Easy Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta Parmesan Recipe

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Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta features tender noodles and seafood in a mouthwatering, creamy sauce. Have this fabulous Italian shrimp pasta recipe on the table in just 20 minutes! This is one shrimp recipe that makes the perfect weeknight meal. 

titled collage for garlic shrimp pasta


One pot meals are a quick and easy way to get a flavorful meal on the table in no time. I love making them when my days are particularly hectic!

Not only is this recipe better than fast food, but having cooked pasta is perfect for date night and is a family favorite for eating together.

You can even make this dish for fine dining! 

This is a great recipe using fresh shrimp and a fun way to make busy weeknights seem way less stressful. 

ingredients to make garlic shrimp pasta

Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta

This creamy shrimp pasta recipe serves 4-6 people, so it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner, or double it for a potluck dish or to feed a larger crowd. 

Plus, everything cooks in the same pot, which means fewer dishes to clean afterwards!

I also have an incredible Cajun version of this recipe that features a ton of veggies smothered in a delectable spicy Parmesan sauce. 

When you’re in the mood for a restaurant copycat meal, try our easy to recreate Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi

We even have a Bacon Shrimp Pasta Salad that you are going to love!

adding linguine to pot of seasoned liquid

Italian Shrimp Pasta Recipe Tips

  • Salt your water. Don’t skip this simple step before boiling your noodles! It adds a lot of flavor to this dish.
  • Don’t overcook your shrimp! They don’t take long to cook through at all, so keep an eye on them. Once they are pink on both sides, they’re ready!
  • Tip for a rich, velvety sauce: Don’t skip out on the heavy cream, and use full fat dairy. This will create a beautifully creamy sauce.
  • Not a fan of shellfish? This easy garlic butter shrimp pasta would be just as tasty with chicken instead!
  • Crank up the heat. You can add red pepper flakes to your liking if you want an extra kick.

Serving Suggestions

You can never go wrong with a large bowl of salad! Such a staple dish that is incredibly easy to make.

Since this garlic butter shrimp pasta is so rich and filling on its own, you won’t need more than some garlic bread or steamed vegetables as your side.

Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta FAQ

Should I leave the tails on or remove them? 

This is completely up to you! Leaving them on will make for a beautiful presentation, but taking them off before serving will make it easier to devour.

However, cooking with the tails on does add a lot of extra flavor to the creamy shrimp pasta.

Is there a way to make the sauce thicker and creamier? 

Yes, simply adjust the amount of liquid. I originally started with less water and milk but found that it needed more as the noodles cooked.

You can start with 1 ½ cups of each liquid and adjust from there. Or, simply stir some extra cream in at the end, then let it simmer for a few more minutes.

Can I save leftover Italian shrimp pasta? 

Any leftovers of this creamy garlic shrimp pasta will keep for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.

Reheat on the stove over low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through. Add a splash of water or milk as needed for moisture.

What other ingredients can be added to this easy pasta recipe? 

While I think that this easy garlic shrimp pasta is perfect just like it is, that doesn’t mean that you can’t alter the recipe card a bit. The flavor of this lemon shrimp pasta goes really well with cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley, and topped with a ton of parmesan cheese. 

Can I use other seafood in this seafood pasta recipe? 

This easy shrimp pasta can easily be turned into crab pasta or tuna pasta! Instead of making this garlic shrimp pasta recipe, add the crab meat to the ingredients instead of the shrimp. 

Make this your own perfect recipe since it’s for your personal consumption. The best way to make this dish is to use seafood that you like, and the kind of pasta that you crave. You can use spaghetti noodles, angel hair pasta, or any other type of al dente pasta. 

