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4.98 from 44 votes

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Sauteed shrimp and al dente pasta are tossed in a garlicky lemon butter sauce and topped with fresh parsley.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound large shrimp 21/25 count
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 large lemon juice and zest
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for finishing
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
  • 6 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 cup pasta water reserved
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Place cleaned and dry shrimp in a bowl with 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and 1/8 tsp of crushed red pepper.  Mix well. 
  • Meanwhile cook pasta "al dente" in salted water (2 Tbsp kosher salt per gallon of water) and reserve at least 1 cup of pasta water before draining. 
  • Heat a large pan to medium heat. Add in a 1/4 cup of olive oil and saute shrimp for about 4 minutes or until done (when the shrimp are firm and pink).  Remove shrimp and set aside tented with foil to keep warm.  To the same pan add the garlic.  Saute garlic for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Add a 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pan.  Also, add the butter and the al dente pasta.  Cook for 1 minute tossing to coat well so the sauce absorbs and clings to the pasta.  Add the shrimp, parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest, and toss/mix again.  
  • Turn off the heat and taste test.  Make final adjustments to salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.  If the pasta becomes too dry add a couple more ounces of pasta water.  Serve with a healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on each plate and lemon wedges on the side.  Enjoy!



  • The recipe easily doubles or triples.
  • Always reserve extra pasta water just in case the pasta dries out while sitting and or waiting to serve.
  • Salt is kept to a minimum so adjust according to taste.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave.  Though, I recommend eating all the shrimp on the same day.  Shrimp doesn't reheat too well.


Calories: 561kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.8g | Protein: 32.4g | Fat: 33.6g | Saturated Fat: 10.7g | Cholesterol: 311mg | Sodium: 560mg | Potassium: 297mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 2mg