Spicy Tomato & Shrimp Pasta

$6.24 recipe / $1.56 serving

oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

I’m not a person that goes crazy over anything that has shrimp in it, but this shrimp pasta might be a game changer. It’s basically a scaled back Shrimp Fra Diavolo. It’s so simple and delicious. Did you hear me? SIMPLE. *dramatic pause*

What we have here is a really basic sauce made with olive oil, butter (for richness), garlic, diced tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and a little salt and pepper. It’s just that simple. The shrimp helps give the sauce a little depth and the crushed red pepper adds just enough zing to balance the richness of the butter. It’s perfect.

…Although, if you wanted to, you could add a little dry white wine to the sauce.  It’s not exactly economical, but it tastes awesome and if you’re going to pop a cork to serve some with dinner anyway, you might as well add a splash or two to the sauce. Just an options for ya.

I already know that some of you will try to cut the fat in the recipe and if you do, I beg you not to skip the butter. If needed, just use one tablespoon each of olive oil and butter, but DO. NOT. skip the butter. You’ll hurt my feelings.

It’s perfectly okay to use frozen shrimp in this – I did. It can be thawed super fast by running cool water over it. Just don’t let the shrimp sit in standing water.

Anyway, make this. It’s perfect for summer. Nom nom nom.

Spicy Tomato & Shrimp Pasta

Spicy Tomato & Shrimp Pasta

4.7 from 38 reviews
Spicy Shrimp & Tomato Pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $6.24
Cost Per Serving: $1.56
Serves: 4
  • 8 oz. fettuccine $0.95
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.15
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • ½ lb. peeled & deveined shrimp (41/50 size) $3.50
  • 1 (15. oz.) can diced tomatoes $0.69
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes $0.02
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • Freshly cracked pepper to taste $0.05
  • Handful fresh parsley $0.22
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the pasta, and continue to boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender. Drain the pasta in a colander.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil and butter to a large skillet and place over medium heat. Mince the garlic while waiting for the butter to melt.
  3. Rinse the shrimp with cool water and allow the excess water to drain away. Add the shrimp and minced garlic to the skillet. Saute the shrimp and garlic for 3-5 minutes, or just until the shrimp turns opaque and slightly pink (no longer grey and translucent). Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set it aside until later.
  4. Add the can of tomatoes with juices to the skillet, along with the crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine and let the sauce simmer over medium heat for about five minutes.
  5. When the sauce has thickened slightly, add the cooked and drained pasta. Toss to coat in the sauce. Add the cooked shrimp back to the skillet and toss to combine with the pasta. Taste and adjust the salt if needed.
  6. Roughly chop a handful of parsley leaves and sprinkle over top before serving.


Spicy Tomato & Shrimp Pasta

Step by Step Photos

oil butterStart bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add the olive oil and butter to a skillet and melt over medium heat. Mince the garlic while the butter is melting.

Shrimp and GarlicRinse the shrimp under cool water and allow the excess water to drain away. When the butter has melted, add the rinsed shrimp and minced garlic. Saute for a few minutes or until the shrimp is no longer translucent. 

Cooked ShrimpThey turn white/pink and curl up when they’re done. It really only takes a few minutes. You want to remove them from the skillet at this point so that they don’t continue to cook as you finish the sauce. Continuing to cook the shrimp will make it shrink up and get very rubbery.

Boil PastaAt this point your water is probably boiling, so you can add the pasta. Boil the pasta until it is tender. I used fancy/expensive pasta this time, and the whole dish was still very inexpensive!

Tomatos PepperAfter removing the shrimp from the skillet, add the can of diced tomatoes (with juices), red pepper flakes, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. The juices left over in the skillet from the cooking shrimp adds a lot of flavor to the sauce. Stir this together and let it simmer for a few minutes while the pasta finishes cooking. (This is also where you can add a little white wine if you have it. Maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup.)

Add PastaAdd the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Toss to coat the pasta in the sauce.

Add ShrimpNow that it’s pretty much done, you can add the shrimp back in. Toss to mix the shrimp into the pasta.

Add ParsleyFinish it off with a little roughly chopped fresh parsley and you’re ready to eat! So Pretty!

