Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta on your table in 20 minutes!
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta loaded with juicy shrimp and bathed in a sun-dried tomato pesto that is OUT OF THIS WORLD! This quick an easy dinner boasts more flavor than a 5 star restaurant at a fraction of the cost! It is guaranteed to become a new favorite that is easy enough for everyday but gourmet enough for special occasions and company.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Recipe
You guys know I love pasta, from Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta, Shrimp Fettuccine, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Weeknight Spaghetti Bolognese, Million Dollar Mac and Cheese and Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti, but I am not exaggerating when I say this sun-dried tomato pesto pasta is one of my favorite pastas of ALL time. I kid not. Not when it comes to Sun-Dried Tomato Shrimp Pesto Pasta!
This shrimp pasta is quick and easy – 20 minutes or less – but the flavors are out of this world thanks to the sun-dried tomato basil pesto. This pesto deserves its very own recipe. It’s tangy, garlicky, herby, salty and packs a flavorful punch – you will want to use it on everything!
The shrimp gets cooked in the pesto so it soaks up all the magnificent flavor then bathes the succulent shrimp and the pasta. It’s intoxicating. And did I say only 20 minutes already?
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Ingredients
This sun-dried tomato pasta is only as good as the pesto, so I created a jaw-dropping delicious Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto. It combines:
- sun-dried tomatoes
- fresh basil
- balsamic vinegar
- tomato paste
- red pepper flakes
In addition to the pesto ingredients, you’ll also need:
- large shrimp
- grated Parmesan cheese
Do I have to use shrimp?
If you don’t have shrimp on hand or you want to make this Shrimp Pesto Pasta more economical, you can easily replace the shrimp with chicken for an equally delicious dish! Simply chop the chicken into bite size pieces and cook them just like you would the shrimp.
Can I use other noodles?
Shrimp Pesto Pasta is delicious with any type of pasta! I prefer linguine, but you can use spaghetti, angel hair pasta, rigatoni, penne or fettuccine. Really any pasta will work, just make sure it is cooked al dente!
This Shrimp Pesto Pasta could also be turned into a rice dish by stirring into rice or even over spaghetti squash or zoodles for a low carb alternative.
What Shrimp is Best for Shrimp Tomato Pasta?
For this easy shrimp pasta recipe, you are going to want to use shrimp that is:
- 31/35 count/pound
- Defrosted (if it’s been frozen)
You can purchase shrimp that is larger or smaller. If it’s smaller, you want to sauté your pesto for a minute before adding the shrimp to give the aromatics more time tot cook.
HOW DO I DEFROST SHRIMP?
I usually purchase frozen shrimp so can keep it stocked at all times to make easy recipes like this Shrimp Pesto Pasta. I purchase shrimp that is shelled and deveined so all that’s left to do is defrost.
To defrost shrimp:
- Quick Defrost: Place the frozen shrimp in a colander then place the colander in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with cold tap water and let it sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, replace the water with new cold tap water and submerge the shrimp again. Let shrimp sit an additional 10- 20 minutes. If the shrimp isn’t completely defrosted, then repeat.
- Easy Defrost: The easiest way to defrost your shrimp in the refrigerator overnight.
How do you clean shrimp before cooking?
If you can’t get your hands on peeled and deveined shrimp, it is easy to do, just will take your Shrimp Pesto Past from 20 minutes to 35 minutes 🙂
- First, locate the vein in the shrimp running along its back.
- Make a shallow cut with and use the tip of the knife to lift it out.
- The veins and shells can then be thrown away.
- Rinse the shrimp and lay on a paper towel to dry.
How to Make Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Shrimp
I know you might be tempted to purchase pesto to make Shrimp Pesto Pasta, and that is totally fine – it will just be a different recipe. For this Shrimp Pesto Pasta recipe, you want THIS sun-dried tomato pesto – AND it is super easy to make!
To make pesto, add all of the pesto ingredients to a food processor and process until finely chopped. You want your pesto to be thick, creamy and smooth.
Once you process your pesto (in literally, just a couple minutes) comes the best part – add it to your skillet along with your shrimp and saute your shrimp in the sun-dried pesto glory…
Add some Parmesan along with your linguine and some reserved pasta water, and you have the most dynamite, restaurant-worthy (I dare to say better than restaurant worthy) pasta in under 20 minutes!
