20 Minute Shrimp Fettuccine

Shrimp Fettuccine is wonderfully creamy, bursting with lemon garlic flavor and on your table in 20 minutes!   

20 MINUTE Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine is wonderfully creamy, bursting with flavor and so easy!  The most gourmet tasting  dinner you can make in under 30 minutes!


This 20 minute Fettuccine with Shrimp is the quick dinner you need!

One of my favorite things to whip up when I’m lazy is pasta.  It’s not only comfortingly cravilicious, but it’s also uber quick to prepare and requires hardly any effort.  The exact same goes for shrimp — especially when you use shrimp that is already devined.  Pair pasta and shrimp together and have a luxurious tasting meal that comes together at a moment’s notice – now that is my kind of dinner! 

Be warned, you are going to want to stock up on fettuccine and frozen shrimp because we are about to make one of the best tasting pastas of. your. life.   

For this pasta and shrimp combo, I’ve gone with lemon garlic shrimp because shrimp looooves a garlic butter bath.  It’s reminiscent of my most popular recipe of 2017, my Sheet Pan Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp and Asparagus, but it is even more delicious (if you can even imagine!) because the shrimp and pasta get enveloped in decadently creamy sauce.  gahhhh!  so good!

Top shot of Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta Ingredients

The beauty of this garlic butter shrimp pasta is that it comes together so quickly and uses so few ingredients.

  • Fettuccine: You can use classic fettuccine, whole-wheat fettuccine or gluten free fettuccine.  I haven’t tried it with zoodles or spaghetti squash, but I imagine it would work well.
  • Raw shrimp: I suggest uncooked shrimp that have already been peeled and deveined. Buying prepared shrimp makes your job a snap because all you have to do is defrost the shrimp. 
  • Olive oil: A mixture of olive oil and butter makes for a truly luxorious sauce.
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter so we can control the level of salt. 
  • Garlic cloves: Fresh garlic is ideal for flavoring the garlic butter sauce.
  • Red pepper flakes: Adds the tiniest kick of heat without making the dish spicy.
  • Lemon juice and zest: Don’t skip the zest! The lemon zest is actually what packs in the most lemon flavor.
  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour but I’m sure gluten free flour would work as well. 
  • Chicken broth: Is more flavorful than just milk or heavy cream. Make sure you use low sodium broth so the garlic butter shrimp fettuccine isn’t too salty.
  • Heavy cream: Is also called “heavy whipping cream.” Just ½ cup adds that something-something luxurious that elevates the entire dish. 
  • Prepared pesto: I used classic basil pesto, but another variety of pesto may work in this recipe.
  • Parmesan cheese: For best results and the BEST garlic lemon shrimp pasta recipe, use ONLY freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It is much more flavorful and melts into silky oblivion unlike powdered or pre-shredded cheese.
close up of Lemon Garlic shrimp fettuccine in a skillet

Shrimp Fettuccine Recipe Substitutions

  • You may also use short pastas such as penne or fusilli if that’s all you have on hand but they don’t deliverer the same luxurious experience.  Go fettuccine if you can.
  • If you’re trying to save some calories and don’t want to use heavy cream, you can use half a cup of half and half or milk whisked with 1 teaspoon cornstarch. If you use the latter two options, make sure to simmer the sauce for a minute or so to thicken.
  • You may also substitute the butter with additional olive oil.

How to Make Shrimp Fettuccine 

  1. First, we start by melting butter with some olive oil then sauteing minced garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon zest for 30 seconds.  Next, we add our shrimp and cook approximately 4 minutes then remove to a plate. The lemon garlic butter infused shrimp is so juicy and flavor exploding you’ll have to slap your own hand from eating it into oblivion!
  2. Now for our luxuriously creamy Parmesan infused lemon, garlic sauce – I’m drooling already. First, we sauté some more garlic in butter then sprinkle in some flour and cook for one minute to get rid of the raw flour smell.  We then whisk in our chicken broth, heavy cream and pesto and bring to a simmer until thickened.  The pesto adds richness and dimensional flavor without overpowering the sauce.
  3. Finally, we stir in additional lemon juice and Parmesan cheese until silky, followed by our shrimp and pasta.  I just add one tablespoon lemon juice because we’ve already sautéed our shrimp with lemon zest but feel free to add as much (or even as little) lemon juice as your heart desires, just be sure to taste the pasta first.
Close up of Cooking Lemon Butter Garlic Shrimp in a skillet

Tips for making Fettuccine with Shrimp

  • Shrimp size. I like to use medium shrimp, 31-40 count shrimp (which means there are 31-40 shrimp in a pound), so you get shrimp in every bite without having to pause to cut up the shrimp.  If you only have larger shrimp on hand, that will work as well, you will just have to cut as you go.
  • Don’t over-cook shrimp.  Cook shrimp just until opaque for the juiciest shrimp. 
  • Cook shrimp with tails on.  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.
  • Salt pasta water.  You should always salt your pasta water – it is the one chance you have for the flavor to penetrate the pasta and enhance the subtle pasta flavor – you can taste the difference.  Use 1 tablespoon salt for 6 quarts of water.
  • Don’t overcook pasta. I recommend testing your pasta 2 or 3 minutes before the box recommends – pasta should be al dente– meaning it should still be a little firm in the center/ have a “bite” to it.  

