This easy Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta with lemon, garlic, and fire-roasted tomatoes is packed with flavor, healthy, and tastes like a restaurant dish.
This easy Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta is ready in under 30 minutes, tastes amazing, and is couldn't be more satisfying. Seriously, if you love shrimp pasta, you have to make this as soon as possible. Plus it tastes like a restaurant meal for half and cost and calories. Shrimp lovers won't want to miss this Pesto Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles or Shrimp Piccata.
When my husband and I first started dating, it quickly became apparent that his food tastes resembled those of most twelve year old boys. Suffice to say he lived off of burgers, wings, pizza, and tacos. Fast forward ten years and I am proud to say that these days he eats a pretty wide variety of food, even lots of veggies. However, no matter how hard I have tried, I just can't get him to eat seafood.
Whenever he won't be home for dinner, I always plan on seafood and make a delicious solo dinner packed with my favorite tasty ocean treats. And one of my all-time favorites is shrimp pasta. I love the combination of garlicky shrimp, lemon, and pasta together. It's comforting, rich, and feels like a special occasion meal.
This past week I found myself home alone and I made this yummy lemon garlic shrimp and broccoli pasta. It's made with some quickly cooked shrimp, lots of fresh broccoli, and a quick sauce made with fire roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, and lots of garlic. Delish. Plus it is ready in under 30 minutes, which means plenty of time to indulge in girly TV as well.
For a vegetarian version of the dish, just leave out the shrimp. And if you are looking for something creamy, you could add some reduced-fat cream cheese or replace half the chicken broth with fat-free half and half, whole milk, or nonfat evaporated milk.
How to cook shrimp for pasta?
Shrimp is a protein that cooks extremely quickly and for that reason, it is almost always best to cook it separately to ensure it doesn't overcook. When shrimp is cooked too long, it will become rubbery and tough.
Generally speaking, I find shrimp comes out when it is quickly cooked in a hot skillet. Simply heat up some olive oil or butter and add the shrimp. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes until just cooked through. You will know the shrimp is cooked when it is pink, opaque, and curled into a C shape.
One word of advice, if anything, undercook the shrimp a bit when you will be adding it to pasta. The residual heat of the pasta and sauce will continue to cook the shrimp when you add it. Undercooking it slightly can ensure that it is perfect when the dish comes together.
What is the best shrimp to buy for pasta?
Almost any shrimp will work for pasta, but I tend to prefer large or extra-large shrimp. It is large enough that it looks beautiful and doesn't immediately overcook when added into the hot pasta. I find that small shrimp tend to overcook.
You will also want to look for shrimp that is raw with the shells removed for the easiest prep. One final note, almost all shrimp you buy is previously frozen. You can either buy it frozen in a bag or buy it "defrosted" at the fish counter. At my store, the frozen shrimp in a bag, which is the exact same stuff as at the fish counter, tends to be cheaper so I usually grab that and just defrost it at home.
Can I use frozen broccoli?
Frozen broccoli will work for this shrimp and broccoli pasta, it just won't need to be cooked quite as long. Frozen broccoli is already par-cooked, so it won't need as much time to defrost and become tender. Simply add it to the pan in the same way and cut down on the cooking time. It is ready when it is bright green. One note about frozen broccoli, it will release some extra water, so the sauce may not be as thick. You can combat this by bringing the liquid to a boil and reducing the sauce more.
Recipe Ideas for Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta
There are so many different ways you can change up this recipe to make it your own:
- Add red pepper flakes or some Calabrian chili paste to add some heat to this dish.
- Try a different flavor of diced tomatoes to add extra flavor.
- If you don't like fish, you can make this with chicken or fish instead. For a vegetarian version, leave out the shrimp entirely.
- Instead of Parmesan cheese, top it with some crumbled goat cheese or fresh mozzarella.
- Add extra flavor with some chopped roasted red peppers, capers, or artichoke hearts.
- Top with fresh basil or fresh parsley to add brightness to the dish.
Looking for more shrimp recipes?
Try these other healthy shrimp recipes
Lemon and Broccoli Pasta with Shrimp
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- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 8 oz. high fiber pasta
- 1.5 cups chicken broth
- 1 lemon (juice)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 14 oz. diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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