Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti

5 from 1648 votes

This Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti is an easy and quick dish for the weekday menu that comes to together in 15 minutes with buttery garlic taste!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti is an easy and quick pasta dish for the weekday menu. Savory, succulent shrimp sizzling in a garlic butter sauce paired with light and airy spaghetti. It’s a family favorite that I can usually whip up in 15 minutes.

Large skillet of garlic butter shrimp pasta with serving spoon and fork in skillet


How to make garlic shrimp spaghetti

  1. Cook the shrimp with salt and red pepper flakes in butter until cooked through.
  2. Flip the shrimp to the other side to finish cooking, then remove the shrimp and set aside.
  3. Cook the remaining garlic and butter in the same skillet, along with the lemon juice, pasta water (reserved from cooking the pasta) and parmesan cheese. Use a whisk to combine the sauce and scrape up any bits from the shrimp.
  4. Add in the cooked spaghetti on top of the sauce.
  5. Toss to combine until the sauce coats the spaghetti well.
  6. Return the shrimp to the skillet, and garnish with parsley before serving.
Collage of 6 images showing step by step how to make the recipe in one skillet

Tips for making the recipe

  1. Cook the pasta al-dente. That’s because you’ll be tossing it with the sauce and shrimp for a couple minutes after it’s done cooking and you want to make sure it doesn’t get too soggy.
  2. Thaw and dry frozen shrimp before cooking. I prefer to buy frozen shrimp, so after I thaw it, I always make sure to dab it dry so the excess moisture doesn’t affect searing the shrimp properly.
  3. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp. They only require a few minutes of cooking and if you over cook them they will get chewy. Cook until they are opaque pink in color.
  4. Use milk instead of pasta water for a more creamy texture. I prefer keeping it light with the lemon juice and pasta water because the garlic and butter give it great flavor. But milk is a great option as well!

Frequently asked questions

What kind of pasta can you use in this dish?

I like making this dish with long pasta such as spaghetti or linguini, but you can use whatever you have to hand. Penne and shells would both work well. Use a whole grain pasta for extra fiber and to lower the calorie content.

What do you serve with shrimp pasta?

A healthy portion of this pasta dish is a great meal by itself, but I like to serve a smaller portion alongside a fresh caesar salad. If you’d like, try my olive oil garlic bread with it too!

How long does shrimp pasta last?

This pasta is best served straight out of the pan. If you have any leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge to enjoy the next day.

Garlic butter shrimp pasta served in a bowl with parsley and parmesan cheese

This garlic shrimp with spaghetti is such a great recipe for a quick and easy weeknight meal. It’s family friendly and packed full of flavor!

More pasta recipes:

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Garlic Shrimp Pasta recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti

This Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti is an easy and quick dish for the weekday menu that comes to together in 15 minutes with buttery garlic taste!
5 from 1648 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 446
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes



  • 8 ounces spaghetti or pasta of choice
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 pound large shrimp peeled deveined
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to package instructions; drain well and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt two tablespoons butter. Add shrimp, salt and crushed red pepper, and cook stirring occasionally, until shrimp is opaque pink, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the remaining butter and garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add the lemon juice, pasta water and parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Transfer the spaghetti to the skillet and toss with the sauce.
  • Add the shrimp on top and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3 days in the fridge.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • To make it gluten-free, you can use any gluten-free pasta of your choice.
  • To make the sauce more creamy, you can add some milk instead of some of the water. 


Calories: 446kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 318mg, Sodium: 1195mg, Potassium: 229mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 453IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 230mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Main Course

Rate and comment

Recipe Rating


  1. Very easy and adaptable.
    I used milk and pasta water, Argentina red shrimp and mushrooms, my 20+ age boys loved it

  2. I made this recipe last night for dinner. My husband said write this recipe down. He loved it! This one’s a keeper.

  3. I have to cook meals in advance. Would it be terrible to cook this and have it served later in the evening due to kid’s sports schedules, we can’t always eat when food is made and have to reheat more often than not . Thanks so much.

    1. I would just store the shrimp separately from the pasta so you can reheat without worrying about overcooking the shrimp.

  4. Love ❤️ this recipe , since I found it eat at least 😋 once a week. Every one likes it and very easy to make.

  5. I’m making this tonight for 24 people (6 #s of shrimp) do you have any suggestions for cooking such a large quantity? Thank you!

  6. Boyfriend just made this and hands down the best pasta ever. It’s buttery and salty with a bit of spice. Definitely a dish you would want to share with friends, family and coworkers!

  7. This was so easy & tasted so great. I also heated up a can of Italian spaghetti sauce & added some over the shrimp & spaghetti. It was soo good and tasted better than some I have had in restaurants. So glad I hit your post. It was a great meal thank you❤️

  8. Modified this to be vegan and gluten free due to food allergies- Myokos Vegan Butter, vegan parm cheese and gluten free pasta- added some spinach too. Soooo delicious! Definitely went for seconds!

  9. Hi
    I don’t have fresh Parmesan… or pepper flakes.
    How much dried Parmesan should I use or should I just sprinkle some on top?
    Also, I was looking to use up some left over tomato sauce. How can I do this please?

  10. Quick and flavourful…a great weekday go to that comes together in 20 minutes using on hand ingredients! I’ll be keeping this one in my collection.

  11. Yummy! Love how quick and easy it was. I eyeballed this ingredients and used pre-grated cheese, and my whole family loved it. Thank you for sharing this!