This one pot garlic shrimp spaghetti tastes good with all types of noodles and various seafood options. I recommend that you use long pasta so that you can wrap it around your fork and enjoy! It has the best flavor when it’s paired with the garlic butter sauce. 

garlic shrimp pasta in skillet

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shrimp and pasta, close up

shrimp linguine close up

Easy Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta Parmesan Recipe

Donna Elick
Garlic Shrimp Pasta features tender noodles and seafood in a mouthwatering, creamy sauce. This shrimp pasta recipe takes just 20 minutes!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 6


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pound fettucine, *See Notes
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly shredded/grated
  • 1 pound raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • chopped Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)


  • In a wide, deep saucepan or pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly golden and fragrant. about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, heavy cream, and milk. Stir in salt and pepper. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in fettuccine pasta.
    Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until almost al dente, uncovering to stir and to separate the fettuccine noodles.
  • Stir in the parsley and add shredded parmesan cheese. Stir until melted.
  • Add shrimp and stir to combine. Cover for 5-6 minutes or until shrimp are pink and are no longer translucent, pasta is tender, and sauce is thickened.
    Garnish with additional parsley and shredded parmesan, if desired. Serve while hot.

Donna’s Notes

I highly recommend shredding your parmesan cheese from the block. Freshly grating makes the cheese easier to melt into the sauce. If you buy pre-shredded, it typically is hard, a little dry and more difficult to melt.
Crushed red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, or spinach would be nice additions to try in this recipe.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
If your sauce is too thick, add more milk. If your sauce is too thin, add more cream and/or cheese until you reach a desired consistency.
Fettuccine is the best pasta noodle for a creamy sauce because it holds the sauce well since it’s a flat long noodle. If you don’t have fettuccine, you could also use linguine, pappardelle, or tagliatelle.
If you would like to use already cooked shrimp in this recipe, just add it to the pasta and sauce and cook until heated, about 2-3 minutes.
If you can’t find jumbo shrimp, you can substitute large or medium size. Just be sure to get the same weight.
If you are buying your seafood fresh from a market or grocery store, be sure to ask for peeled and deveined shrimp. It’s a lot easier if this part is already done for you ahead of time!


Serving: 1 | Calories: 752cal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 280mg | Sodium: 1280mg | Sugar: 8g | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 326mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled collage for shrimp pasta recipe

Originally published November 2017, updated and republished January 2024

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  1. This looks delicious! Here's a tip for great taste. During the year I save the peels from shrimp. I put them in the freezer. When I have a fair amount, I put them in a pot of water, cover and cook down for a broth. This stock then goes into my freezer. It makes The Best shrimp base for these types of dishes; replacing the water in the recipe. Try it!

  2. This looks really good and easy. One of the things that I've noticed is that several recipes I'm finding that call for shrimp don't always say whether they should use raw or cooked shrimp. For those of us that are savvy on these matters read the recipe and figure it out, but there are a lot of beginners out there that go out shopping and buy the wrong shrimp. Just a little heads up.

    1. anonymous, I agree with you however she does have “Donna’s notes” under the recipe, above the nutritional information & gives directions on how to use cooked shrimp for this recipe. I’m not sure if you saw that after you posted your comment or not.
      but it was a good suggestion for all that post recipes not to assume someone knows which to use.

  3. looks great, I'm going to use all 2 % milk instead of heavy cream..may have to thicken it, but it will really cut down on the calories.

  4. the picture shows shrimp with tails on. I always cut tails off when making shrimp dishes (or pull off when cleaning). Is there a reason for leaving on? Seems would be easier to eat without having to take time to cut off tail. (?)

  5. I take the tails off too for ease of eating especially when I am cooking for guests. Leaving the tails on seems to be more for presentation (appearance) of the dish.

    1. Since leaving the tails on gives more flavor to the recipe, I take the tails of and simmer them in a little water. Then strain it and add the broth to the sauce as part of liquid. This way you have the shrimp easier to eat and also get the better flavor.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Meliena. No, the dry pasta is added to a pot of boiling water in step #2 of the instructions, as shown in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
      “Pour in the chicken broth, heavy cream, and milk. Stir in salt and pepper. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in fettuccine pasta.”

      Hope this is helpful!
      TSRI Team member,

  6. 5 stars
    Garlic and shrimp go perfect together, and who doesn’t want a nice pasta dish every once in a while? I’m going to start making this every week, my husband and kids loved it!

  7. I’m confused in one place it said to add salt to the water when boiling the noodles and in another place it said to put the noodles in the sauce which one is correct?

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