This easy lemon garlic pasta with shrimp is a bold, vibrant pasta dish made with simple ingredients. With dinner ready in less than 20 minutes, this garlic lemon pasta recipe is bound to become a regular on the weeknight menu.

Craving more pasta? Try our Creamy Lobster Pasta, Carbonara Pasta, or Creamy Shrimp Linguine next.

overhead view of pan full of lemon garlic pasta with shrimp with a wooden spoon inserted

Garlic lemon pasta with shrimp is a simple yet delicious combination of savory, garlicky, and citrusy flavors. This pasta al limone is bursting with fresh lemon flavor and the parmesan cheese makes it a mouthwatering dish that you’ll want to devour. Crushed red pepper adds a kick of spice, making this the best lemon garlic pasta.

I am all about all things garlic and shrimp. This dish is very similar to Gambas Al Ajillo which is essentially shrimp cooked in garlic sauce and instead of adding pasta, the dish is served with bread! Try that dish next or simply serve this lemon garlic pasta with crusty garlic bread for even more of a garlicky treat.

Reasons This Lemon Garlic Pasta Recipe Works

  • Quick and Easy! Made with minimal ingredients, this 20-minute pasta dish is the solution to a busy weeknight.
  • Easily Customizable! Enjoy lemon and garlic pasta on its own or add shrimp, chicken, or your favorite protein.
  • So Delicious! This pasta is full of rich flavor and has a light yet luscious and creamy consistency. Add some juicy shrimp and this meal is even more satisfying!
close up view of pan full of lemon garlic pasta with shrimp

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Spaghetti: Thin noodles work best with this recipe. Use gluten-free pasta to keep this recipe gluten-free.
  • Olive Oil: Use high-quality oil because the flavor really shines through.
  • Butter: This gives the sauce a silky texture and adds a rich, buttery flavor.
  • Garlic Cloves: Freshly minced garlic adds a deep, savory, buttery flavor to the sauce that you won’t get from garlic powder.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: This adds a spicy quality to the pasta.
  • Lemon: The lemon lemon juice and lemon zest are essential ingredients and add a burst of bright citrus flavor.
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley: This adds fresh, herby flavor and a pop of color.
  • Seasoning: Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Use freshly grated cheese for the best results.
  • Reserved Pasta Water: The starch helps form the sauce.
ingredients for lemon garlic pasta with shrimp

FOR THE SHRIMP (OPTIONAL)

  • Shrimp: Use fresh or frozen shrimp. If using frozen, completely thaw the shrimp before cooking.
  • Seasoning: Season with oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

How to Make Lemon Garlic Pasta

  1. COOK PASTA. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions (to al dente). Be sure to reserve 1 cup of pasta water to use for later if needed.
  2. SEASON SHRIMP. Then add the shrimp to a large mixing bowl and season with oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Set aside.
  3. PREPARE GARLIC BUTTER PASTA SAUCE. While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and oil to the skillet then bring it to a low sizzle. Once the butter is melted, add the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the red crushed peppers and cook for an additional 10-15 seconds.
  4. COOK SHRIMP IN SAUCE THEN REMOVE. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the shrimp is cooked through. Carefully remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
  5. DRAIN COOKED PASTA AND ADD TO SAUCE. Drain the pasta and add the drained pasta to the skillet with ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Cook and stir the pasta until heated through. If the pasta seems too dry, add a bit more pasta water.
  6. ADD LEMON, CHEESE, PARSLEY & SEASONING. Turn off the heat. Then, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Then, add the shrimp back to the pasta. Stir in the fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more fresh squeezed lemon juice as desired.
  7. Finally, serve and enjoy! Top with more freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley for garnish.
a pan full of lemon garlic pasta with shrimp

Variations + Substitutions

  • Type of Pasta: Lemon pasta is typically made with spaghetti but you can use any kind of pasta you prefer. If you’re looking for alternatives, I suggest linguine, rigatoni, tagliatelle, angel hair pasta, or penne.
  • Vegan Lemon Garlic Pasta: Use vegan butter and omit the cheese. Add nutritional yeast if you still want that cheesy taste.
  • Protein: Don’t want shrimp? Pair this with salmon, chicken, chopped bacon, or tofu.
  • Veggies: Try spinach, broccoli, chopped asparagus, or mushrooms.
  • Other Add-Ins: Try breadcrumbs, nuts, or white beans.
overhead view of a pan full of lemon garlic pasta

