Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

garlic butter shrimp pasta.

5 from 7 reviews

This garlic butter shrimp pasta feels fancy-ish but is so easy to make. It’s a great special occasion meal but easy enough for a weeknight dinner, too.


  • 4 oz spaghetti
  • .75 lb shrimp, deveined and tails removed
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • A pinch or two of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine (I use Chardonnay)
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  1. In a large pot heat salted water (should taste like the sea) over high heat. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and cook until al dente.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer and cook until they turn opaque, about 1-2 minutes per side. Depending on the size of the pan the shrimp may need to be cooked in batches. Once cooked remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Next, add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. Once melted add the garlic (and red pepper flakes, if using) and cook until the garlic is softened. Lower the heat, if necessary, to avoid browning the garlic.
  4. Add the wine, zest, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and allow the mixture to reduce for a minute or so. Lower the heat and slowly add in the rest of the butter (1-2 tablespoons at a time). Use a whisk to help the mixture emulsify.
  5. Add the cooked shrimp to the sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle the parsley over the top. Add in the cooked spaghetti and, using tongs, toss everything together. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.


You can use fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe. If using frozen, be sure to fully thaw the shrimp before cooking. This can be done fairly quickly by covering the frozen shrimp in cold water for about 20 minutes. Once thawed, dry the shrimp with a clean dish towel otherwise they won’t cook properly.

Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma Taste


Keywords: shrimp pasta recipe, butter garlic pasta, garlic butter shrimp