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Linguine with Shrimp, Garlic, and Lemon

Linguine with Shrimp, Garlic, and Lemon is a deliciously beautiful and simple Italian supper that only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. Perfect for a weeknight dinner, it’s a great recipe to treat yourself after a long and stressful day.

The key to moist, tender shrimp is to be careful not to overcook them. Seafood is notorious for cooking up very quickly, especially little critters like scallops and shrimp, which you can take advantage of if looking for a quick meal. In this recipe, follow the visual cues and the shrimp will finish cooking off heat, giving you shrimp perfection.

If you can only find whole shrimp that is not peeled or deveined at your grocery store, you will need to add about 15 or so extra minutes to the prep time as you’ll need to devein and peel the shrimp at home. I find the easiest way to do this is to use a sharp paring knife. Cut a shallow slit down the back of each shrimp. Pull the shell off and discard it. You should see a little black ‘line’; that’s the vein. With the tip of the blade, lift up and loosen the vein and pull it out. Touch it to the paper towel. It should stick, then you can easily move on to the next shrimp. Most grocery stores carry de-veined, easy peel shrimp, so hopefully you won’t have to worry about this step anyway ;0)

If you love shrimp, you’ll love this recipe. Shrimp scampi is definitely my favorite way to enjoy shrimp, and this recipe is a play on the scampi flavors with the addition of  pasta and  a light sauce to make it a great weeknight meal. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for more quick weeknight Italian dinner recipes try my 25 Minute Pasta Bolognese Dinner or my 25 Minute Tortellini and Sausage Dinner.

A few time saving tips: Mince the onion and press the garlic before you begin the recipe. The lemon can be squeezed (for fresh lemon juice) and parsley minced in step 4 while the pasta is cooking.

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Linguine with Shrimp, Garlic, and Lemon

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Linguine with Shrimp, Garlic and Lemon is a quick and savory entree perfect for the weeknight dinner when you’re in a hurry.


  • 1 and 1/4 pounds large shrimp (about 31 to 40) peeled and deveined
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 separate tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved into 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 pound of linguine
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh Italian flat leaf parsley (or regular parsley if flat leaf is not available)


  1. Set a large dutch oven or stockpot with 4 quarts of water over high heat on the stove for the pasta.
  2. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels and sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt, a pinch of fresh ground pepper and the sugar to season it. In a 12 inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat until it’s just beginning to turn brown. Add the shrimp, and arrange them quickly so they are in a single layer in the pan. Cook for 1 minute without moving them. Stir and continue to cook until they are spotty brown and just pink at the edges, about 30 seconds. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and cover tightly with foil. Set aside.
  3. Now add 2 more tablespoons of butter to the skillet until melted. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 or 6 minutes, and add the garlic and red pepper flakes, stir and cook for about 30 seconds, and add in 1/2 cup of broth. It will sizzle quite a bit, that’s normal. As it boils, scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. When it’s nearly evaporated (about 2 minutes) add in the rest of the broth and the dissolved cornstarch mixture and simmer until slightly thickened, another 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat and set aside.
  4. The pot of water for the pasta should be boiling at this point. Add the linguine and 1 tablespoon of salt to the water and cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al-dente. (There should be directions on the package for this.) You can take this time to squeeze the juice from the lemon and mince the parsley, stopping occasionally to stir the pasta. When the pasta is done, scoop out about 1/2 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  5. Add in the remaining two tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, parsley, sauce and reserved shrimp (including any shrimp juice that may have accumulated) into the linguine. Toss to combine. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, adding the pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce. Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Italian

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  1. yeah! You save the day again 🙂 I jumped on to see if you might have a recipe to use up some shrimp – why of course you do. Yum! Can't wait to be eating it,

  2. Great pictures and directions, does anyone know if I can use frozen shrimp and if so do I defrost it before removing shell?

    1. It will be delicious! Just follow the recipe and I’m sure it will turn out great. Just remember that shrimp, along with most seafood, cooks very fast. I always say, “have all your ingredients pre-measured and sitting out for a no-stress cooking experience”. Best of luck :0)

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