Shrimp Fettuccine is wonderfully creamy, bursting with lemon garlic flavor and on your table in 20 minutes!
This delightfully indulgent Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine is the easiest, most satisfying meal that tastes totally gourmet! It is 110% crave worthy and Valentine’s Day worthy!
Shrimp Fettuccine Recipe
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!
Some of my favorite shrimp and pasta pairings (ALL under 30 minutes!) are my Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Shrimp Pasta, Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli Alfredo, Shrimp Scampi and One Pot Lemon Garlic Cream Ravioli with Shrimp and of course this new Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine!
This lemon garlic shrimp pasta definitely feels like we are cheating somehow, but I promise I won’t tell your Valentine how easy this dinner is! And a quick note, if you are still looking or Valentines Day inspiration from sides, to salads to desserts then you will find it on my Over 50 Valentine’s Day recipes post complete with other Italian favorite such as Worlds Best Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan and Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta.
Now back to this shrimp fettuccine — 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!
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine 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.
- 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
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!
You will want to take care not to overcook your shrimp so they don’t taste rubbery – shrimp cooks super quickly! Shrimp that is overcooked curls tightly so the tail touches the body of the shrimp in a tight C shape.
At this point, you can chop the tails off your shrimp or leave them on, depending on your preference. We wait until this point to remove the tails because not only is it easier but more importantly, tail shells contain flavor. When shrimp is cooked with the tails on, the flavor seeps out and we get more robust shrimp flavor, much like cooking meat on the bone.
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.
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.
Tips for Making Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine
- 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.
How to Customize Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine
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
How to Store Lemon Garlic 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 Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta
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 I Freeze Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine?
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.
What to Serve with Shrimp Fettuccine
We love this easy shrimp pasta with a big salad, crusty bread and/or any of the following:
- Salad: Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ranch, Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Apple Salad, Pear Salad, Roasted Butternut Squash Salad or Green Bean Salad.
- Bread: Dinner Rolls, Garlic Bread, and Garlic Parmesan Butter Breadsticks.
- Fruit: Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette, Winter Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Vinaigrette, Tropical Fruit Salad, or Pina Colada Fruit Salad.
Looking for More Shrimp Pasta Dishes?
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Po’ Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad
- Sun-Dried Tomato Shrimp Pasta
- Roasted Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
- Lemon Garlic Cream Ravioli with Shrimp
Want to try this Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine Recipe?
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