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Dive into this 30 minute shrimp linguine! Juicy shrimp bathe in a vibrant garlic cream sauce, all tossed with al dente pasta for a satisfying easy dinner.

Shrimp Linguine

Need an easy dinner that tastes restaurant quality? Try this luscious shrimp linguine, a wow-worthy dinner ready in 30 minutes! This is one of our favorite ways to serve shrimp, and if you’re a shrimp lover like we are, it’s a must try. Plump, succulent shrimp are bathed in a vibrant lemon butter sauce that perfectly complements the al dente linguine. This one disappeared very quickly over here (and both of our kids gobbled it up!).

What’s in shrimp linguine?

This shrimp linguine recipe is similar to shrimp scampi, an Italian American dish that’s a riff on a classic Italian preparation of shellfish by cooking them with olive oil, onion, garlic and white wine. The key flavors are garlic, lemon, and cream, which make a lusciously cream sauce for both the shrimp and the pasta. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Linguine pasta
  • Medium shrimp
  • Onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Milk and heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese
  • All-purpose flour
Shrimp Linguine

Linguine vs other pasta shapes

Linguine is a long pasta shape that’s similar to fettuccine, but it’s thinner and elliptical shaped instead of flat. This pasta works well with vegetables and creamy sauces, just like fettuccine. However we prefer it to fettuccine as it’s thinner and makes a more balanced mix with the shrimp.

However, if you prefer you could substitute fettucine for the linguine, or other long pasta shapes like spaghetti or bucatini. Short pasta shapes work as well, like penne, cavatappi, or campanelle.

Tips for buying shrimp

There’s a wide variety of options at the store when it comes to buying shrimp. Overall, it’s easier to find a high quality shrimp than something like salmon, which is best bought fresh at the fish counter. Here’s what we recommend for this shrimp linguine recipe:

  • Peeled (or tail on): Tail on shrimp looks the best aesthetically. However, it is definitely harder to eat and you have to remove the tails when eating. Since we’re all about the look of dishes, we like to leave the tails on; but feel free to use fully peeled shrimp if you like.
  • Medium shrimp: Medium shrimp is our favorite size for a dish like this. Medium shrimp is labeled as 41 to 50 count (the number of shrimp per pound).
  • Wild caught: Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.
  • Fresh or frozen: Frozen shrimp can be as high quality as fresh, making it a versatile protein to keep frozen. Make sure to thaw the shrimp before you start this recipe.
Shrimp Linguine

Cook the linguine to al dente

The most important thing to remember when making shrimp linguine pasta is to cook the pasta to al dente! Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian, or when it’s tender with a small white speck inside when you bite into a piece. Al dente pasta just tastes better: the texture makes it more satisfying to bite into. Here are a few notes for cooking linguine:

  • Linguine takes 8 to 10 minutes to cook.
  • Boil the pasta a few minutes less than indicated on the package instructions. Often package instructions make for overcooked pasta!
  • Start taste testing early. Start taste testing and stop cooking when the pasta is just tender but you can still see a small white speck inside.

Side dishes for shrimp linguine

This shrimp linguine recipe makes enough for 3 large or 4 modest servings. So you’ll want to accessorize it with a side dish or two for a simple and satisfying meal. Here are a few ideas for easy side dishes:

Shrimp Linguine

More shrimp recipes

Shrimp is one of our top proteins to make because it’s extremely fast to cook, high in protein, and full of nutrients! Here are a few more dinner ideas starring this popular shellfish:

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Shrimp Linguine

Shrimp Linguine


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 1x

Description

Dive into this 30 minute shrimp linguine! Juicy shrimp bathe in a vibrant garlic cream sauce, all tossed with al dente pasta for a satisfying easy dinner.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces linguine
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, thawed and deveined (tail on or peeled)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Parsley, for garnish
  • Drained capers, for garnish (if desired)

Instructions

  1. Start a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the linguine pasta and boil until al dente (check a few minutes before the package instructions indicate). Reserve about ½ cup pasta water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Toss with a little olive oil if the sauce is not yet ready. 
  2. Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry. Place it in a bowl and sprinkle it with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir to combine. 
  3. In a very large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer (without stacking it) and cook for about 1 to 1 ½ minutes, until cooked on one side.
  4. Flip the shrimp with tongs. Add the minced garlic and lemon zest and stir briefly. Cook for another 1 to 1 ½ minutes until the shrimp is opaque and just cooked through. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  5. To the skillet, add the milk, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese and ¾ teaspoon kosher salt and cook for about 2 minutes until the cheese has melted. In a small bowl, mix the flour with 1 tablespoon water. Pour it into the pan with the sauce, then stir at a simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until it thickens.
  6. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss. If necessary, add a few splashes of pasta water as necessary to make a creamy consistency. Stir in the shrimp and top with fresh ground black pepper and serve. Enjoy immediately; leftovers last refrigerated for up to 3 days. 
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Shrimp linguine

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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4 Comments

  1. More a question than a comment: This version of the pasta/shrimp dish is very nice & easy, as most of such recipes tend to be ! I am wondering if you or any of your readers have found ANY other shellfish/fish which would hold up well ? Like many people, I’m shrimp allergic. But not allergic to other shellfish/fish.

    1. You may consider clams, lump crab, or for a Cajun twist, crawfish (crayfish to non-Cajuns LOL). Personally, I would go with clams . . . Good luck!