Shrimp Alfredo is packed with tender shrimp in a rich, creamy and cheesy garlic Parmesan sauce. This restaurant quality meal is impressive, easy to make and one of our favorite pasta recipes!
Alfredo pasta is always a dinner favorite at my house. An easy meal that everyone happily eats without complains! Actually everyone always asks for seconds and I can see why. Tender and hearty noodles tossed in creamy, rich and cheesy garlic Parmesan sauce is a meal no one can resist! Decadent and totally satisfying!
On days that I want to elevate my Fettuccine Alfredo to more delicious heights, I simply add some shrimp into the mix – the Alfredo sauce mix that is!
Shrimp cooks quickly and adds such elegance to a simple and comforting pasta dish. If you want to impress your family and friends, creamy and flavorful Shrimp Alfredo is the way to go!
What Do You Eat With Shrimp Alfredo?
I think of Shrimp Alfredo as one full meal. I think a simple salad or some bread sticks are a nice starter to a wonderful and filling meal. If you would like to add a side dish, these Sauteed Green Beans with garlic, lemon zest and pistachios are a great option. Steamed broccoli or Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower are also perfect side dishes to serve with this Alfredo Pasta.
Shrimp Alfredo Ingredients
- Shrimp – Fresh or frozen and thawed out. I use large shrimp, peeled, deveined and with the tails off.
- Butter – To make Alfredo sauce, I prefer using unsalted butter so I have better control of the salt level. If you only have salted butter at home, you can use it, just taste the Parmesan cheese so you are aware of it’s saltiness.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic is best however, you can use granulated garlic as well. Substitute the fresh garlic with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Heavy Cream – You can use Half and Half or whole milk but, heavy creams makes the creamiest, richest, most decadent sauce.
- Grated Nutmeg – All you need is a pinch! Nutmeg adds wonderful flavor to any cream base sauce. Freshly grated nutmeg is best but I must admit, I always reach for the “grated in a jar” one just for convenience. If you don’t have at home nutmeg you can skip it!
- Parmesan Cheese – Nothing compares to freshly grated Parmesan cheese however, if you are short in time or would like to make this Alfredo pasta a bit more budget friendly, you can get pre-shredded Parmesan or grated Parmesan (no judgment here! I have done it several times). Keep in mind that grated Parmesan ( the one sold in a plastic container with a green lid) tends to make the sauce a bit grainy.
- Parsley or Basil – Because chopped fresh parsley or basil makes the otherwise creamy dish pop! It also adds freshness to the dish.
- Pasta – When it comes to Alfredo sauce, fettuccine seems to be the most classic noodle to use. However, I will toss creamy, rich, cheesy and delicious sauce with any type of noodle and still be happy. If you have little ones at home, a short pasta like farfalle or penne is easier for kids to handle.
How To Make Shrimp Alfredo Pasta
- COOK THE PASTA: Bring salted water to a boil and cook according to package directions.
- COOK THE SHRIMP: While the pasta is cooking, season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste.
Melt some of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the shrimp. Shrimp cooks quickly. All it needs is 2-3 minutes per side.
Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
- MAKE THE ALFREDO SAUCE: In the same skillet melt the remaining butter and cook the garlic until it becomes aromatic.
Whisk in the heavy cream and the nutmeg and simmer for a few minutes. The sauce will thickened a bit.
Turn the heat to low and add the Parmesan cheese stirring constantly until the cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper to taste and return the shrimp to the skillet.
- TOSS THE SHRIMP ALFREDO WITH THE PASTA: Drain the pasta reserving some of the pasta water. Toss in the pasta until the pasta is well coated. Top with the fresh parsley or basil and some extra Parmesan cheese if desired. Served immediately!
Why Should I Make This Pasta and Shrimp Recipe
- Alfredo Pasta is easy to make and only requires a few simple ingredients.
- Shrimp cooks quickly so this protein addition only adds a few minutes of cooking time to the classic Alfredo Pasta recipe.
- This is an impressive restaurant quality meal sure to please your family and your friends. The Alfredo sauce is rich, decadent and full of flavor and the shrimp are tender, plump and delicious!
Shrimp Alfredo Tips and Notes
- Don’t forget to reserve some of the pasta water! The cooking water helps in keeping the Alfredo pasta silky and creamy.
- Don’t overcook the shrimp. Cook the shrimp only until it becomes pink and opaque.
- If your sauce seems a bit thin when you are tossing it with the pasta, don’t worry. While you toss, the pasta absorbs the Parmesan sauce flavor and also releases some of its starch. After a few minutes, your Alfredo pasta will have the right consistency.
- If your pasta seems dry, add some of the pasta water and toss until the water is absorbed and well blended into the pasta dish.
- Always add salt to the water before cooking the pasta and cook the pasta until al dente.
- Learn more about buying shrimp, shrimp types and sizes in this post by Jessica Gavin.
Take a Look at These Other Shrimp Recipes:
- Cajun Shrimp Alfredo Pasta
- Easy Shrimp Ceviche
- Cajun Grilled Shrimp Skewers
- Mojo Shrimp Kabobs
- Cajun Shrimp Lasagna
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Creamy Shrimp Alfredo Pasta
- 12 ounces fettuccine or any pasta of your choice
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined, tails on or off
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish - optional
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or chopped basil.
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions.
- Rinse and pat dry the shrimp. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes per side or until the shrimp turns pink. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and add the remaining butter to the skillet. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute scraping the bottom of the skillet to release any brown bits. You want the garlic to become aromatic but not to brown .
- Whisk in the heavy cream and add the nutmeg. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until just thickened.
- Turn the heat to low and whisk in the Parmesan cheese, stirring continuously, until the cheese has melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain the pasta reserving about 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Add the shrimp and the pasta to the skillet and toss well. You want to toss the pasta for 1 to 2 minutes so it has time to absorb the sauce. If the pasta gets a bit dry, add some of the reserved cooking pasta liquid.
- Sprinkle with parsley or basil and serve immediately topped with some extra Parmesan cheese (optional).
- Don't overcook the shrimp. Cook the shrimp only until it becomes pink and opaque.
- If your sauce seems a bit thin when you are tossing it with the pasta, don't worry. While you toss, the pasta absorbs the Parmesan sauce flavor and also releases some of its starch.
- If your pasta seems dry, add some of the pasta water and toss.
- Nutrition facts are only an estimate and will vary depending on the brand of products used.
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