Shrimp Pesto Pasta is full of pesto flavor, loaded with seared shrimp, and bursting with roasted cherry tomatoes. It makes a quick, easy, and healthy dinner recipe or a romantic date night dish. This main dish recipe can easily be made gluten-free and vegetarian, too!
Shrimp Pesto Pasta – Wild & Fresh!
It’s not very often I find wild AND fresh Gulf shrimp at our local grocery store.
But when I do, it is ON! I am making just about everything with shrimp for the week.
From Baked Shrimp Scampi, to this Pesto Shrimp Pasta, it all tastes SO much better when the shrimp are from the Gulf of Mexico and have never been frozen.
Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes
After making an entire batch of these Roasted Cherry Tomatoes I started pondering what all I could make with them.
We topped them on some toasted baguettes, added them to this Honey Balsamic Chicken, but my absolute favorite way would have to be in this shrimp pesto pasta.
They are like little flavor bombs of tomato-ey goodness amongst an already delightful plate of gluten-free pesto pasta.
And the best part… you can literally throw all of this together and have it on the table in under 30 minutes!
As you can already tell from the title, shrimp, pesto, and pasta are obvi some of the main ingredients in this recipe. But let’s dive in a little deeper to learn more about the specific ingredients you will need.
- Shrimp – Learn below about what type of shrimp to buy.
- Pesto – You can either make your own pesto sauce or buy the prepared pesto (the refrigerated kind is best!) from your grocery store.
- Pasta – Fettuccine, linguine, and tagliatelle all work great in this recipe.
- Roasted Cherry Tomatoes – You can also just cut up and add fresh tomatoes if you’d prefer.
- Pine Nuts – Lightly toasted pine nuts add a wonderful texture to this pesto pasta.
- Parmesan Cheese – Totally optional, but definitely delicious!
Best Kind of Shrimp?
Wild and fresh shrimp are the best type to purchase.
Wild shrimp, meaning they have not been farm-raised, normally have a better, less “fishy” flavor. They are also healthier for you.
Fresh shrimp have not been previously frozen and tend to have a better taste and texture than those that have.
There is a specific season in which it is typically easier to find wild and fresh. Shrimp season is generally between mid-May to late July.
However, if you are unable to find wild AND fresh, you can always just opt for one or the other.
The size of shrimp you purchase will largely affect how long you need to cook them.
Smaller shrimp, 30+ count per pound, will cook up more quickly. Larger shrimp, less than 20 count per pound, will take longer than the recommended cooking time mentioned.
The shrimp size used in this recipe was a 21/25 count per pound. If you buy larger or smaller you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Favorite Gluten-Free Pastas
If you are not gluten-free, you can go ahead and skip this section.
However, if you are, you have GOT to try out these gluten-free pasta brands for this recipe:
- Jovial Tagliatelle – A wonderful textured brown rice pasta that can be found in the pasta aisle.
- La Pasta Fettuccine (pictured) – A fresh pasta that can be found in the refrigerated area.
- Ancient Harvest Linguine – Another go-to brand that can be found in most grocery stores.
How to Make
This recipe is a quick, easy, and healthy 30-minute dinner that you can throw together on a moment’s notice.
Here are the general steps you will need to follow:
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Add olive oil and shrimp to a large skillet over medium heat .
Cook shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked through.
Toast pine nuts at 375 degrees for 4-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden brown.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Serve, Store, and Reheat this Shrimp Pesto Pasta?
Serving: Serve shrimp pesto pasta with toasted pine nuts, freshly grated Parmesan, and basil.
Storing: This recipe most definitely tastes best when enjoyed immediately after making it but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
I would not advise freezing this recipe.
Reheating: The best way to reheat this pasta is to either microwave it or add it to a skillet over low heat with a touch of olive oil and water. Cover it and let it warm up for 5-10 minutes.
Can I Meal Prep this Recipe?
Yes! You can absolutely meal prep the roasted cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and pesto sauce (if you are making it from scratch) ahead of time.
However, if you are making gluten-free pasta, I would not advise cooking it until the night of serving so it does not start falling apart.
Also, shrimp taste best when cooked fresh and not reheated, so wait to cook these until the night of serving.
Can I Use Chicken Instead?
Yes! Chicken will taste incredible in this meal in place of the shrimp. Simply pan-sear, grill, or bake chicken breasts and follow the rest of the recipe as written.
How Can I Make this Recipe Vegetarian?
If you would like to make this recipe vegetarian you can always leave the shrimp out of the recipe and either replace it with grilled tofu or more roasted vegetables.
More Shrimp Recipes
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Shrimp Pesto Pasta Recipe
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- In a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil and shrimp. Cook shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked through.
- Toast pine nuts at 375 degrees for 4-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden brown.
- Toss drained pasta with pesto sauce, roasted cherry tomatoes, and salt, to taste.
- Serve pasta with shrimp, a sprinkle of pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.