This is the BEST lemon garlic shrimp pasta you’ll eat, I promise. It is super quick and easy to make in around 20 minutes and full of flavour and has a glossy creamy buttery sauce! Perfect for a quick lunch or dinner midweek when you are busy.
We absolutely love quick and easy meals like this lemon garlic shrimp pasta in our house. Who doesn't love creating an easy super delicious meal in under 30 minutes? The sauce is made in the same pan the rest of the ingredients are cooked in; the only thing you need to do separately is boil some pasta until it is perfectly cooked and throw everything together!
You’ll want to get your bib on for this pasta dish; a creamy buttery and glossy sauce coats the golden strands of pasta with plenty of garlic and lemon to really elevate you into pasta heaven.
When you’ve made this simple lemon garlic shrimp pasta make sure to leave us a comment and give the recipe a rating down below! Be sure to use the following links to get to where you need to in this post.
Why this recipe works
Here's some reasons you will absolutely want to make this pasta dish:
Under 30 minutes - from start to finish, this shrimp pasta dish takes little time to create. With the kettle on and pan on the stove you'll be enjoying this dish in under 30 minutes.
Creamy - this lemon garlic shrimp pasta is made creamy by emulsifying butter into a lovely sauce rather than coating in a heavy cream. Absolutely delicious.
Lemon crumb - this is optional but we highly recommend the lemon pangrattato which is a quick and simple crispy lemon crumb to make for the top of this pasta, giving it a lovely crunch.
One pot sauce - all of the ingredients for the dish can be made in one pot, just cook the pasta in boiling water separately and add in to the lemon garlic shrimp butter sauce.
What ingredients do I need?
You only need simple ingredients for this lemon garlic shrimp pasta, this is what you'll need:
Pasta - You’ll need dried tagliatelle pasta for this recipe; if you can’t find tagliatelle, pappardelle or linguine will work fine.
Veggies - we used fine green beans and frozen peas, but you can substitute for what's seasonal at the time; asparagus goes amazingly well when it’s in season.
Aromatics - we want this to taste amazing, right? Make sure you have a large shallot, some garlic cloves, chilli flakes and of course the all important lemon! We will be using both the zest and juice.
Protein - Shrimp/prawns go so well in this, we like to use jumbo tail on shrimp, but if you want to change up the protein, chicken will substitute just fine.
Fats - We use two fats in this dish, olive oil to cook the main ingredients and lovely creamy butter to create that silky lemon garlic butter sauce.
Pangrattato - You’ll need a little olive oil, panko breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper to create the golden crowning crumbs that adorn the top of this insanely tasty dish.
We're obviously biased as we think this creamy buttery lemon garlic shrimp pasta dish is perfect as is! But, if you feel like changing it up a bit, here are some recommendations:
Change up the veg! - We recommend using asparagus, shelled broad beans, edamame (soya) beans, tenderstem broccoli, spinach or kale. Basically any green veg you fancy! Stick to the quantities listed as it makes a nicely balanced dish.
Change up the protein - Shrimp is brilliant in this dish, but you could also use other lean proteins such as chicken breast, squid or even other shellfish such as clams. If you are vegan, try out some tofu or chickpeas.
How to make lemon garlic shrimp pasta
This recipe is so simple to put together, simply follow this step by step guide to help you:
Making the pangrattato
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over a medium heat, then toss in the panko breadcrumbs until fully coated. Continue to cook for 3-5 minutes until they turn golden brown, stirring often otherwise they will burn.
- Take the pan off the heat and add the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Stir the aromatics throughout the crumbs and pour into a bowl and set aside.
Making the sauce
- Heat a medium skillet over a medium heat, add the olive oil and shallots and saute for 2-4 minutes until softened. Next, add the garlic slices and saute for another minute.
- Add the shrimp to the pan and saute until they are pink and cooked through (at this stage make sure to add your chilli flakes), about 2-4 minutes.
- Add the frozen peas to the skillet and stir around.
- Add the butter, stir until melted. Then add the lemon juice and zest along with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Stir together and that is the basis of the sauce.
- To put the final dish together, drain the pasta and beans (make sure to reserve some pasta water). Toss the pasta and beans throughout the sauce and add some of the pasta water to make it glossy and saucy. Serve immediately topped with the pangrattato.
Preparation - the best tip for speed is to make sure your pan of salted boiling water is on the stove first, prepare the ingredients for the sauce and start by quickly toasting your lemon breadcrumbs.
Pasta water - reserve some pasta water, this starchy addition aids in creating a glossy emulsified creamy buttery sauce. It also helps rehydrate the pasta as it absorbs so much after draining.
Beans - add your halved beans into the pan of pasta water half way through the cooking time, saving you both time and a pan to wash. Our pasta took 9 minutes and we cooked the beans for the last 4 minutes in the same water.
Crumb - the lemon breadcrumbs can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an air tight container for up to a week.
Shrimp size - We recommend large tail on shrimp, size 31-40, but you can use whatever you like.