Shrimp Fettuccine Recipe variations

No matter if you customize your pasta or leave it as written, this Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine is guaranteed to taste every bit as decadently delicious as the finest restaurant. And it only took you 20 minutes. 

  • add more or less garlic
  • add more or less lemon juice or leave it out completely
  • add bell peppers, tomatoes broccoli or other veggies
  • add spinach
  • substitute the shrimp for chicken, sausage or beef
  • add more heavy cream – seriously so indulgently delicious
  • add more Parmesan
Lemon Garlic shrimp fettuccine in a skillet

What to serve with Shrimp Fettucini

We love this easy shrimp pasta with a big salad, crusty bread and/or any of the following:

side view of lemon garlic shrimp pasta in white plate with fork

How to store Lemon Shrimp Pasta

Lemon garlic shrimp fettuccine should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When properly stored, it is good for up to 3 days.

How to reheat Shrimp Fettuccine

This shrimp fettuccine recipe reheats well so you can enjoy leftovers for days! Just be aware you always want to make sure your pasta is cooked al dente, especially if you are going to be reheating. 

  • Microwave: Add a splash of chicken broth, water or milk to your individual serving; no need to stir it in, yet. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, then continue to heat at 30-second intervals until warmed through.
  • Stove: For larger portions, reheat pasta on the stove. You will need to add a splash of chicken broth or milk to thin the sauce as it will have thickened in the refrigerator. 

Can Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta be frozen?

I do not recommend freezing lemon garlic butter shrimp pasta because the creamy sauce can break and become a funny texture. Also, if your shrimp has been frozen, you definitely don’t want to freeze because previously frozen seafood should not be re-frozen.

overhead shot of lemon garlic shrimp fettuccine garnished with lemon wedges

Looking for More Shrimp Pasta Dishes?


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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

20 MINUTE Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine is wonderfully creamy, bursting with flavor and so easy!  The most gourmet tasting  dinner you can make in under 30 minutes!

Lemon Garlic Fettuccine with Shrimp

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine is wonderfully creamy, bursting with flavor and on your table in 20 minutes!    This wonderfully indulgent Lemon Garlic  Shrimp Pasta is the easiest, most satisfying meal that tastes totally gourmet! 
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

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  • 8 oz. fettuccine
  • 1 pound medium raw shrimp peeled and deveined (thawed)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 3 tablespoon butter divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp EACH salt, pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Optional Garnishes


  • Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water before rinsing and draining pasta. Toss drained pasta with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking. Set aside.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, 4 minced garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for approximately 4 minutes or just until shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Scrape shrimp and garlic/juices to a plate. Once cool enough to handle, you can chop off shrimp tails if desired. Set aside.
  • To the same skillet (don’t wipe out), melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add remaining 2 minced garlic cloves and statue 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour and cook while stirring for 1 minute, then turn heat to low. Slowly whisk in chicken broth, heavy cream and pesto, stirring constantly until smooth.
  • Turn heat to medium high and bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to Low and stir in lemon juice followed by Parmesan cheese until melted. Stir in shrimp (and juices) and pasta until well coated in sauce, adding additional reserved pasta water or heavy cream if needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes to taste.
  • Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, fresh parsley and lemon juice (optional).


How to Customize this Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine

  • add more or less garlic
  • add more or less lemon juice or leave it out completely
  • add bell peppers, tomatoes broccoli or other veggies
  • add spinach
  • substitute the shrimp for chicken, sausage or beef
  • add more heavy cream - seriously so indulgently delicious
  • add more Parmesan

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Carlsbad Cravings Original I first posted on Spend with Pennies

Reader Interactions

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  1. Diane says

    I had to let you know that my husband and I made this last night and it was incredible! We both thought the sauce was perfect, a little spicy, creamy and combined with the shrimp and extra Parmesan and parsley it looked as good as it tasted. We will be making this again for sure. i wanted to give this recipe 5 stars but I wasn’t able to do so on the site so I just want you to know that we both really wanted to give it a perfect 10! Thank you so much for all of your wonderful recipes.

