This garlic pasta recipe is easy to make and tastes amazing. The lemon juice, shrimp, red pepper flakes are the perfect combination for a delicate yet spicy dish! After work when you want something tasty but not too heavy this meal will do wonders. It’s the perfect recipe for busy weeknights because you can use quite a few shortcuts including frozen shrimp and broccoli.
Shrimp is the perfect meal for when you need a quick, yet delicious dinner. Cooked in minutes and with just about any method, it’s sweet and tender while being bursting with flavor that everyone will love!
Pasta – When it comes to making this pasta dish, you’re free to use any type of noodle that you like. Penne is pictured but I’ve had my fair share with angel hair spaghetti and linguine too. For a gluten-free option consider using legume-based pasta. I actually cook exclusively with lentil pasta in my pasta recipes now because there’s so much nutrition packed into them compared to regular pasta which has a lot of starchy, empty calories. Just as with regular pasta be sure to cook until tender but still al dente- don’t overdo it!
Shrimp – When cooking shrimp, be mindful of overcooking it. When the natural pink color starts to fade or the edges start turning white you’re going to end up with rubbery shrimp instead of juicy ones. Shrimp really cooks up so quickly even from frozen so be sure to keep a close eye on it.
Frozen Ingredients – I’m using peeled, deveined, tail-off frozen shrimp in this pasta dish as well as frozen broccoli florets. The recipe will work with fresh shrimp and broccoli but boy what a time saver using frozen ingredients can be!
Parmesan cheese – There’s nothing like fresh-grated parmesan cheese, especially if you already have a block on hand. But feel free to use pre-shredded parmesan instead to save time. You’ll want the kind that is refrigerated in the dairy case at the grocery store that’s labeled “shredded,” not the grated, shelf-stable kind found with the pasta.
Asparagus – If you’re not a fan of broccoli, asparagus is an easy sub to keep your greens. They cook well on a sheet pan just like broccoli. Be sure to use fresh asparagus and not canned or frozen. Too mushy!
Spinach – If you’re not a fan of broccoli you can use spinach. Instead of placing it on a baking sheet like you would broccoli or asparagus just add fresh baby spinach to the last step and mix until it’s wilted.
Cheese – Parmesan is preferred but shredded mozzarella will do in a pinch.
This dish is perfect for a summer evening with friends. The pasta has great flavor, and the different variations allow everyone to customize their own meal. Without cheese, it feels light but still filling. Adding parmesan brings another dimension of flavor that makes this recipe an unforgettable experience.
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Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ cup lemon juice divided
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 12 oz bag frozen broccoli florets
- ½ medium onion sliced
- 1 16 oz box penne pasta
- 1 lb shrimp peeled, deveined, tails removed
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley roughly chopped
- Place top oven rack in center position and pre-heat oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat® baking mat. Set aside.
- Whisk together olive oil, two tablespoons lemon juice, honey, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Combine broccoli and red onion in a large bowl and pour two-thirds of the lemony olive oil mixture on top. Toss until vegetables are evenly coated before spreading into a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Do not overcrowd.
- Place baking sheet in pre-heated oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp tender and starting to brown on the edges.
- While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the pasta according to package directions in generously salted water. When pasta is finished cooking, reserve one-half cup of the cooking liquid and set aside. Drain and rinse the pasta, then return to the pot. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
- Just before the vegetables are removed from the oven, toss the shrimp with the remaining olive oil mixture in the same mixing bowl used earlier. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired, and set aside.
- After 20 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn the vegetables with a spatula. Add the seasoned shrimp to the baking sheet and carefully spread the shrimp and vegetables into a single layer without overcrowding.
- Return to oven and roast for another 3-4 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through and opaque. Do not overcook.
- Remove from oven and pour the roasted shrimp and vegetables into the pot with the cooked pasta. Add the remaining lemon juice, lemon zest, half the Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and the reserved cooking liquid. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired, and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately topped with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!