Easy Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Olive Oil and Garlic

Cooking with pasta is one thing, but adding in shrimp, that takes it to a whole new level doesn’t it? For this recipe I’m showing you how to make an easy lemon shrimp pasta dish that is not only quick, but super impressive too!

If you’re not familiar with or comfortable cooking shrimp, I’ll step you through it. Plus there’s a video below if you want to watch me make the recipe in about 20 minutes!

lemon shrimp pasta in bowl

Summary

In a nutshell, you’ll cook up the pasta, and while that is boiling away, you create an olive oil, garlic and parsley sauce, cook up the shrimp, add in the cooked pasta, and give it a dash of lemon and a sprinkling of extra parsley.

Recipe History

I’m not sure the first time I actually had this dish, but I do remember the first time I was taught how to make it. I had made some homemade pasta using my Phillips pasta maker (you can read my full review here), and took some over to my Sicilian mother-in-law.

My sister-in-law was there and she showed me how she makes her shrimp pasta. This is what my mother-in-law was wanting so that’s why we made it. So I looked over her shoulder while she threw it all together and off we went!

I could be wrong, but the only difference if I recall, is that hers didn’t use lemon like mine. So if you’re not a lemon fan, just omit it.

Video

If you’re a fan of video, here you go! But the video is for a smaller quantity. To serve 4 or more, you’ll find the measurements in the card below. You can easily adjust quantities as I show you.

YouTube player

Ingredients needed

The ingredients you’ll need are very simple. They’re also very flexible, meaning it’s totally fine to adjust quantities or even omit certain ingredients. However, if you go too far off the beaten path, don’t blame me if it doesn’t turn out!

Specific measurements are in the actual Recipe Card below.

Pasta. I encourage you to use long pasta, such as linguini or spaghetti. I don’t recommend short pastas for this recipe.

Olive oil. Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Chopped garlic. For this pasta and shrimp recipe I recommend chopping or mincing the garlic.

Chopped parsley. I use Italian parsley, but you can use regular curly parsley if that’s what you have. Either is fine, but they do have taste differences. The curly type has a more “brightness” flavor. I wrote about the differences in this article here.

Shrimp. Make sure the shrimp is fully thawed. You can use any size, but I recommend medium shelled and deveined shrimp. Look for shrimp from the Atlantic, not the Pacific.

PRO TIP: Run the shrimp under cold water to thaw quickly.

Lemon juice. If you have fresh lemon juice, this is best. Otherwise use about a teaspoon of concentrate, or jarred lemon juice. Adjust to your taste!

Salt & black pepper. This is optional. I don’t think this recipe needs additional salt.

Red pepper flakes. For a bit of extra heat, add a dash of these flakes.

How to Make Lemon Shrimp Pasta Step by Step

Step 1. In a large or medium pot, add the pasta to boiling water.

PRO TIP: If the pasta is done cooking before you’re ready to use it, then drain it and set it aside with a little bit of water to keep it from sticking. You can also drizzle olive oil on it instead and stir it to coat.

Step 2. Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan, heat up your olive oil over low-medium heat.

Step 3. Add in the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes until fragrant.

Step 4. Add in about 3/4 of the chopped parsley and stir. You’ll use the rest at the end.

Step 5. Add in the thawed shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat. They will start to turn pinkish. Flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes until they are pink and do not have any grey or transparency.

Move the garlic off to the side to prevent any browning or burning.

PRO TIP: If you’re concerned about burning the garlic (especially if you’re new to this), then swap steps 3 and 5 by cooking the shrimp first, then remove the shrimp and saute the garlic. Add the shrimp back in right before adding the pasta.

Step 6. By this time, the pasta is probably done, so transfer it to the saute pan and stir to incorporate the olive oil sauce.

Step 7. Top with the lemon juice, remaining parsley and optional red pepper flakes and black pepper. Mix to incorporate the ingredients and serve and enjoy!

For exact measurements use the card below.

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Recipe Card

Feel free to print out this recipe with measurements included. Don’t forget to check out the additional tips below at the end of this post!

lemon shrimp pasta th

Easy Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Olive oil and Garlic

This recipe is full of flavor and is so easy to make. We use an olive oil, garlic and parsley sauce that pairs wonderfully with the shrimp. Make sure to use long pasta with this dish.
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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 1949kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb Pasta
  • 3 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Chopped parsley
  • 12 oz Medium shrimp adjust to taste
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon juice adjust to taste
  • 1 dash Salt & black pepper optional
  • 1 dash Red pepper flakes optional

Instructions

  • In a large or medium pot, add the pasta to boiling water.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan, heat up your olive oil over low-medium heat.
  • Add in the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add in about 3/4 of the chopped parsley and stir. You'll use the rest at the end.
  • Add in the thawed shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat. They will start to turn pinkish. Flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes until they are pink and do not have any grey or transparency.
  • Move the garlic off to the side to prevent any browning or burning.
  • By this time, the pasta is probably done so transfer it to the saute pan and stir to incorporate the olive oil sauce.
  • Top with lemon juice, remaining parsley and optional red pepper flakes and black pepper. Mix well and serve and enjoy!

Notes

Nutritional information are estimates from API calculations. 
  • To save time, buy shrimp that is already peeled and deveined. 
  • Make sure the shrimp is fully thawed. Simply run under cold water and they will thaw very quickly. 
  • If the pasta is done cooking before you’re ready to use it, then drain it and set it aside with a little bit of water to keep it from sticking. You can also drizzle olive oil on it instead and stir it to coat.
  • If you’re concerned about burning the garlic (especially if you’re new to this), then swap steps 3 and 5 by cooking the shrimp first, then remove the shrimp and saute the garlic. Add the shrimp back in right before adding the pasta.

Nutrition

Calories: 1949kcal | Carbohydrates: 260g | Protein: 114g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 32g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 548mg | Sodium: 440mg | Potassium: 1840mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1718IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 331mg | Iron: 8mg

What to Serve With

This recipe goes great with the following side dishes.

how to make italian green beans recipe th

Veggies always go great with seafood, so try this Italian green beans recipe.

sauteed potatoes rosemary th

Potatoes are another good go-to for shrimp dishes. These rosemary sauteed potatoes taste amazing and are super easy to make!

garlic mashed potatoes

You can’t go wrong with mashed potatoes either, here’s a recipe for mashed potatoes with garlic!

Additional Tips

Just to recap some tips that I want to share with you. If you have your own, feel free to add them in the comments section!

  • Make sure shrimp are fully thawed before cooking otherwise uneven cooking can occur. Also be careful not to overcook the shrimp because they’ll get rubbery.
  • Don’t let the garlic burn, it’s okay if it gets a little brown, but don’t let it get burnt. You can always just cook the shrimp first, then remove the shrimp to a plate and then saute the garlic on low. Add the shrimp back in when you’re about to add in the pasta.
  • You can also use other herbs such as basil to add more flavors to the dish.
  • If you’re not sure how much lemon to use, just use a little then let everyone add their own lemon juice to their servings.
  • 4 oz of shrimp is enough for a single serving, that’s about 5 medium shrimp. So adjust accordingly.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe, please let me know in the comments below if you liked it!

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Easy Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Olive Oil and Garlic

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