Lemon Shrimp Pasta is an easy, delicious dinner for any evening. Flavorful shrimp cook with garlic and a shallot, then are tossed in a decadent lemon wine sauce. Served with linguini, this addictive seafood entree pairs well with a glass of wine and a crusty piece of bread! Makes 4 servings, but can easily be doubled.
Real talk: Shrimp used to gross me out.
I’m talkin’ raising your nose super high in the air, occasionally holding it closed kind of disgust.
In fairness, the only experience I had with shrimp for a long time was the pre-cooked jumbo monstrosities that are used in shrimp cocktail.
They smelled gross. (SO FISHY!) The texture was weird. And I just wasn’t interested in eating that.
Then—surprise, surprise!—I attended college in Louisiana and learned that shrimp, when cooked properly and used in all kinds of dishes, can be quite delicious.
And by quite delicious, I mean basically good in everything.
This recipe has been something I wanted to make for awhile because my husband and I love shrimp, lemons and pasta.
These three flavors play really well together, so I gave it a shot one weekend, attempting to emulate the picatta sauce from a local restaurant that I craved during my first pregnancy.
It took a few tries, but I finally got it right!
Looking for an entree, but don’t know where to start? Check out my Dinner Recipe Index for recipe inspiration.
What you’ll need to make Lemon Shrimp Pasta
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Here are some of the more “specialty” ingredients that you’ll need, too. (Yes, I know some ingredients may or may not be in your pantry, so I’m highlighting the ones that you might not keep on hand most of the time!)
- Linguini pasta—or another thin noodle, like fettuccine, spaghetti or angel hair pasta
- Shrimp—we like Gulf shrimp the best! (Hello, we did live in Louisiana for years. This should not be a surprise.)
- Garlic—you’ll need a lot of this. It adds flavor. Trust me.
- Shallot—a shallot looks very similar to an onion, though it has a milder taste.
- Salt-free Cajun seasoning—because this adds layers of flavor. If you don’t have this on hand, blackening seasoning would work, too. Just be aware that there might be more salt in it.
- Dry white wine—pinot grigio or a sauvignon blanc would be ideal here. Moscato is way too sweet, and chardonnay’s oakiness could take away from the sauce. Also, anything you’d drink is great, and I tend to pour some into my pan and then pour a glass for myself.
- Lemon juice—squeeze it yourself from room-temp lemons or get the cold pressed lemon juice from your grocery on the refrigerated shelves. It makes a difference. Promise.
How to Make Lemon Shrimp Pasta
Peel the shrimp
My shrimp peeling technique involves running my thumb down the belly of the shrimp from where the head used to be to the tail (which is still attached), and gently freeing the shell. Basically, you want to loosen the shell from the meat and dispose of it. 🙂
Place the peels in a plastic bag, and when you’re done peeling the shrimp, immediately take this outside and toss it into the trash can because it will stink up your kitchen. (Unless, of course, you’re planning to use it for a seafood stock. In which case keep the shrimp peels in a zip-top baggie, and throw them in the freezer until you’re ready to make the stock.)
Cook the Shrimp
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
As the oil heats, toss the shrimp with salt-free Cajun seasoning and salt. If your Cajun seasoning has salt, please skip the additional salt.
When the olive oil is shimmering, add the minced garlic and shallot to it. Cook them until soft. It’ll only take 1-2 minutes. (And please keep your eyes on them because if your garlic burns, you’re gonna have to start over. Burned garlic is the worst!)
When the shallot and garlic are soft, add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp begin to curl and are pink on the bottom side, then flip, and cook until the entire outside of the shrimp is no longer translucent. This entire process will take 3-4 minutes tops. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp because it will become rubbery.
Make the Lemon Wine Sauce
Deglaze the pan with the wine, then let the wine reduce by half. Next, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley and red pepper flakes.
Add the shrimp back to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the cooked pasta and ¼-½ cup of the pasta’s cooking liquid. Toss the ingredients together with tongs.
Place the butter directly on top of the ingredients, and let it melt into the dish.
Stir/toss a few more times, then serve warm with a favorite glass of wine and a slice of crusty bread.
Quick Tips and Tricks to make this Shrimp Pasta Dish
- Acceptable substitutions: If you don’t have a shallot, you can use a small onion. It will be more potent in the sauce, but it is still delicious. If you don’t drink wine, add veggie or seafood stock in the wine’s place.
- Don’t cook the shrimp for too long. When your shrimp starts to curl, flip it because it only needs a few minutes on each side to cook through! If it cooks for too long, it’ll become rubbery.
- Save the pasta water! This helps the ingredients all come together in the pan, so when you drain your pasta, save about a cup of it!
Now who’s ready to make this delicious Lemon Shrimp Pasta?
Flavorful shrimp are seared with garlic and a shallot, then added to a decadent lemon wine sauce and tossed with linguini. Add butter to finish, then serve this addictive seafood entree warm!
- ½ lb. linguini, cooked al dente (follow instructions on the package)
- 1 ½ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ¾ teaspoon salt-free Cajun seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Lemon Wine Sauce
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- In a bowl, toss the peeled shrimp with the salt-free Cajun seasoning and salt. (If your Cajun seasoning has salt, please skip the additional salt.)
- When the olive oil is shimmering, add the minced garlic and shallot, cooking until softened, about 1-2 minutes.
- Then add the shrimp.
- Cook until the shrimp are pink, about 3-4 minutes, then transfer them to a bowl so they don't overcook.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, then let the wine reduce by half.
- Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley and red pepper flakes, stirring until combined.
- Add the shrimp back into the pan, cooking for a few minutes, then add the cooked pasta and ¼-½ cup of the cooking liquid.
- Add the butter, and let it melt into the sauce.
- Stir a few more times, then serve warm with a favorite glass of wine and a slice of crusty bread.
- Don't have a shallot? Use half of an onion. A shallot is generally milder than an onion, so expect a little more bold flavor from it if you make this swap.
- Don't drink wine? Use vegetable or seafood stock in its place.
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Serving Size:1 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 270mgSodium: 2430mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 30g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.