How to Tell When Shrimp Is Done Cooking
Color: Raw shrimp starts off translucent gray and turns pink and opaque when it is cooked. Your shrimp is done as soon as it is fully opaque without any gray left. The best place to check your shrimp for doneness is the crevice in the back of the shrimp where the vein was removed. When the base of this crevice becomes opaque, the shrimp is done.
Tips for Making Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta
- Use pine nuts, if desired: I use almonds in my pesto because I love a good almond pesto and I always have them on hand, but you are welcome to substitute them with pine nuts if you prefer.
- Thin the pesto, if needed: Add olive oil one tablespoon at a time to loosen the pesto. You can also thin it with reserved pasta water once its added to the pasta.
- Shrimp tails on or off? I recommend cooking your shrimp with the tails on because the tail shells contain flavor that seeps out and we get more robust shrimp flavor. Once your shrimp is cooked and resting you can remove the tails if you desire.
Recipe Variations to Try
- Can I use a different protein? I know this is Sun-Dried Tomato SHRIMP Pasta, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn it into Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta – or even smoked sausage! Toss bite-size raw pieces of chicken breasts or thighs with the shrimp marinade and continue with the recipe.
- Can I make it vegetarian? You can make this pasta vegetarian by omitting the shrimp – although you will miss the succulent morsels! You can add in firm tofu or extra veggies such as mushrooms or zucchini.
- Can I make it spicier? Absolutely! Add additional red pepper flakes to taste but be careful, a little goes a long way!
Can I add Vegetables to Shrimp Pesto Pasta?
Absolutely! Any of the following veggies would taste fantastic with your Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta:
- green beans
- red bell peppers
What can I use as a garnish?
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta is fabulous all on its own but is made even more delicious with the addition of:
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh tomatoes
- Fresh herbs (parsley or basil)
- Pine nuts
How to Reheat Sun-Dried Tomato Shrimp Basil Pasta
- Microwave: Add a splash of chicken broth or water to your individual serving of Shrimp Pesto Pasta. You don’t need to stir it in yet. Microwave for one minute, stir, then continue to heat at 30 second intervals until warmed through.
- Stove: For larger portions, reheat Shrimp Pesto Pasta on the stove. You will need to add a splash of chicken broth or water to loosen the pesto.
How to Store Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
Shrimp Pesto Pasta should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When properly stored, shrimp pasta is good for 3 days.
CAN I PREPARE SHRIMP PESTO PASTA AHEAD OF TIME?
To make your Shrimp Pesto pasta come together even more quickly, you can make your pesto up to 5 days in advance and store it an airtight container in the refrigerator. The pesto will solidify a little in the refrigerator but will loosen once you heat it the skillet.
You can also prepare your pasta in advance. Take care you cook it al dente, rinse in cold water and toss in a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking together. Store in an airtight container.
What to Serve with Shrimp Tomato Pasta
Shrimp Pesto Pasta is delicious with roasted vegetables, a big salad and bread. Some of my favorite pairings include:
- Garlic Butter Breadsticks
- Cheesy Pull Apart Pesto Bread
- Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls
- Roasted Green Beans
- Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter
- Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
- Lemon Butter Brussels Sprouts
- Outback Copycat Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ranch
- Perfect Fruit Salad with Honey Citrus Dressing
- Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad wit Italian Dressing
- Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Berry Fruit Salad in Honey Mascarpone
LOOKING FOR MORE SHRIMP RECIPES?
- Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa
- Sweet Chili Shrimp
- Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo (Lightened Up!)
- Chipotle Lime Shrimp Burrito Bowls
- Kung Pao Shrimp
- Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp and Asparagus
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Scampi
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas with Pineapple
- Old Bay Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce
Tools Used in This RecipeSee Favorite Tools
20 Minute Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Shrimp Pasta
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- 1 pound linguine
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Pesto
- Cook the pasta in salted water. Once al dente, drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, add Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Pesto ingredients to a food processor and process until finely chopped.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Pesto and saute for 1 minute. Add shrimp and continue to saute just until shrimp are opaque. Stir in Parmesan cheese until mostly melted, then add pasta and toss to coat, adding enough reserved pasta water to moisten to desired consistency (I used ¾ cup).
- Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
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