Buttery garlic shrimp combines with silky pappardelle pasta to make this creamy Shrimp Pappardelle! This 30 minute recipe is easy enough for a weeknight meal, but elegant enough for a date night in.
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Easy, Creamy Shrimp Pappardelle
There are not many things in this life better than butter, garlic, and shrimp, but tossing said shrimp with a creamy, lemony pasta might be one of them.
Think of this Shrimp Pappardelle recipe as a joyful fusion of two of our all time favorite meals: Shrimp Scampi and Fettuccine Alfredo.
The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity. While the pasta water comes to a boil, the shrimp is sauteed quickly in butter and garlic. The smell of this will make you weak in the knees. Try to push through.
The cream sauce comes together in the same pan as the shrimp. By the time the noodles are done, everything is ready to be tossed together in a mouthwatering pile of shrimp, garlic, butter, cream, and fresh basil.
This dish is rich and luxurious without feeling overly heavy. We love that the sauce is made in one pot and that the whole thing comes together in under 30 minutes.
- Pappardelle pasta– Pappardelle is a long, wide noodle similar to fettuccine, but usually slightly thinner and broader. You can find it fresh or dried, but we usually use dried. We’re partial to the slippery, silky texture of pappardelle in this recipe, but you could substitute fettuccine, tagliatelle, or linguine if you have them on hand.
- Butter– Salted or unsalted works fine here. I’ve used both!
- Shrimp– I prefer to get raw shrimp that’s already been peeled and deveined. Frozen shrimp works well, just defrost it in the fridge overnight.
- Garlic– We like lots of garlic in our shrimp pasta! Use a garlic press to avoid having to peel and mince the cloves yourself.
- Red pepper flakes– We love a little heat, so a pinch or two is just right for us, but feel free to add a little more or omit it completely if you prefer.
- Heavy cream– I do not recommend subbing in half and half for this recipe. It won’t thicken quite like heavy cream, and is more likely to curdle with the lemon juice.
- Lemons– You’ll have to play this part a little bit by feel. I like the pasta pretty lemon-y, so I usually add the juice of 1 1/2 medium lemons. I recommend starting with the juice of 1 lemon and then adding a squeeze more at the end if you need a little more brightness.
- Basil– I’m never going to say no to fresh basil, but if you don’t have any on hand, the pasta is still quite delicious without it.
How to Make Shrimp Pappardelle
Step 1: Boil the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once you get to step four, add the noodles to the water and cook according to package directions. Drain.
Step 2: Saute the shrimp. While the pasta water is coming to a boil, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Saute about 2 minutes on 1 side, then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes.
Step 3: Add seasonings. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for one more minute, stirring with the shrimp. Pour the lemon juice into the pan, scraping up any browned bits.
Step 4: Simmer cream. Slowly add the cream, stirring everything together. Bring to a simmer and maintain a gentle simmer over medium low heat for about 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cream is reduced by about 1/4.
Step 5: Toss together. Toss the pasta with the cream, stirring to coat. Add the basil and stir, then serve immediately.
Tips for Success
- Salt your pasta water– I have preached this at least a dozen times, on every pasta recipe from Creamy Mac and Cheese to Italian Bowtie Pasta Salad. Whether it’s fancy or simple, hot or cold, whenever you’re making pasta, add about a Tablespoon of Kosher salt to the water per pound of pasta. It gives your pasta great flavor to build on!
- Timing is everything. Start the water to boil first thing, but don’t add the pasta until you add the cream. This allows the pasta to come out exactly when the cream sauce is thickened, and your whole meal will be done in less than 30 minutes!
- Keep an eye on the cream. Dairy products can quickly go from a low simmer to a full, running over boil. As soon as the cream reaches a low boil, turn down the heat to avoid a mess.
- Taste and adjust. You can control the flavor of this based on your tastes. Feel free to add a little extra salt or extra squeeze of lemon at the end. We like to add quite a bit of fresh ground black pepper. You can also increase or omit the red pepper depending on your preference.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Shrimp Pappardelle leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll keep for about 5 days.
To reheat, place the pasta in a bowl with a small splash of milk or cream. Because pasta absorbs sauce as it sits, it’s helpful to add a little extra liquid before reheating. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, until hot.
More Pasta Night Recipes
There’s nothing like a cozy night in with a big bowl of pasta! Try these other favorite pasta recipes next time you’ve got a craving.
- Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Fettuccine
- Pasta and Peas
- Crock Pot Ground Beef Spaghetti Sauce
- Creamy Mushroom and Leek Pasta
- The Best Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs
- Easy Pasta with Evaporated Milk
- 8 ounces pappardelle pasta
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 lb. (30-35) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Fat pinch red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
- Juice of 1 large lemon, or more, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 10 basil leaves, chiffonade
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once you get to step four, add the noodles to the water and cook according to package directions. Drain.
- While the pasta water is coming to a boil, melt the butter in a deep saute pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Saute about 2 minutes on 1 side, then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for one more minute, stirring with the shrimp.
- Pour the lemon juice into the pan, scraping up any browned bits.
- Slowly add the cream, stirring everything together. Bring to a simmer and maintain a gentle simmer over medium low heat for about 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cream is reduced by about 1/4. Taste, and season as desired with extra salt, ground black pepper, or an additional squeeze of lemon.
- Toss the pasta with the cream, stirring to coat. Add the basil and stir, then serve immediately.
Pasta water should be salted with about 1 Tablespoon of Kosher salt for every 4 quarts of water/1 lb of pasta.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. Reheat in the microwave with an extra splash of cream or milk.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 591Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 169mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 10g
Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.