Creamy lemon garlic shrimp pasta

This creamy lemon garlic shrimp pasta recipe is so easy but such a showstopper. The sauce and pasta cooks at the same time for minimum effort. Just delicious! Love shrimp pasta? Try our delicious Creamy Shrimp Alfredo.

Creamy lemon garlic shrimp pasta

Ingredients needed

This shrimp pasta recipe needs only a few ingredients and is always a delicious dinner. I prefer using whole shrimp or prawns that I peel and devein myself. I find the texture to be much better than the already peeled frozen shrimp. However, if that’s all you can find, absolutely use that. Fresh garlic and lemon make all the difference in the sauce. Again, I prefer crushing my garlic cloves myself. Crushed garlic from a tub just doesn’t taste as good to me and often just stinks out my fridge.

  • Shrimp / Prawns. Peeled and deveined. If using frozen, thaw overnight and pat dry with paper towels before cooking.
  • Butter. 
  • Fresh garlic cloves. 
  • Heavy cream/whipping cream.
  • Lemon juice.
  • Fresh parsley. Other fresh herbs like chives, oregano and dill are all delicious with shrimp.
  • Salt and black pepper. 
  • Pasta of your choice. I prefer long shapes for this recipe. Linguine, Spaghetti, Tagliatelle, Fettuccini or Pappardelle will all work.

How to make shrimp pasta

  1. Start the sauce: Get a large pot of salted water boiling while you start the sauce. Melt the butter in a large skillet/frying pan set over medium-high heat then add the shrimp in batches and cook until golden brown and opaque. Try to buy the very best shrimp you can afford because the difference is notable. You want sweet, juicy, plump shrimp or prawns that won’t be rubbery once cooked. Once the shrimp are cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta and finish the sauce: Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water before draining the pasta. Add a little more butter (or olive oil) to the pan you used to fry the prawns. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds before adding the cream, lemon juice and parsley. You can also add a half teaspoon of chilli or red pepper flakes for some heat. Simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the cooked shrimp back in.
  3. Combine and serve: Mix with the cooked, drained pasta and a little of the pasta cooking water to emulsify the sauce. Serve with Parmesan and parsley.
Creamy lemon garlic shrimp pasta

What is the difference between prawns and shrimp?

Shrimp or jumbo shrimp as they are called in the USA and what many other nations call prawns are pretty much exactly the same thing. So when you see an American recipe using shrimp, they are using prawns (usually Tiger/Queen prawns). Similarly for American readers, if a recipe calls for prawns, simply use shrimp/jumbo shrimp.

Creamy lemon garlic shrimp pasta

Is shrimp healthy?

  1. Shrimp or prawns are an excellent source of protein and vitamin D, which is essential for calcium and magnesium absorption.
  2. They also have high levels of zinc which helps to increase leptin levels in your body. Leptin helps your body’s regulation of fat storage and use of energy.
  3. Shrimp contain Iodine which also helps with your body’s energy levels and how energy is used when your body is resting, it also plays a role in supporting your thyroid gland.
  4. They also contain many other minerals and vitamins essential for heart health, healthy hair and skin and bone health like phosphorous, vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids.

Shrimp pasta recipes


What pasta shape goes best with shrimp?

Any pasta shape works with shrimp but I prefer longer pasta shapes like spaghetti, linguini, fettuccine, tagliatelle or angel hair pasta.

Should I peel shrimp before cooking in pasta?

Yes, peeling shrimp before adding to a pasta dish is a good idea. The peels will be unpleasant to eat and will be unnecessarily difficult to peal covered in sauce.

What pairs well with seafood pasta?

Shrimp pasta is a great dish to serve on its own for a meal but you can add garlic bread, a side salad or sautéed broccoli as a side dish too.

Easy Shrimp Recipes

  1. Creamy shrimp curry
  2. Air Fryer Shrimp
  3. Easy garlic butter shrimp and rice
Creamy lemon garlic shrimp pasta

Creamy lemon garlic shrimp pasta

Creamy lemon garlic shrimp pasta is so easy but such a showstopper recipe. The sauce and pasta cooks at the same time for minimum effort. Just delicious!
4.53 from 192 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Creamy shrimp pasta, Lemon garlic shrimp pasta, Shrimp pasta
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories: 406kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 4 -6


  • 500 g/1lb tagliatelle or pasta of your choice

For the Creamy lemon garlic shrimp pasta sauce

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 500 g/1lb shrimp/prawns deveined and shelled
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 cup/250ml cream
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • handful fresh parsley finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of cooking water. 
  • In the meantime, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet/frying pan and cook the prawns in batches until golden brown and opaque. Season the prawns to taste.
  • Remove from the pan and set aside. 
  • Add the remaining butter and garlic and cook for a few seconds, until the garlic is fragrant then pour in the cream, lemon juice (start with 2 tablespoons and add more if you wish), parsley and season to taste. 
  • Allow to simmer over gentle heat until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Add the shrimp back in and adjust seasoning. 
  • Add the pasta and a little of the cooking water and toss until the pasta is coated in the sauce. 
  • Serve with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.



Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 210mg | Sodium: 695mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 3mg

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  1. Made this last night, it was incredibly delicious! I also learned some new techniques by watching the video. I did add some crushed chilis and I used 33% whipping cream. Flavours in the sauce shine through because the ingredients are so simple and focused. Served with chopped fresh parsley and shredded perderno 😊

  2. Thanks, Alida, for reminding me about this recipe, I used to make it, I Love it! I think I chopped rocket into it, forget what you call it in the US!