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Creamy Tomato Shrimp Pasta – Cookies and Cups

This Shrimp Pasta recipe in a creamy tomato sauce is better than your favorite Italian restaurant! A silky tomato sauce coats juicy shrimp and penne pasta, with just the right amount of spice from the crushed red pepper. This will quickly become a family favorite dinner!

Love shrimp? Make sure to try my Shrimp Scampi Recipe! It’s a quick dinner idea that everyone loves!

Creamy Shrimp Pasta in a large skillet with a fresh basil garnish

Why You’ll Love My Creamy Shrimp Pasta

  • Flavor! Simple, yet flavor-packed ingredients make up the sauce. A few splashes of heavy cream make it silky and rich, plus seasoning every step of the way from the pasta, to the shrimp and finally that generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top!
  • Impressive! This recipe only takes about 30 minutes to complete, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner idea, but it’s also elegant enough to serve at a dinner party and really impress your guests!
A stainless skillet with shrimp pasta in a creamy tomato sauce.

My Secret Ingredients

Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full ingredient list and instructions.

  • Shrimp. I like to use a medium size (36-40 per pound) shrimp for this recipe, but large or even jumbo sized shrimp would be great too! I prefer the medium sized because it means more shrimp in the pasta! Also medium sized shrimp pairs really well with the penne shaped pasta so you can get that perfect bite!
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, minced garlic, dried basil (and fresh basil to garnish), and red pepper flakes! You can absolutely play around with different seasonings to suit your own tastes. And use as much or as little red pepper as you prefer!
  • Olive oil. I use light olive oil to cook , as I prefer the milder flavor.
  • Crushed tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes are the base for the creamy tomato sauce. Use whatever brand you prefer, but I really like Hunts brand as I find they are less acidic. Of course San Marzano tomatoes are elite too!
  • White wine. If you don’t like to cook with wine, or just don’t have any in your house you can use chicken broth instead, although I really love the flavor the wine adds! You don’t have to use anything expensive here, but don’t use a wine that you don’t enjoy the flavor of to drink. If you don’t enjoy sipping it, you won’t enjoy the flavor it adds to your sauce!
  • Clam juice. This adds a really nice depth of flavor to your sauce and is my trick when I’m making any sort of sauce for seafood!
  • Heavy whipping cream. Since you’re making a creamy sauce, heavy cream is the way to go! You could also add light cream or even half and half if you prefer.
  • Penne pasta. Of course any type of pasta will work, but I like the size of the penne paired with the shrimp in this recipe!
  • Parmesan cheese. I recommend using fresh grated Parm in this recipe as opposed to the pre-grated. And please don’t use the powdered kind!
Cooked shrimp on a white plate

How To Make Creamy Shrimp Pasta

Like I have said, this is an incredibly easy dish to make, and it can be done in 30 minutes! The detailed recipe is in the recipe card at the bottom of this post! You can print it out too!

  1. Sauté the seasoned shrimp and garlic in olive oil and remove them from the pan.
  2. Without cleaning the pan add in the crushed tomatoes, basil, crushed red pepper, wine, clam juice, and cream. Cook until it begin to thicken.
  3. Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to the package directions and drain.
  4. Add the cooked pasta into the thickened sauce along with the shrimp, and some of the Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
  5. Season with more salt and pepper if desired and garish with more cheese, and fresh herbs if desired!
Penne pasta tossed in a creamy tomato sauce with shrimp

How To Adapt This Shrimp Pasta Recipe

  • What If You Don’t Have Wine? No problem use chicken broth instead! If you don’t have chicken broth either, reserve some of the pasta water and add that instead!
  • Do I Have To Use the Clam Juice? You don’t HAVE to, but it really adds a nice, subtle flavor to the sauce. If you just don’t want to add this, you can also sub in broth instead. Note that the more adaptations you make to the recipe, you lose the impact of the flavors!
  • What If I Don’t Want To Use Shrimp? You can use chicken instead as an easy swap, or omit them entirely!
  • Can I Use Other Kinds Of Pasta? Absolutely. You can really use whatever pasta you like, I wouldn’t recommend Angel Hair or any other thin pasta, as it will soak up more of the sauce and you won’t have the right pasta/sauce ratio!
  • Can I Use Jarred Tomato Sauce Instead Of Crushed Tomatoes? Yep! Jarred sauce generally is already seasoned, so if you do make this swap, make sure to adjust the added seasoning as necessary.

How To Store Shrimp Pasta

Store this airtight in your refrigerator for no more than 2-3 days after making.

You can freeze this dish after making it for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Here Are A Few More Seafood Pasta Recipes You Will Love:


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This amazingly delicious Creamy Shrimp Pasta is an easy, yet elegant dinner! Perfect for weeknight dinner, or entertaining, this dish is better than your favorite Italian restaurant!

  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 23 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15- ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup clam juice
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 3/4 cup (or more) fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • optional – chopped fresh parsley and fresh basil to garnish

  1. Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large, deep dish skillet over medium heat. Add in the shrimp and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes until the shrimp is pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  3. Without cleaning or draining the pan, add the tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes, wine, clam juice, and heavy cream. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low to simmer for 8 minutes to thicken.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain.
  5. Add 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shrimp, and cooked pasta into the sauce and stir to combine. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
  6. Garnish with the remaining grated cheese and fresh herbs if desired.


Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

I prefer using wine in this recipe, but broth is a good alternative.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 613
  • Sugar: 6.5 g
  • Sodium: 693.7 mg
  • Fat: 16.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 67.2 g
  • Protein: 43.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 265 mg

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