Creamy garlic shrimp pasta is a quick and easy dinner the whole family will love. It’s the perfect all-in-one meal, serve it with a side of bread or a salad. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
This pasta is full of creamy goodness! The shrimp are perfectly cooked and then covered in a delicious mozzarella cheese sauce that really elevates this pasta. If you're looking for a shrimp dish with a little more kick check out my Shrimp with Hot Garlic Sauce, or my Cajun Chicken Pasta.
Let's take a quick look at the ingredients
• Penne pasta-any type of small pasta will work fine.
• Large shrimp- Raw large shelled and deveined
• Seasonings- salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika
• Olive oil- to saute the shrimp in.
• Sun-dried tomatoes- adds the perfect amount of tanginess.
• Garlic cloves
• Half n Half- to make a creamy dish 1/2 milk and 1/2 heavy cream.
• Chicken stock
• Red pepper flakes- for a touch of heat
• Cheese- Mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese
Scroll down to the bottom for the detailed printable recipe card!
How to Make Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Get ready to rock everyone’s socks off with this delicious creamy shrimp pasta! Follow the simple steps below!
Step 1: Cook the Pasta In a large pot cook pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Strain and reserve ½ cup liquid if you’re not using chicken stock.
Step 2: Season Shrimp In a small bowl toss the shelled and deveined shrimp with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika until well coated.
Step 3: Cook the Shrimp Heat oil in a large skillet. Then, add shrimp and cook it for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the cooked shrimp and set it aside.
Step 4: Cook Veggies Lower the heat on your skillet and add sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
Step 5: Make the Sauce Add in the half n half, chicken stock (or pasta water) and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Then, turn off the heat and add the cheeses and whisk until melted.
Step 6: Add Pasta and Shrimp Fold your cooked pasta, shrimp, and fresh basil into the sauce.
Serve and Enjoy!
Creamy Shrimp Pasta Tips and Tricks
This recipe is pretty straightforward, but here are a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way:
1. Don’t overcook the shrimp. Shrimp that is overcooked becomes rough and chewy. When the shrimp changes from grey to pink, they are done.
2. Thicken the sauce. If you feel the sauce is too thin, you can add a small amount of cornstarch to thicken it up.
3. Cook pasta al dente. Make sure your pasta isn’t too done. Adding the sauce to well-done noodles just turns it to mush.
4. Add a little lemon juice. Before seasoning your shrimp, add a few drops of lemon juice to take out any of the fishy flavors.
What Type of Pasta Do I Need?
For this recipe, you’ll need penne pasta. If you don’t have penne pasta, you could also use rigatoni, mostaccioli, or ziti pasta. I like to use pasta that I know will get the creamy sauce in every nook and cranny.
What Can I Use Instead of Half and Half?
If you don’t have half and half, you can make it yourself. Simply measure 1 cup of whole milk and 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and mix it together.
How Many Shrimp Do I Need?
For this recipe, you’ll need 1 pound of shrimp. That is usually about 31 to 40 pieces of shrimp. You want to try and get peeled and deveined shrimp. But if you need to devein your shrimp you can easily de-vein shrimp following these instructions. Once you have your shrimp peeled and deveined you are all set to make this creamy shrimp pasta!
How Do I Store Leftovers?
Not only is this dish delicious when prepared, but it keeps pretty well in the refrigerator too. Simply place your leftovers in an airtight container and plop them in the fridge. Make sure to eat it within 3 to 5 days.
Can I Freeze It?
I do not advise freezing this recipe. The sauce in this recipe does not keep its texture after freezing. Milk tends to separate during the freezing process and it will not come out the same when reheated.
Other Seafood Recipes to Try
Looking for more? Try some of my other favorite seafood recipes, below!
Crab Cakes with Lemon Dill Sauce
Creamy Lemon Garlic Shrimp
Broiled Lobster Tail with Garlic Lemon Butter
New England Clam Chowder
Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta Recipe
- 12 ounces penne pasta
- 1 pound large shrimp shelled and deveined
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes drained
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups half n half
- ½ cup chicken stock or pasta water
- 1/4 teaspoon Red pepper flakes optional
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil or 1 teaspoon dried
- More salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot cook pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Strain and reserve ½ cup liquid if you’re not using chicken stock.
- In a small bowl toss the shelled and deveined shrimp with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika until well coated.
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat add olive oil, add in shrimp cook for 2 minutes then flip and cook another 2 minutes. Remove cooked shrimp and set aside.
- Lower the heat a bit and add in the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add in the half n half, chicken stock (or pasta water), and red pepper flakes to the skillet and bring to a low simmer for 4-5 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Turn off the heat and add in the mozzarella and parmesan cheese and whisk until melted.
- Fold in the cooked pasta fresh basil and shrimp.