Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti

5 from 53 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 53 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Calories 446
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins


  • 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. 
Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.


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

Share this recipe

Share it with the world! Mention @feelgoodfoodie or tag #feelgoodfoodie!

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

Rate and comment

Recipe Rating


  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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.