Pesto Shrimp Pasta

"Garlicky pesto and shrimp pasta comes together so quickly for any busy weeknight dinner. The garlicky basil nutty pesto pairs perfectly with the shrimp and pasta making a great fresh meal that leaves you full and satisfied."
-- @nictastingspoon
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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 20mins
Cook time 15mins
Serves or Makes: 4

Recipe Card


  • 8 ounces spaghetti, (and 2 ladles of pasta water reserved)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cups carlic pesto


  • Step 1

    Make the garlic pesto and set aside (recipe below).

  • Step 2

    In a pot of salty water, cook your spaghetti according to the package instructions.

  • Step 3

    In a deep pan, over medium heat, melt your butter.

  • Step 4

    Add in your shrimp in a single layer. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. You will see their tails start to curl and they will start to turn pink in color. Cook for about 30-60 seconds on each side. Shrimp cook extremely fast so it's important to watch them. You will want to take them out about 5 seconds too early because they will finish cooking once they are added back into the pan.

  • Step 5

    Remove the shrimp out of the pan and set aside.

  • Step 6

    Add in your pesto and your cooked spaghetti, toss.

  • Step 7

    Ladle in 1-2 ladles of hot pasta water to make the sauce. Stir until everything is combined.

  • Step 8

    Add back in your shrimp and toss.

  • Step 9

    *I cooked this with the shrimp shells still on for presentation. you can take the shell off before cooking or before serving.

Garlic Pesto


  • 3 cups basil, (packed)
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3/4 cups parmesan, shredded
  • 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Garlic Pesto

  • Step 1

    Add basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and salt into a food processor. You can start with ½ the garlic and ½ the salt, you can add more as you go to control the flavors. *You can also use a blender if you don't have a food processor.

  • Step 2

    Pulse the food processor, as you pulse, pour in the olive oil. Continue to process until all ingredients are incorporated. Taste – add in more garlic if you would like. It it's too strong or bitter (from the olive oil) add in a pinch or two of salt and pulse a few times to make sure it's mixed in. Salt will soften the intensity of the flavors.

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