  12. Made this for supper tonight. We loved it. Wasn’t too watery as in one of the comments and cheese didn’t clump. Will definitely make again.

    1. So glad you liked it! Thanks for the update on the consistency. The type of cheese used makes all the difference, I think!

  13. We loved this. Lots of flavour and so simple – always have pasta, shrimp and garlic in my house :). I did throw in some zucchini with the shrimp which added more colour than flavour. Would totally make this a staple meal in my house!

    1. Zucchini is always a great add, even if it doesn’t pack a flavor punch, it adds some nutrients! So glad you liked it!

    1. I second this. I added extra lemon and still could not get any flavor. 1 cup of pasta water was wayyy too much, and my parm cheese got weirdly clumpy when I added it into the warm pasta and lemon water.

      1. Oh no! Depending on the type of parm cheese you used (shredded vs. block), it could have been coated with cellulose powder which is supposed to prevent the cheese from sticking together, but it really just makes it ball up in one big lump when heated.

  14. I’m a terrible cook. This was quick, easy and delicious! I used frozen shrimp, thawed them in cold water first and just heated them in the sauce. I’ll be making this again!!

    1. Hi Linda, I haven’t used pre-cooked shrimp for this recipe before, but I don’t see why you couldn’t! Just heat in the sauce until warm. It might be a little more watery than intended due to the shrimp being frozen and not being able to cook off as much excess water, without overcooking the shrimp – but it should still be good! Don’t forget to come back and let me know how it turns out!

  15. I made this last night for my mom and dad, it was delish. They loved it too! I added roasted broccoli on the side. Will definitely be making again!

  16. Very good recipe… I added extra garlic along with extra pasta water. I also add fresh spinach. Delicious & super easy to make.

  17. One of the easiest and most delicious meals I have ever made from the internet. And I have made hundreds haha. Will definitely be a new regular.

  18. My bride and I had this tonight. What an excellent meal this was. Followed the recipe – almost. Spaghettini, pasta water, no cheese – otherwise, the same. What a fantastic meal. Wanted to add my new fave salad (slice of iceberg lettuce, crumbled blue cheese, ranch dressing, tomato slice, but no time). Big hit. Quick, easy, tasty. Instantly added to our current rotation of meals.


  19. Yum! Thank you for this delicious meal enjoyed by my whole family. As a working mom, I typically stay away from recipes because they take too long but this was so fast and easy. Will be following you now!

  20. My kids loved this! I whipped it up after a long softball practice and the best part I had all the ingredients! Easy, simple and delicious.

  21. Thank you for this recipe. Made this for my husband and 3 teenagers and they all loved it!! Will definitely be part of my rotation

  22. Great recipe. We loved it. Made it with milk instead of lemon juice (because we didn’t have lemons). Must be great with lemon juice too.

    1. Thank you for your feedback! I’m sorry to hear that. I wouldn’t add all of the pasta water at once. I’d add about a 1/2 cup and continue to add as needed!

    2. I agree, we the pasta water part is kind of vague. You should definitely try again with just adding a bit at a time to help bring everything together and keep the pan from burning… I’m going to try this recipe on Sunday.

      1. Try as I might, I could not find spaghetti sauce. I just cooked the shrimp with some spaghetti sauce… skipped the pasta water.
        Great dish!!

  23. Thank you so much for this simple and non stressful dish Yumna! It really does taste like a restaurant style dish my 4 and 2 year old just loved it! There were no left overs as my husband had 2nd, 3rd’s and 4th’s. Definitely one for the books. Also I substituted the parm for pecorino. Absolutely delicious. Happy mama here.

      1. I love this recipe!! I always make this with brussel spouts, pre steamed before adding to final toss of all ingredients! So delicious! Thank you very much for this quick and easy recipe!

  24. Amazing recipe. Period.

    While I’m here… I absolutely love your search feature. Intuitive and easy. You’re my go-to recipe site. You’re also completely adorable.

  25. In making this dish again , I would season this shrimp more and cook it with garlic italian seasoning, oregano. Otherwise shrimp can come out bland. Also I would double the garlic butter lemon parm sauce to coat the shrimp or put the shrimp first rather than pasta.

      1. Thanks for the tips Sef A.
        It doesn’t sound like it’s savoury enough but I’m going to be making it soon.
        Besides, you can never have enough garlic lol.

  26. Great recipe. A favourite go to dish that quick and super-delicious. I add a generous handful of spinach to top off the dish.

  27. Delicious, used whole wheat noodles and milk in place of pasta water. Alreaded shredded parm cheese caused a bit of clumping but still very good.

  28. Absolutely fabulous! It was as good or better than eating in a fine dining establishment. I followed your directions to a tee but when I topped it with the shrimp I added steamed broccoli as well. Mmm mmm good!

    1. For sure! After you thaw it, make sure to dab it dry, so the excess moisture doesn’t affect searing the shrimp properly.

    1. The parmesan cheese is used to help make the sauce and the pre-grated ones just don’t blend the same. You can use it, but the taste of the sauce won’t be as well blended. Hope that helps 🙂

  29. Hey I tried making this today. But for some reason when I added the Parmesan to the pasta water mixture, I didn’t get a sauce consistency. The cheese sort of just ended up in a clump. Do you know why that would’ve happened?

    1. Did you use pre-grated cheese? I recommend shredded cheese and shredding it yourself if possible. Some of the grated cheese have caking agents in them that can create lumps in the sauce.

    1. You can add more vegan butter to make it more creamy before serving and maybe sprinkle some nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor.