Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta – Creme De La Crumb

Total Time: 30 minutes

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This Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta is a pasta dream come true! Featuring a decadent, creamy, lemony sauce along with perfectly cooked shrimp, this is the perfect weeknight dinner for a filling and delicious meal.

More easy dinners like this are waiting for you! Try my Tuscan Sausage Pasta, Easy Cheese Tortellini Pasta, Shrimp Scampi with Pasta, and Cajun Shrimp Alfredo Pasta.

bowl of creamy garlic shrimp pasta with fork and lemon wedge

Why This Recipe Works

Easy to Make: You can whip up this creamy garlic shrimp pasta in just 30 minutes! And creating this masterpiece of a meal takes very little prep work. Just boil your pasta, sauté your shrimp, and make the sauce and you’ll have the perfect easy weeknight meal.

So Flavorful: The creamy sauce in this shrimp pasta is balanced by the lemon zest, lemon juice and red pepper flakes. So you end up with a creamy, dreamy texture filled with a bit of tang and spice, which makes it so delicious! The garlic goes amazing with the shrimp and the pasta is the perfect vehicle to eat the sauce. If your bowl has extra sauce at the end, soak it up with some crusty bread!

Picky-Eater Friendly: I know that some picky eaters don’t like shrimp, and if they don’t want to have the shrimp in this pasta, they will still love the rest of it. But most people are going to absolutely love this garlic shrimp pasta and eat every bite!


My creamy garlic shrimp pasta uses whole ingredients for maximum flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:

ingredients for creamy garlic shrimp pasta recipe
  • Noodles: You can choose the noodles of your choice for this pasta recipe. I think that Penne and Fettuccine work really well.
  • Shrimp: You’ll want raw shrimp that has been deveined with the tails removed. This makes the recipe much easier with little prep.
  • Onion & Garlic: Onion and garlic come together to create so much flavor! Freshly minced garlic works best for maximum flavor.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: I like to add some crushed red pepper flakes to add a bit of spice to this creamy sauce. If you don’t like spice, then feel free to skip!
  • Lemon: You’ll want to zest the lemon and also add some juice to taste. The lemon zest is what really carries the most lemon flavor, so it goes really nicely with the sauce.
  • Splash of White Wine: A splash of white wine adds a bit more acid and depth of flavor. Feel free to omit this if you prefer.
  • Broth: Use low sodium chicken or vegetable broth for the best flavor. Then, you can add salt to taste!
  • Light Cream Cheese & Half & Half: For the creamy sauce, I used a mixture of light cream cheese and half & half. You can use heavy cream in place of the half & half for a bit of a heavier sauce, but I don’t recommend using regular cream cheese instead of light cream cheese because it will make the sauce too heavy.

Here’s How to Make It

Step by Step Instructions

first steps of preparing garlic shrimp pasta
final four steps of preparing garlic shrimp pasta
  1. Cook the noodles in salted water according to the package instructions. (unpictured)
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan or skillet over medium high heat. Once the butter is frothy, sauté the shrimp for 3-4 minutes until they turn pink. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and set aside. (photo 1)
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions. Fry for 6-8 minutes until soft and starting to color. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and lemon zest, and cook until the garlic is cooked and aromatic. (photos 2-3)
  4. Add the chicken broth, and stir in the cream cheese. Keep stirring until it has melted into the sauce. Stir in the half and half, and season the sauce to taste with salt and cracked black pepper. Allow to simmer until it has thickened. (photos 4-6)
  5. Drain the pasta, setting aside a little of the cooking water. Stir the pasta into the sauce and continue to cook until the sauce has coated the pasta to the desired thickness. Add a little of the pasta cooking water if you want a thinner, glossier sauce. (photos 7-8)
  6. Return the shrimp and their resting juices to the pan until just warmed through. Season the sauce with lemon juice to taste, and serve with chopped parsley, if desired. (photos 9-10)
lemon garlic shrimp pasta up close

Expert Tips

  • Cook the pasta until al dente. That way, the pasta can cook a little bit more in the sauce and doesn’t overcook!
  • Don’t forget to reserve some pasta cooking water. The pasta water has starch and flavor that is great for the sauce. It is best to thin out the sauce with some pasta cooking water instead of regular water.
  • Top the creamy garlic shrimp pasta with chopped parsley and some grated parmesan! You can serve this pasta alongside a simple salad and some crusty bread!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen shrimp?

Absolutely! It is totally fine to buy frozen shrimp, as long as they are raw. You can cook them straight from frozen, but keep in mind they will release more moisture this way. Shrimp can be thawed in a bowl of cold water for about 20 minutes if you want them thawed.

How do I know my shrimp is done?

Luckily, shrimp cooks fairly quickly. As long as both sides are pink and you don’t see any translucent parts in the middle, then the shrimp is cooked. Overcooked shrimp can be tough, so try not to over do it!

wooden tongs twirling fettuccine pasta

More Recipes You’ll Love

lemon garlic shrimp pasta up close

Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta

This Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta is a pasta dream come true! Featuring a decadent, creamy, lemony sauce along with perfectly cooked shrimp, this is the perfect weeknight dinner for a filling and delicious meal.