Garlicky Lemon Shrimp Pasta — Buttery noodles with juicy plump shrimp, flavored with lemon and garlic!! A family-friendly dinner recipe that’s ready in 15 minutes and it’s so EASY!!
Easy Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp
The angel hair pasta is perfectly al dente and wonderfully buttery. Angel hair is great to accompany this lemon garlic shrimp because it cooks so quickly and so do shrimp.
The shrimp are juicy, plump, and have so much flavor from the garlic. Make sure you don’t overcook them so they’re not rubbery or tough. Even large shrimp only take a couple minutes to cook through.
The lemon adds a wonderful brightness to the dish and is a perfect complement to shrimp. And anything tossed in butter automatically tastes great.
This lemon garlic shrimp pasta is slightly garlicky, incredibly easy to make, and is a family favorite! This is the perfect weeknight meal because it looks incredibly fancy, but it actually takes about 15 minutes to make. Win!
Ingredients for Lemon Shrimp Pasta
This simple shrimp and angel hair pasta calls for just seven basic ingredients. I have them on hand most of the time, and you likely do as well!
To make this garlic lemon pasta with shrimp, you’ll need:
- Angel hair pasta
- Unsalted butter
- Garlic powder
- Large shrimp
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon juice
- Lemon zest
What Size Shrimp Should I Use?
You can use any size raw shrimp you’d like for this recipe. I prefer 12-15 count shrimp, but use whatever you have on hand or is easy to find in the seafood case at your grocery store.
Can I Use Frozen Shrimp?
Most likely, yes. However, I recommend using fresh shrimp in this lemon garlic shrimp pasta. The shrimp are the main event in this dish, so it’s important that you buy the best quality you can get your hands on.
How to Make Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
This is such an easy, 15-minute recipe for lemon shrimp pasta! Here’s a look at how the recipe comes together:
- Cook the angel hair pasta according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet and cook the shrimp until done. Be sure to season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder at this stage.
- Add the lemon juice and zest, then add the cooked pasta to the skillet.
- Toss to coat in the lemon butter sauce.
What Skillet Should I Use?
I recommend a pretty large skillet with high sides for this recipe, because between the shrimp and the pasta you need something fairly large so everything can get tossed in all that delicious lemon butter.
Shopping for cookware is an investment and you want to make sure you do your research so you select the items most useful to you with your cooking style and needs in mind.
I have three favorite skillets for recipes like this that are heavy-bottomed, heavy-duty, and can go from stovetop to oven:
- LeCreuest 2.25 Quart Braising Pan.The lid isn’t necessary for this recipe but will come in handy for something like my Pasta with Vodka Sauce recipe.
- All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel 3-Quart Pan. There are hundreds of chicken dinners you will see photographed in this pan on my site. Here is also the Amazon link for the same All-Clad 3-Quart Pan.
- All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Essential Pan, 4-Quart. This is the exact pan I used for this Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta recipe and is another one that is a workhorse Another favorite recipe to make in this pan is Chicken Pad Thai because it holds a ton!
What to Serve with Lemon Shrimp Pasta
This bright and lemony shrimp angel hair pasta pairs well with roasted vegetables, a simple side salad, and the like.
If you need some side dish ideas to get you started, here are some of my favorites to pair with lemon shrimp pasta:
- Cheesy Roasted Asparagus
- Rainbow Roasted Vegetables
- Parmesan Balsamic Roasted Broccoli
- Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- Kale Strawberry Avocado Salad
- Spinach Apple Salad
Recipe Substitutions to Try
One of the reasons I love this recipe for garlic lemon pasta with shrimp is that it’s quick, easy, and flexible!
Here are some ingredient swaps you can make, if needed:
- Pasta: Angel hair pasta cooks in a flash, but spaghetti or another long, skinny pasta will work too.
- Garlic: I used garlic powder, but use freshly minced garlic if preferred.
- Lemon juice: I bet some or all of the lemon juice could be replaced with white wine to make a white wine sauce.
- Butter: If all you have is salted butter, scale back the amount of salt called for in the recipe.
- Shrimp: Use diced chicken breasts or another type of fish if desired.
Tips for Making Lemon Shrimp Pasta
Garlic: To save chopping time, and because I don’t like biting into little pieces of garlic no matter how small I mince it, I used garlic powder. Feel free to chop a clove or two of garlic and sauté it with the butter if you prefer garlic cloves.
Shrimp: Be sure to use raw shrimp in this recipe and not a pre-cooked variety. I worry that if you use pre-cooked shrimp, you’ll wind up overcooking them and making them rubbery.
Protein swap: I bet you could easily swap in diced chicken if you don’t have any shrimp on hand. Just note that chicken may need to cook a little longer than shrimp.
Pin This Recipe
- 8 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions (half of a 1-pound box)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and cleaned with tails off (I prefer 12-15 count shrimp)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
To a large skillet, add the butter and heat over medium-high heat to melt.
- Stir in the garlic powder.
- Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes total, or until just pink and cooked through. Flip shrimp halfway through cooking. Cooking time will vary based on size of shrimp and pan used; don’t overcook or shrimp will become rubbery and tough.
- Add the lemon juice, optional lemon zest, and stir briefly to combine.
- Turn the heat to low, add the pasta to skillet with the shrimp, and toss to combine and coat.
- Taste, check for seasoning balance, and make any desired tweaks (add more salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon juice, etc.).
- Serve immediately.
- Dish is best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat gently prior to serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 300mgSodium: 1348mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 29g
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