Creamy Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta

This Creamy Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta only takes about 15 minutes to make and it’s an absolutely FAVE for summer. If you’re looking for a recipe to use up some of your basil, this one is a winner!

You know we don’t have a laundry list of ingredients here. This dish is the perfect example of how you only need a few good quality ingredients for a super tasty meal.

How to PREP Creamy Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta:

We start off with our prep, and that’s just zesting one whole lemon, chopping up two garlic cloves, and mincing up 1 shallot. Grab some basil for the end when we tear it up and toss it in the sauce! I also like to grab a few more pieces for extra garnish 😉

Tips for the Shrimp in the Creamy Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta:

Time for the shrimp! Feel free to use whatever you like here – I am using the red Argentinian raw shrimp from Trader Joe’s. I like that it’s already been cleaned and deveined so it makes the prep go by even faster. Just make sure you’re using raw shrimp and not fully cooked shrimp for this. We pat dry it so the seasoning will adhere more evenly and we’ll be able to get a more even cook. Feel free to season them with whatever you like, but I like keeping it really really simple with salt and pepper!

Tips and Tricks for Creamy Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta:

Once you have all the prep ready, the dish honestly takes about 10 more minutes. Once your pot of water starts boiling and you add a bunch of salt and your pasta, you can finish the sauce by the time that spaghetti is al dente! Boom.

Don’t be afraid to really salt the boiling water. Don’t be shy here. It should taste like seawater. Not to fret, not all of the salt will be absorbed into the pasta, but it really helps since pasta by itself is incredibly bland. You’re essentially laying down the foundation for a well-seasoned meal.

The shrimp get seared really quickly on each side and then we set those to the side for later (they’re going to finish cooking in the sauce when we add them back at the end!) Now we already have some flavour in our pan – let’s keep building on it…

The shallot and garlic with some of that melted butter (mmmmmm….) – your kitchen will be smelling absolutely divine by this point. The red pepper flakes are optional but I find that even just a tiny amount really transforms this dish. Of course if you like spice you can go crazy.

For this recipe I deglaze the pan with chicken stock but feel free to use vegetable stock or even white wine if you prefer!

What kind of cream do I use in the Creamy Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta?

Very important note: please use HEAVY cream (whipping cream) and not half and half for this recipe. The heavy cream is more luxurious, will yield a thicker sauce, and also it’s more stable when exposed to heat (less likely to separate in a sauce). Half and half cream can break when exposed to heat or acid (lemon in this case). We’re going full fat cream on this one and it is 100% worth it.

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Creamy Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta

This dish is luxurious, comforting, elegant and fresh. You get such a nice creaminess from the sauce with a hint of lemon, the shrimp are tender and succulent, and the herby basil ties it all together.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes


  • 1 lb pasta of your choice I like using a long grain pasta like spaghetti or fettuccine
  • 1 lb shrimp, deveined
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • cup stock (chicken or veg)
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • Basil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt, pepper


  • Start by prepping your shrimp: clean and devein them, then pat dry and season with salt and pepper.
  • Boil a large pot of water, heavily salt, and add in pasta.
  • In a pan over medium heat, add some olive oil and a knob of butter and sear the raw shrimp for 30 seconds on each side. Set to the side (these are going to finish cooking in the sauce).
  • In the same pan, reduce the heat to low-medium, add minced shallot and garlic and sautée for 2 minutes. Option to add a pinch (or two if you’re feelin’ spicy) of red pepper flakes.
  • Deglaze the pan with stock, increase heat back to medium, and get all the golden bits from the bottom released into the start of this sauce.
  • Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon, stir for 1 minute and then add heavy cream and stir for 1 more minute.
  • Add al dente pasta directly into the sauce with some of the starchy pasta water and increase heat to medium-high. Continue to cook so the sauce reduces and starts coating the pasta.
  • Garnish with freshly torn basil and optional lemon slices.


  • Microplane
  • Ramekins
  • Kitchen Tongs
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Kitchen Prep Towels
  • Blue Serving Plate

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  1. Tanya July 31, 2023 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    4 stars

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