Tips To Nail the Recipe

  • Don’t forget to save the pasta water. It can save your sauce and improves both texture and taste.
  • For extra starchy pasta water, cook the spaghetti in less water.
  • Do not use pre-shredded cheese. For better flavor and texture, grate the cheese yourself.
  • Do not cook on high heat or you risk burning the olive oil and ruining the dish.
  • Consider saving a cup of pasta water for any leftovers or for other recipes. It will last in the fridge for one week.
a bowl of lemon garlic pasta with a pot in the background

Storage + Reheating

Lemon garlic pasta is best served immediately but it can be stored for later. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Reheat the pasta in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove over medium heat. You may need to add a splash of water in order to add moisture.

FAQs

What is lemon garlic sauce made of?

Lemon garlic sauce is made with fresh garlic, butter, olive oil, lemon, red pepper flakes, and salt.

What can I add to pasta for flavor?

Add fresh herbs, peppers, white wine, or cheese to add flavor to the pasta.

Where does pasta with lemon come from?

Pasta with lemon or pasta al limone originated on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. It is said that the best lemons come from this part of Italy.

close up view of pan full of lemon garlic pasta with shrimp

I Hope You Enjoy This Lemon Garlic Pasta Recipe!

If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments. Leave a quick review & star rating ★ below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.

More Gluten-Free Pasta Recipes To Try!

overhead view of a pan full of lemon garlic pasta

Easy Lemon Garlic Pasta With Shrimp

This easy lemon garlic pasta with shrimp recipe makes creamy, cheesy pasta with succulent seasoned shrimp. With dinner ready in just 20 minutes, this lemon pasta recipe is bound to become a regular on the weeknight menu. (This recipe is gluten-free.)
5 from 22 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Italian
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 413kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Spaghetti Noodles
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 7 Large Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, or more to taste optional
  • 1-2 Large Lemon, juiced (~2.5 tbsp lemon juice) plus more to taste
  • Zest from one Lemon plus more for garnish
  • 3 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup Reserved Pasta Water plus more as needed

FOR THE SHRIMP (OPTIONAL)

  • 1 lb Shrimp
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions (to al dente). Be sure to reserve 1 cup of the pasta water to use for later if needed.
  • Add the shrimp to a large mixing bowl and season with oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and oil to the skillet and bring to a low sizzle. Once the butter is melted, add the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the red crushed peppers and cook for an additional 10-15 seconds.
  • Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the shrimp is cooked through. Carefully remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
  • Drain the pasta and add the drained pasta to the skillet with ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Cook and stir the pasta until heated through. If the pasta seems too dry, add a bit more pasta water.
  • Turn off the heat. Then, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Then, add the shrimp back to the pasta.
  • Stir in the fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve and enjoy! Top with more freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley for garnish.

Notes

Tips To Nail The Recipe

  • Don’t forget to save the pasta water. It can save your sauce and improves both texture and taste.
  • For extra starchy pasta water, cook the spaghetti in less water.
  • Do not use pre-shredded cheese. For better flavor and texture, grate the cheese yourself.
  • Do not cook on high heat or you risk burning the olive oil and ruining the dish.
  • Consider saving a cup of pasta water for any leftovers or for other recipes. It will last in the fridge for one week.
 
goodfoodbaddie.com offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used to make the recipe. For more information read our Nutritional Disclaimer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.8g | Protein: 28.3g | Fat: 17.7g | Saturated Fat: 6.1g | Cholesterol: 220mg | Sodium: 385mg | Potassium: 299mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 0.7g | Calcium: 209mg | Iron: 3mg

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wowww! I made this for dinner last night and my husband and kids loved it! It really was fast to make. My family is already asking me to making it again! Thanks for the recipe!!

  2. 5 stars
    Who would have thought that you can have restaurant quality (no, really better than restaurant quality) pasta in under 30 minutes!! No need to eat out!

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