    • Jen says

      What a wonderful comment to open my computer to! Thank you so so much for taking the time to comment and for the “perfect 10” review – that means so much to me!!! I hope you had a fabulous Valentine’s Day!

  2. Emily says

    We also made this for Valentines Day and it was better than any restaurant! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    • Jen says

      Happy Belated Valentine’s Day! I’m thrilled you loved this recipe so much, thank you! I hope you enjoy exploring my site and hopefully find many new favorites!

  3. Debby says

    I just made this last night and my boys couldn’t eat it fast enough! This one of my new favorite recipes from you! Thank you for making cooking enjoyable again. I can always count on your recipes. My family always ask if it’s your before they want to eat it!

    • Jen says

      yesssss! What an awesome comment Debby, thank you so so much! I’m so happy you loved this recipe, thrilled your family has loved all my recipes and honored to have made cooking fun again!

  4. Sabrina says

    Making this again tonight. A new family favorite!

    • Jen says

      YAY! I’m so happy to hear that Sabrina, thank you!

  5. vanessa says

    delicious! the sauce was incredibly flavorful and had a hint of spicy to it!!

    • Jen says

      thank you so much Vanessa, I’m so happy you loved it!

  6. Shireen says

    What brand of fettuccine do you like to use? Can’t wait to try some of your recipes.

    • Jen says

      Hi Shireen, I stick with easy to find Barilla. I hope you enjoy exploring my recipes!

  7. Claudette says

    Hi Jen Made your lemon garlic shrimp fettuccine today it was delicious , I like the pesto in it never had it that way before . Thank you for sharing .

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Claudette, thanks for taking the time to comment! I’m so pleased you loved this shrimp fettuccine and the addition of pesto – I love adding pesto to practically everything- it always bumps up the flavor. I hope you find more recipes to love here!

  8. Karen says

    Hi Jen! I’ve made many of your recipes, but this is one of my favorites. I substituted my favorite veggie spaghetti noodles and added sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes (per your suggestion). The pesto is a perfect addition to a yummy sauce and I love all the garlic. There is a serving left and I’m guessing my family will be fighting over the leftovers. Your website is one of my go to sources for delicious and easy recipes.

    • Jen says

      Thank you SO much Karen! I’m honored you’ve made and loved so many of my recipes and I love hearing this shrimp fettuccine is your favorite! It sounds divine with the additional peppers, tomatoes and pesto!

  9. Megan says

    Hi Jen…made this last night…delicious. I added some fire roasted tomatoes, diced shallots and italian seasoning. Just curious in step #3 should it be 1 tablespoon of butter…..that’s what I did but maybe its intended to be 2?


    • Jen says

      Thanks Megan, I’m so pleased it was a winner and your additions sound fabulous! It is supposed to be 2 tablespoons because you want equal fat as butter- thanks for catching that!

      • Cathy Lynn says

        FYI, Recipe still says 3 TB butter rather than 2.

        • Jen says

          Hi Cathy, it is 3 tablespoons total. 1 tablespoon is used in step 1 and 2 tablespoons are used in step 3. Enjoy!

  10. Carolyn says

    I made this Saturday night for my husband and myself. Oh my goodness! This was definitely restaurant quality. I may never order shrimp fettuccine from a restaurant again now that I know this is so easy and delicious to make (and budget friendly!) I absolutely loved this meal! Will definitely be making again!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your awesome comment/review Carolyn! I’m honored this shrimp recipe was restaurant quality and will be on repeat! Thank you!

  11. Johanna Jonker says

    My husband is a diebetic/kidney patient, and is on very low sodium / potassium diet, and we are followin cookbooks w/ such recipes. However, we like your recipes, but you have no nutrient contents. Is there anyway we can get this.? I
    m sure I’m not the only one who would be interested. Thank you in advance for your ibformation.

  12. Lisa McAllister says


    • Jen says

      There is a “Jump to recipe” button at the top of every post – no need to read!

      • Susan says

        I love all the info you share. You answer my questions before I think of them!

        • Jen says

          I am so happy to hear that!

  13. Gail says

    Jen, this was delicious. Even my fussy grand kids loved it! This is so company worthy. Thanks for your great recipes. They are still talking about your strawberry pie I served at a pool party last year! You really are a great cook!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome, Gail! I am thrilled that the fettuccine was a hit with everyone and that the strawberry pie left such a great impression! Thank you for showering me with compliments – it really makes my day!

  14. John N says

    I was looking for a scampi recipe and came across this and decided to make this for dinner instead. Wow, really, really good. Will definitely be making this again. And again.

    • Jen says

      I’m so glad you gave this a try and that it was a success!

  15. JoanDrew says

    How many does this serve please

    • Jen says

      Hi! This serves 4. Hope you enjoy!