Tuscan Shrimp

This Creamy Tuscan Shrimp is an impressive restaurant quality dish made right in your own kitchen – in 30 minutes!

Tuscan Shrimp swimming in a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce spiked with Italian herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and baby spinach – without even making a roux! This dish is immensely comforting, deceptively simple and on our table in less than 30 minutes. Serve this garlic Tuscan Shrimp over pasta, mashed potatoes, cauliflower mash, rice or cauliflower rice with Caesar salad and breadsticks and you have a spectacular, simple, saucy, repeat favorite.

Shrimp dinners are a quick and easy weeknight lifesaver that always taste like a million bucks. If you’re looking for a low effort, high reward recipe, look no further than this Tuscan shrimp recipe along with Shrimp Pasta in Garlic Tomato Cream Sauce, Cajun Shrimp Pasta, Roasted Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo, and Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine.

HOW TO MAKE creamy tuscan shrimp VIDEo

 
up close top view of creamy Tuscan shrimp showing how creamy it is
up close of scooping up creamy Tuscan shrimp with garlic
showing how to serve Tuscan shrimp by serving over a bowl of mashed potatoes

What You Will Need to make Tuscan Shrimp

This garlic Tuscan Shrimp is easy to make with easy to find ingredients.   Let’s take a closer look at what you will need in addition to shrimp (full recipe with measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post):  

  • Butter:  The shrimp is cooked in both butter and olive oil for rich, decadent buttery bliss. You may swap the butter for additional oil if you like.
  • Olive oil:  Use extra virgin olive oil for superior flavor.  The olive oil adds flavor and prevents the butter from burning.
  • Heavy cream:  This is often called “heavy whipping cream” at your grocery store. 
  • Chicken broth: Make sure to use low sodium broth which allows you to salt to taste.
  • Cornstarch:  This allows us to use chicken broth instead of all heavy cream by helping to thicken the sauce.
  • Parmesan cheese:  The cheese infuses the sauce with its fantastic salty, nuttiness. For best results, use ONLY freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  It is much more flavorful and melts into silky oblivion unlike powdered or pre-shredded cheese.
  • Add sun-dried tomatoes:  Purchase sun-dried tomatoes in a jar packed in oil, not water. They are usually located near the olives or pickles at your grocery store.  You can rinse the tomatoes before chopping if you’re concerned about extra oil, but it isn’t necessary. 
  • Cherry tomatoes:  I love the combination of the tangy sun-dried tomatoes with fresh cherry tomatoes -their sweet pops of flavor add so much! Look for ripe cherry tomatoes because they are inherently sweeter than grape tomatoes, but if the grape tomatoes are riper, use those.  
  • Spinach:  Look for baby spinach because the leaves are sweeter and more tender than mature spinach. I suggest removing the stems, but it’s up to you.
  • Shallot:  You will need one shallot for its mild onion flavor or you may substitute with ¼ of a yellow onion. One shallot is considered the entire bulb, regardless of how many cloves the bulb contains.
  • Garlic:  I use 6 cloves garlic and it is divine but feel free to use less if you prefer. You may also use 1 teaspoon garlic powder – but the real stuff is so much better!
  • Red chili pepper flakes:  Please don’t skip!  They enliven the sauce with a much-needed kick to cut through the creaminess. You can also add additional red pepper to individual servings.
  • Seasonings: This Tuscan Shrimp is seasoned with parsley, oregano, basil with salt, and pepper to taste.  You’ll want to season with salt after adding the Parmesan. 

CAN I ADD OTHER VEGETABLES?

Absolutely!  You can add any vegetables to the sauce by sautéing for a couple minutes with the shallots. You will need to reduce the amount of shrimp to accommodate for the extra veggies. Some yummy additions would be:

  • mushrooms
  • zucchini
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • peas

hOW TO MAKE THE BEST CREAMY TUSCAN SHRIMP

  • Step 1:  Season the shrimp.  In a large bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomato jar, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper.  Add the shrimp and turn to coat.  
showing how to make garlic creamy Tuscan Shrimp by seasoning shrimp in a bowl with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika
  • Step 2:  Sear the shrimp.  Melt some butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add shrimp in a single layer and cook just until the shrimp are opaque, about 2 minutes per side; transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.
showing how to make Tuscan shrimp by searing shrimp in a skillet until opaque and golden
  • Step 3: Sauté the aromatics.  To the now empty skillet, add another drizzle of sun-dried tomato oil followed by the cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes; sauté for 2 minutes. 
a collage showing how to make creamy Tuscan shrimp by adding garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, shallot and cherry tomatoes to a skillet and sautéing until shallots soften
  • Step 4:  Make the creamy sauce.  Stir in the heavy cream, chicken broth mixed with cornstarch, parsley, basil and oregano.  Simmer until sauce thickens to desired consistency, then stir in the Parmesan cheese.
a collage showing how to make creamy garlic Tuscan shrimp by adding heavy cream and Italian seasonings to the skillet, simmering until thickened, then stirring in Parmesan cheese
  • Step 5:  Add the spinach.  Stir spinach into the sauce and cook 1-2 minutes, just until wilted.
showing how to make Creamy Tuscan shrimp by stirring spinach into the sauce to wilt
  • Step 6:  Add shrimp. Add s­­­­­­hrimp to the skillet and warm through to soak up the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
showing how to make garlic creamy Tuscan shrimp by adding the cooked shrimp back to the sauce in the skillet
top view of Tuscan shrimp in a skillet with garlic and sun-dried tomatoes
  • Use a heavy cream substitute:  Swap the heavy cream for evaporated milk mixed with 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch. Just remember that fat equals flavor so the cream sauce won’t taste quite as decadent.
  • Add vegetables:  If adding veggies, reduce the shrimp so the dish remains plenty saucy. Add any chopped vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, bell peppers etc. and sauté them after you’ve cooked the shallots for a few minutes.  If using frozen peas, thaw and stir in with the Parmesan to warm through. 
  • Add mushrooms:  If you’re a mushroom lover, consider pan frying sliced baby Bella mushrooms, removing from the skillet then adding back to the sauce at the end of cooking. Check out my mushroom chicken recipe to see exactly how I cook perfect mushrooms.
  • Add artichokes: These are tender, slightly sweet and nutty and divine in creamy sauces. Purchase artichoke hearts in water NOT marinated. The marinated ones often have an acrid taste. Chop and sauté with the shallots.
  • Mix up the cheeses: In addition to or in place of Parmesan, you can use Gouda, Fontina, Gruyere, etc. to mix up the flavor profile.
  • Add lemon: Add a couple tablespoons lemon juice for garlic lemon magic.
  • Spice it up. Amp up the heat with additional red pepper flakes. I always add at least ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes but if you want to really taste the kick, add ½ teaspoon. You can also add additional red pepper flakes to individual servings to keep recipe family friendly.  
up close of scooping up creamy Tuscan shrimp with garlic
showing how to serve garlic Tuscan shrimp by serving over pasta in a bowl with freshly grated Parmesan
up close of serving Tuscan Shrimp over potatoes showing how creamy and saucy it is

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up close of scooping up creamy Tuscan shrimp with garlic

Tuscan Shrimp

Tuscan Shrimp swimming in a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce spiked with Italian herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and baby spinach – without even making a roux! This dish is immensely comforting, deceptively simple and on our table in less than 30 minutes. Serve this Tuscan Shrimp over pasta, mashed potatoes, cauliflower mash, rice or cauliflower rice with Caesar salad and breadsticks and you have a spectacular, simple, saucy, repeat favorite.
Servings: 4 servings
Total Time: 30 mins
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins

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Ingredients

SHRIMP

  • 1 pound large shrimp (26-30 ct.)
  • 1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder, salt
  • 1/4 tsp EACH pepper, paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided

CREAMY TUSCAN SAUCE

  • 1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained, roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or evaporated milk + 1 ½ tsp cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp EACH dried parsley, dried basil (or 1 TBS EACH FRESH)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups baby spinach (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For serving (pick one)

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomato jar and all shrimp seasonings. Add the shrimp and turn to coat.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter oil in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-reactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, add shrimp in a single layer and cook just until opaque, about 2 minutes per side; transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. Repeat. You can remove the tails once cool enough to handle if desired.
  • Heat one tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes jar over medium heat with the drippings in the pan. Once hot, add cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until shallots are tender, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in heavy cream; mix chicken broth with cornstarch and add to the skillet. Stir in parsley, basil and oregano.
  • Bring sauce to a simmer while scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan; simmer until sauce thickens to desired consistency, stirring often.
  • Once thickened, reduce heat to medium-low and stir in Parmesan cheese. Cook, while stirring until melted, 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I use about ⅛ teaspoon each). Stir in spinach and cook 1-2 minutes, just until wilted.
  • Add shrimp to the skillet and warm through to soak up the sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired. Serve over pasta, mashed potatoes or rice.

Video

Notes

how to store and reheat

  • To store: Store Tuscan Shrimp separate from any pasta or potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To reheat in the microwave: Transfer to a microwave-safe dish and warm for one minute, stir, then continue to heat at 15-second intervals as needed.
  • To reheat on the stove: Heat over medium-low for 5-10 minutes until warmed through, stirring often.  The sauce may have thickened up in the refrigerator, so thin with a splash of milk or water to thin to reach desired consistency.

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