Cooking shrimp - avoid cooking the shrimp for too long, you want them pink but still juicy, the cooking time will depend on the size of your shrimp.
What to serve with it
Unsure what to have with your lemon shrimp garlic pasta? Here are some suggestions:
Green salad - a lovely fresh green salad is a great partner to this dish, adding another portion of veggies.
Garlic bread - want to go mega on the garlic? We love garlic, so why not serve with crusty garlic bread to get your garlic fix! You may need a breath mint after but what's that between friends, ey?
Refreshing drink - enjoy served with a glass of sparkling wine or your favourite non alcoholic drink for a lunch.
How to store the pasta?
This lemon garlic shrimp pasta will last in the fridge in an air tight container for 2-3 days. We recommend reheating in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on full power to help loosen the pasta up again.
A few things I love to use on top of this lemon garlic shrimp pasta: Parmesan cheese, parmigiano reggiano is the best to get and make sure to grate it yourself! You can also use pecorino for a deliciously creamy and salty addition. I would highly recommend using the pangrattato crispy breadcrumbs (follow instructions in the recipe card) to top any lovely pasta dish. You can also add different herbs and spices into them depending on the dish being prepared.
Dried pasta - Firstly make sure you have a pan of boiling salted water on the go (use 1 litre/1 quart of water per 100g pasta) and plenty of salt (think of it as being as salty as sea water). This salt is important as it seasons the pasta whilst cooking and also the sauce when you use the water to loosen the sauce in finishing the dish! Always make sure to reserve some of the cooking water.
Length of cooking time depends on the brand and shape used; this can take anything between 8 to 14 minutes. I suggest following the packet instructions BUT recommend starting with the shortest listed time and then tasting it; if it's ready it will have a slight bite still but not be completely chalky. If it needs to be cooked longer, do it in increments of 1 minute and keep tasting to test it. The finished pasta will still be absorbing water and cooking in the final prep of the dish. If it’s very limp and mushy you have over cooked it.
Fresh egg pasta - Follow the boiling water step above for dried pasta. If you make your own pasta or buy it fresh, it will literally take a maximum of 2-3 minutes, once placed in the boiling water. It will be glossy and still have a little bite.
In this recipe the trick to this glossy, lemon garlic pasta sauce is butter and the addition of the reserved pasta cooking water. Start with about a tablespoon and increase as you see fit. You don’t want it watery, you want to loosen the sauce and just gloss over the pasta, if you leave the pasta sitting for a while it will just absorb the sauce and start to overcook the pasta which is why you want to serve it immediately.
Fancy some more pasta?
You may also want to peruse our Lunch Recipes for some other simple meal options. Or check out these other pasta dishes you'll absolutely love!
Love this recipe? Leave us a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe below and don't forget to leave a review in the comments section underneath the recipe. We love hearing from you!
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
For the pasta
- 150 g tagliatelle, 6 ounces
- 100 g fine green beans, cut in half, 4 ounces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large shallot, sliced into half moons
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 200 g raw king prawns, ½ lb, size 31-40
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 125 g frozen peas, 1 cup
- 40 g butter, 3 tablespoons
- ½ lemon, zest and juice
- ¼ cup reserved pasta water
For the pangrattato
- Heat a small skillet over a medium heat, when the pan is hot, add the olive oil and panko bread crumbs and toss together with spoon.1 teaspoon olive oil, ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- Stirring regularly cook the panko bread crumbs until golden brown. Don't leave unattended as they will burn quickly
- Add the lemon zest, salt and pepper½ lemon zest, ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt, ⅙ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Stir together and set aside until cool for later
For the pasta dish
- Boil the tagliatelle according to package instructions (mine took 9-10 minutes), add the halved green beans for the last 4 minutes of cooking. When cooked, drain and reserve some pasta cooking water.150 g tagliatelle, 100 g fine green beans, cut in half
- Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over a medium heat, add olive oil and saute the shallot for 2-4 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the garlic slices and saute for another minute.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 large shallot, 2 cloves garlic
- Add the shrimp and chilli flakes and cook for 3-5 minutes until pink and cooked through.200 g raw king prawns, ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- Add the frozen peas, a pinch of salt and pepper and stir throughout the shrimp mix.125 g frozen peas, ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt, ⅙ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Adjust the heat to low and add the butter, lemon zest and juice.40 g butter, ½ lemon
- Stir together over a low heat until melted and combined.
- Toss in the cooked pasta, beans and add the reserved pasta water one tablespoon at a time to loosen the sauce and make it glossy. Serve immediately with the pangrattato on top.150 g tagliatelle, 100 g fine green beans, cut in half, ¼ cup reserved pasta water
- For speed, get your pan of salted water on the stove straight away then prepare everything else.
- Reserve some pasta water before draining to use to make your sauce creamy and glossy at the end.
- Cook the beans in the same water as the pasta, throw them in half way through the pasta cooking time.
- Lemon breadcrumbs can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an air tight container for up to a week.
- Use size 31-40 shrimp. Frozen shrimp work just fine, defrost before use.