It really doesn’t get much easier than this delicious pasta dinner. The combination of slightly spicy shrimp, tangy lemon, lots of garlic, and just a bit of light butter is impressive enough to make for guests. But the simple ingredients and quick cook time also make this the perfect dish to add some zing to your weeknight meal plan.
As we head into spring, I’m getting more and more excited for meals with light, fresh flavors. I’m all about the comfort food–heavy sauces, lots of cheese, etc. But dishes like this one get me excited for in-season produce and brighter flavors.
I was also inspired by the new season to add in some fresh asparagus. Lemon, parmesan cheese, and asparagus are a favorite combo of mine, but feel free to add in whatever vegetables you want. I could see zucchini or spinach working really well. You could also swap out the shrimp for some chicken.
A key part of lightening up a dish like this is using light butter rather than tons of regular butter and oil. I like the Balade brand of light butter from Trader Joe’s, but I’ve also tried the Land O Lakes and Aldi brands. They are both very good.
I’d love to hear from you if you make this recipe! It makes my day when you share your pics on Instagram and tag me (@litecravings). Don’t forget to use #litecravingsrecipes to make sure I see it. If I don’t get a chance to scroll through my tags quickly enough, I won’t see your post. I always make a point to look through the hashtags, though. So I’ll see it there!
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
FOR THE SHRIMP
- 2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
FOR THE PASTA
- 8 oz high protein or whole wheat spaghetti, like Barilla Protein Plus
- 8 oz asparagus, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 4 tbsp light butter (see recipe notes)
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- In a medium-sized bowl, toss shrimp with 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Increase the pepper flakes to 1/2 tsp if you like things spicy. Cover and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
- Boil pasta in salted water according to package direction, under cooking by about a minute. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water. Drain and set aside.
- Coat a very large skillet in cooking spray. Saute shrimp over medium-high heat until just cooked through, about a minute or two a side depending on the size of your shrimp. Transfer cooked shrimp to a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon over them. Set aside.
- Lower the heat in the same skillet to medium and add in 1 tsp olive oil. Add asparagus to the skillet along with 1 tsp italian seasoning, 1 tbsp minced garlic, and 1/4 tsp salt. Saute until just softened, about 5 minutes. If the browned bits on on the bottom on the skillet start to get too dark, add in a few splashes of reserved pasta water to scrape them up.
- When asparagus is done, lower the heat and add pasta, shrimp, juice of the other half of the lemon, light butter, parmesan cheese, and cracked black pepper. Toss together, adding in pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce.
- Taste for seasoning. Since there is salt in the pasta water, you probably won’t need to add more. Garnish with parsley (optional).