Delicious and easy-to-make shrimp tomato pasta is a go-to recipe for seafood lovers seeking a flavorful meal. The best part is that the dish comes together quickly without fancy ingredients or complex techniques.
Imagine juicy shrimp and those tiny, pop-in-your-mouth cherry tomatoes coming together in strands of spaghetti. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to whip up this flavorful dish. Pair it with warm yeast rolls for an easy and comforting weeknight dinner.
Reasons to Love
- Shrimp adds a tasty protein. With each bite, you'll savor the tender and juicy texture of the shrimp, which perfectly complements the other ingredients.
- The tangy sweetness of tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes add a burst of freshness and acidity to balance out the savory flavors.
- Simple and convenient. You don't need a long grocery list or complicated techniques to create a delicious meal quickly.
The recipe blends everyday ingredients to create a delectable combination of flavors and textures.
Here are the items you'll need to make our shrimp pasta recipe:
- cherry tomatoes
- dry pasta (we like to use spaghetti or angel hair pasta)
- unsalted butter
- fresh basil
- salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
You can also add red pepper flakes for a spicy flavor and lemon wedges for garnish. Scroll down to the recipe card for quantities used.
Preparing this shrimp tomato pasta is a breeze, thanks to its minimal ingredient list and straightforward instructions. Start by seasoning the shrimp and then follow these easy steps to make the dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta in it until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water. Drain cooked spaghetti. Set aside.
Add the shrimp to a heated skillet with olive oil and shallow fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and continue to fry shrimp for 1 minute or until the color changes to pink or orange. Do not overcrowd.
Drain shrimp on a plate lined with an absorbent paper towel.
Keep olive oil in the pan and melt the butter in it. Sauté onions and then the garlic over medium heat. Avoid burning the garlic.
Add cherry tomatoes and sprinkle ground black pepper. Simmer undisturbed for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add fresh basil and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle in salt to taste. Sauté for another minute. Add shrimp.
Pour in a bit of pasta water and add the al dente spaghetti. Gently toss until shrimp and pasta are warm, for about 1 minute. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese. Give another gentle toss.
Hint: Garnish with lemon wedges, fresh basil (or parsley), and sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese before serving.
You can easily customize the dish to change it up. Here are a few ideas you can try:
- Creamy - Add a touch of cream or half-and-half to the pan after cooking the shrimp and tomatoes. Simmer briefly to create a creamy sauce.
- Zesty - Add lemon zest and capers to the pan for a zesty twist. The bright citrus and briny capers complement the shrimp and tomatoes beautifully.
- Greens - Incorporate fresh greens like baby spinach or arugula. They'll wilt quickly when combined with the hot pasta and other ingredients.
- Veggies - Feel free to add more veggies like bell peppers, asparagus, or zucchini to make your dish even more colorful and nutritious.
- Mushrooms - Sautéed mushrooms add an earthy dimension to your dish. Choose your favorite variety.
- Balsamic Glaze - Drizzle a balsamic glaze over the finished dish for a sweet and tangy contrast. It pairs wonderfully with the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes.
- Asian - Add soy sauce and Asian flavors like ginger or teriyaki. You can even turn it into a shrimp pad Thai.
Check out our shrimp macaroni salad for a similar dish that is served cold.
Top tip: Always cook your pasta al dente which means to the tooth in Italian. This refers to pasta that is cooked until it is firm but still offers a slight resistance when you bite into it. Overcooked pasta can become mushy and lose its texture, so keep a close eye on the cooking time and test for doneness regularly.
- High Heat for Shrimp. Shrimp cook quickly, so use high heat in your skillet. This ensures they get a nice sear on the outside while staying tender on the inside. Cook them for just 1-2 minutes per side until they turn pink and opaque. Remove them from the pan promptly to prevent overcooking.
- Don't Crowd the Pan. Overcrowding the pan can lead to steaming instead of searing. Cook the shrimp in batches if needed, so they have plenty of room to cook evenly.
- Deglaze the pan. For an extra layer of flavor, you can deglaze the skillet with a splash of white wine after cooking the tomatoes. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan for added depth.
- Mix it all together. Toss your cooked spaghetti noodles directly into the pan with the shrimp and tomatoes. This allows the pasta to soak up all the delicious flavors from the cooking juices. Drizzle with a bit of extra olive oil or a squeeze of lemon juice for brightness.
- Season to taste. Don't forget to season your dish with salt and pepper throughout the cooking process. Taste and adjust as needed before serving.
Serve a generous portion of the shrimp and tomato pasta on individual plates. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Once the pasta has cooled down, transfer it to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. It can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When ready to eat, simply reheat in a pan or microwave until heated.
Love pasta? Here are a few more easy small-batch recipes to try:
- Seafood pasta salad is a delicious dish to pack for lunch.
- Steak Alfredo is perfect for a quick weeknight meal.
- Air fried pasta chips are a crunchy alternative to potato chips.
- Buffalo chicken pasta bake an ideal comfort food option.
- Salmon Alfredo pasta satisfies a pasta and seafood craving quickly.
Shrimp Tomato Pasta
- ½ pound large shrimp (shelled, deveined, tails intact)
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 4 ounces dry pasta we used spaghetti
- 1 small finely chopped onion about ¼ cup
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil finely shredded
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- kosher salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ tablespoon fresh basil finely shredded
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 small lemon cut into wedges
- Season shrimp with salt and ground black pepper. Set aside.
- Cook dry spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water. Drain cooked spaghetti. Set aside.
- In a heated skillet with olive oil, shallow fry shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and continue to fry shrimp for 1 minute or until the color changes to pink or orange. Do not overcrowd. Drain shrimp in paper-lined towel.
- In the same skillet, retain 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Melt butter.
- Sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Avoid burning the garlic.
- Add cherry tomatoes and sprinkle ground black pepper. Simmer undisturbed for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add fresh basil and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle salt and ground black pepper, according to taste. Sauté for another minute.
- Add shrimp, a bit of pasta water, and al dente spaghetti. Gently toss until shrimp and pasta are warm, for about 1 minute.
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese. Give another gentle toss.
- Garnish with lemon wedges, fresh basil, and sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese.