This Shrimp Pesto Pasta is a quick, healthy, and easy shrimp and tomato pasta recipe. Though there are only a few ingredients, it’s full of flavor and a great 30-minute meal for any night of the week. Pesto shrimp can easily become a family favorite.
One thing I must confess is that we eat pasta at least once a week in my home. It’s quick, easy, and cheap to make. The kids love it, and it’s easy to make a large portion that leaves leftovers for lunch later in the week. However, plain old spaghetti or even alfredo gets old after a while, and I do try to keep a healthy element to my dinners, so I’ve started to experiment with other sauces. Pesto is something that everyone in my house loves, so I’ve been trying out easy pesto pasta recipes, like this Shrimp Pesto Pasta.
Shrimp Pesto Pasta is a quick and simple pasta with shrimp and tomatoes. The main ingredients, as you may have guessed, are shrimp, tomatoes, and pesto. You can use whatever pesto you’d like in this recipe. If I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I may make my own pesto, but I’ve found that store-bought works just as well for easy pesto pasta recipes like this one. Shrimp pasta is always a tasty option.
I used linguine in this shrimp and pesto pasta. You can use your favorite type of pasta if you’d like, just be sure to cook according to the instructions on the package. I love using cherry tomatoes and cutting them in half because I think they look visually appealing and I prefer the taste as well, but in a pinch, you could dice up any other tomato to add.
If pasta night is a regular occurrence in your home as well – I’m sure it is for most busy mom’s – you’ll definitely want to add this shrimp and tomato pasta recipe to your regular rotation.
Plus, if you are having a dinner party, imagine how pleased all your guests will be. They will think you worked all day in the kitchen, making this elegant meal! Not only does this pesto shrimp recipe taste divine, but it’s also stunning on a plate. Full of vibrant bright colors and it’s super fragrant, you can’t go wrong with serving to friends and family.
How To Make Shrimp Pesto Pasta
Once the flavors of this shrimp and pasta hit your tongue, you are going to fall in love with how delicious it is. It’s a perfect 30-minute meal that your family will rave about, and you can keep your sanity because you can cook quickly on those busy weeknights. Plus, you can bring a little bit of Italy right into your dining room!
Prepare linguine (or your preferred pasta) according to package instructions. I prefer it a little al dente, so it doesn’t get mushy.
Add shrimp to a pan with olive oil. Liberally season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
Cook shrimp until they become pink. Shrimp cooks pretty fast and will only take 4-5 minutes to finish cooking. Sometimes, it takes a little longer if you are cooking with lower heat.
TIP: Don’t cook the shrimp too long or it will become tough and lose so much of that amazing flavor! Shrimp is one of the easiest foods to tell when it’s done because of the beautiful shade of pink it turns.
Add cooked linguine to shrimp pan and give it a gentle stir.
Add halved cherry tomatoes and pesto sauce.
Grab a fork and go to town on this plate of amazingness you just created! It’s a decadent shrimp dish that feels fancy even though it didn’t take much effort at all. Enjoy!
Pesto Shrimp Variations
As you are aware, I love to adjust my recipes, and while I am head over heels in love with pesto shrimp recipe the way it’s written, sometimes I like to make it differently. If you have a feeling a particular ingredient would be good in this shrimp parmesan pasta, then give it a try! You can’t go wrong. Here are a few ideas I have tried along the way:
Garlic – Can you really make any pasta dish, yet alone pesto shrimp without adding some fragrant and delicious garlic? I don’t always add some in, but when I do, it takes it to a whole new level of amazing.
Olives – There is just something wonderful about adding olives to any Italian dishes! This easy shrimp and pasta recipe isn’t any different.
Mushrooms – Tossing in a few mushrooms is a great way to add an earthy flavor, while making it even heartier and healthier. Keeping everyone full while eating a tasty meal is a win in my book.
Zucchini – Perfect to add in when your garden is overflowing with veggies, and you need to use up some fresh zucchini! Plus, it tastes terrific.
Mozzarella Cheese – Add a little sprinkle of mozzarella cheese to top off the shrimp pesto pasta. Gives it a unique spin on flavors that is so yummy.
