it's actually less fresh.
- Lemon - we're using both lemon juice and zest in this dish for maximum brightness. It probably goes without saying, but always use fresh lemon juice.
- Butter - for the base of the sauce
- Garlic - aromatic goodness! I use this garlic press to mince the cloves. No peeling necessary, and no sticky fingers when using it.
- White wine - we're using dry white wine here. Choose sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or even chardonnay. Just pick one you enjoy the taste of. Don't use cooking wine.
- Heavy cream - for that luxurious creamy quality
- Italian seasoning - my go-to blend of fragrant dried herbs that comes in a single jar
- Flour - to thicken the sauce
- Parmesan - for a cheesy touch to make the sauce next-level tasty. Always grate your own from a block for taste, texture, and so it melts properly. I use my Microplane to grate it (and for the lemon zest).
How to make creamy lemon shrimp pasta
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Boil the pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, add the butter, lemon juice and zest, garlic, wine, cream, and Italian seasoning to a skillet over medium-high heat. Simmer for a few minutes.
- Gradually whisk in the flour until the sauce is smooth, and then stir in the parmesan cheese. Continue to simmer. Add in the shrimp and cook until they're pink.
- Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the hot starchy water and adding it to the sauce. Toss with the spaghetti, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.
Substitutions and variations
- I made this creamy lemon garlic shrimp pasta with spaghetti, but you could definitely sub in your pasta of choice if you wish. I do like longer varieties. Linguine or fettuccine would be amazing too. Or whatever your favorite shape is.
- I do not recommend subbing the heavy cream for something with a lower fat content. The sauce won't thicken up properly and would likely curdle due to the acidity of the lemon juice.
- The sauce is quite lemony in flavor. If that's not your thing, you can use only one tablespoon of lemon juice instead.
- If the sauce isn't thickening up enough, simmer it for a bit longer before you add the shrimp. You could also try adding more flour, no more than 1 tsp at a time.
What to serve with creamy shrimp pasta
- I like keeping it simple and serving a slice of bread or two with it. I recommend a crusty bread like a French baguette. Pair it with a glass of white wine, and you're all set.
- A side salad is a great counterpoint to the richness of the pasta. Try my Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad, or toss together some mixed greens with my Homemade Italian Salad Dressing for a fabulous meal.
Leftovers and storage
- This lemon garlic pasta is best eaten fresh since it has seafood, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days.
- Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat until warmed through. You could add in a splash of cream too.
- I don't recommend freezing leftovers of this one.
Hope you love this creamy shrimp spaghetti recipe! Leave me a review below if you made it or have any questions. You can also find me on Instagram to showcase your creations.
Creamy Lemon Shrimp Pasta
- 8 ounces pasta (I used spaghetti)
- 1 pound shrimp (I used 31-40 count size) peeled & thawed
- Zest and juice of one lemon (about 2 tbsp lemon juice)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 2 dashes of Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Chopped parsley (optional)
- Boil a large, well-salted pot of water for the pasta. Cook al dente as directed.
- Meanwhile, add the butter, lemon zest and lemon juice, minced garlic, white wine, cream, and Italian seasoning to a skillet over medium-high heat. Let the sauce bubble for 5 minutes.
- Gradually add the flour to sauce, stirring/whisking constantly to ensure sauce is smooth.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Continue to simmer the sauce on medium heat for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The sauce should be noticeably thickened by now. If not, continue simmering it for a few more minutes.
- Add shrimp and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes until sauce is thickened as desired and shrimp are cooked.
- Drain the spaghetti (reserve a tablespoon of the pasta water and add it to the sauce), then toss the pasta with the sauce. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
- If you followed the directions and your sauce isn't thickening enough, you could try simmering it for a bit longer before you add the shrimp and/or add more flour (no more than 1 tsp at a time).
- This is my favorite lemon zester.
- The sauce is quite lemony. If you're not into that, use only one tablespoon of lemon juice.
- 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 September 9, 2015. It's been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!