Crab – Holy yum! Adding a little bit of crab goes a long way when you make this shrimp pesto pasta recipe. It’s crowd-pleasing and divine.
Bacon – Need I say more? Everything tastes better with a few pieces of bacon crumbled in it! I usually cook up the bacon until it is super crispy then crumble and add to the top of the shrimp and pasta.
Types Of Pasta You Can Use For This Pesto Shrimp Recipe
Yes, this easy shrimp pasta calls for linguini noodles, but because it’s so versatile, you can easily change out linguini for another type of noodle. Use up what you have in your pantry because they will all be super good with this shrimp dinner. You can’t go wrong with any of these ideas:
Do I Have To Use Store Bought Pesto For This Shrimp Pesto Pasta Recipe?
No, you do not have to use store-bought pesto. I usually go with something I can run to the market and quickly purchase instead of making because it’s faster. Nights can be hectic, and saving that extra step saves me loads of time too. Use your go-to pesto sauce recipe for pasta, and you will be good to go. Most homemade pesto recipes include pine nuts, basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and garlic.
How Long Does Shrimp Pasta Last?
Shrimp pasta is a fantastic dish to make if you are meal planning or want to have some leftovers for a quick lunch. When placed in the fridge, it will last around three days. Just make sure it’s adequately stored so air can’t get to it. Pesto pasta will also last 1-2 months in the freezer as well.
Reheat pesto pasta on the stove in a skillet with a little bit of oil. Gently toss until it is warmed all the through. Another option would be to heat it up in the microwave. When microwaving cover lightly with a paper towel. It won’t take long at all to reheat so keep a close eye on it.
TIP: If you intend to make shrimp pesto pasta as a make-ahead meal, always cook the noodles al dente. Otherwise, they will become mushy and not palatable. Overcooked pasta doesn’t hold up well in the fridge or freezer, and you don’t want to waste it.
How Do I Know If Shrimp Has Gone Bad?
Shellfish can wreak havoc on your body if you eat it when it’s gone bad. Always be on the lookout for signs of spoilage when you are eating leftovers of this pesto shrimp recipe. If you see mold or it just looks off, then there is a strong chance bacteria is growing and it’s not edible. Shrimp also will produce an odor that is overly fish, like ammonia or chlorine. If you smell any of those, then toss it! If the pesto pasta appears to be slimy, too mushy or dried out, then those are signs it’s passed it’s prime.
If you ever question if any leftover shrimp dish is going bad, go ahead and discard it. Even if it tastes okay, it can still make you ill if bacteria has been growing.
What Sides Go Well With Shrimp?
Whether you are making shrimp pesto pasta as a weeknight meal for the family, a dinner party or gathering you are going to want to serve some side dishes too. Here are my favorite go-to sides:
Salad – Serve your favorite garden fresh salad that’s loaded with lots of veggies, olives, and parmesan. Perfect combination!
Bread – Whether you want garlic bread, breadsticks, garlic knots, or regular dinner rolls, it will go wonderfully together.
Asparagus – You can’t go wrong with cooking some asparagus to go pesto shrimp. The flavors compliment each other so well, and even your kids will eat it!
Broccoli – If you are looking to make this a hearty meal that is also healthy, making broccoli is a perfect choice. It’s filling and loaded with healthy nutrients your body needs.
Peas – I know when you were a kid you probably weren’t the biggest fan of peas, but they actually are so tasty and go wonderfully with all your favorite shrimp recipes. So give it a try when you make pesto pasta with shrimp because you won’t regret it.
Shrimp Pesto Pasta
10 oz. Linguini noodles uncooked
1 lb. Tail on peeled and deveined shrimp
¾ c. Fresh basil pesto of your choosing
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 c. Sliced cherry tomatoes
¼ c. Grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the linguini according to the package instructions.
While the noodles are boiling, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the shrimp to the skillet, and season liberally with the Italian seasoning as well as salt and pepper to taste. Cook the shrimp until they are light pink in color. Careful not to overcook the shrimp, as they can become tough and chewy.
Mix the cooked linguine noodles into the skillet with the cooked shrimp, and add in the pesto sauce and sliced cherry tomatoes.
Toss the noodles and shrimp with ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley if you choose.