Spicy Tomato & Shrimp Pasta

Spicy Tomato & Shrimp PastaOh boy oh boy oh boy…


  1. Lona says:

    My family lined this dish! I followed the recipe almost to a t. However, I had to make a few minor changes. I used fire roasted tomatoes and added a sprinkle of garlic salt at the end. And because my hubby gets heartburn I added a little sugar on the tomatoes. I will definitely be making this again! Thanks Beth!!

  2. Heather of DC says:

    This dish rocks! This is now the only pasta dish that exhists in my house. It’s got a lot of flavor, then again I cooked mine in the shell, and then had to remove them before each bite. I really think it adds a depth to the dish, though. Thanks so much!

  3. Dee S says:

    Just made this tonight. It was SO good! Had it with italian bread & salad. Will definitely be making it again!

  4. This sounds like a very simple recipe and I can not wait to make this for dinner. However, I want to add brocolli into it, any suggestions about when I should add it in? Thank you!

    • After you remove the shrimp from the skillet, add the broccoli florets and sauté until crisp/tender. Then proceed as usual. OR, add the florets to the pasta water during the last minute to lightly cook them (crisp/tender again), and then drain and add it along with the pasta. :)

  5. Arianne Martell says:

    love this recipe, i throw in a can of spinach to add some greens at the end.

  6. Amanda says:

    I just made this for dinner for my (incredibly picky) son and he ate it without too much complaining!
    I did cut the shrimp in his serving into teeny tiny pieces so they weren’t overwhelming.
    And I added spinach, because spinach makes everything better :)

  7. Jackie says:

    This meal was both easy and delicious. My daughter kept asking if it came from a restaurant. This one is going into my monthly rotation.

  8. Kelly says:

    I thought I had everything to make this for dinner tonight.

    Everything except the tomatoes, and parsley. BUT I did have a jar of Newman’s Sockarooni and I otherwise followed the recipe. The butter and the garlic really helped out the jarred sauce. Not to mention the shrimp. A winner! Thanks!

  9. Maria says:

    Stumbled on to your website via MSN and boy am I happy I did so! This was the recipe featured and I tried it out tonight. Had to substitute chicken as my husband has an aversion to seafood. And it was GREAT!!! My one-year-old loved it, and was gesturing for more. This will definitely be a part of our meal rotation. :)

  10. Erin says:

    I made this tonight for myself & my family. it was fabulous! and SO EASY! I added Sriracha instead of chili flakes. loved the lip-tingling kick it gave! definitely something I will make again in the future :)

  11. tanya says:

    So simple and so delicious! I almost always add things to a recipe but I didn’t this time and it was perfect.

  12. Shannon B. says:

    Made this exactly according to the directions and it came out great!

  13. Hayley Miller says:

    Love this recipe! This recipe has become has a staple as I am a college student working full time and I am terrible at planning meals out! Its so easy because I always have a jar of pre minced garlic, canned tomatoes, whole wheat linguine, and frozen shrimp on hand! However, I like to make two changes to it! Instead of removing the shrimp, I like to poor the tomatoes in with sautéed shrimp and allow them to simmer together to get more flavor! I also love to add to sriacha hot sauce to the finished pasta! Serve with some steamed sugar snap peas on the side and it is a perfect meal!

  14. Jamie Moore says:

    I can’t have dairy. I know you said don’t skip the butter but… Would it still taste ok. It’s so hard to find yummy stuff with no dairy!

    • I suppose it wouldn’t be terrible, but it definitely wouldn’t be the same. Whether it’s good or not is probably subjective. :)

    • Sabrina says:

      Is it that lactose in dairy that you can’t have? If so, Blue Bonnet makes a lactose free butter that I always buy. Tastes exactly the same. I’m lactose intolerant and buy everythingggg lactose free.

  15. Lois says:

    My family and I LOVED this recipe!!!! It has become a part of our menu on a regular basis!!! I did used cooked frozen shrimp instead of the raw shrimp and I made it the same way and it turned out AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  16. Shanda says:

    What would be good to serve with this dish? A salad? Rolls? Any ideas?

  17. Margie says:

    Looking forward to making this for supper tonight. Just asking…but did you clean the shrimp? In a couple of the photos they still appear to have a black vein running down the back.

  18. Emily says:

    This looks delicious. I rarely cook with shrimp- how long do you think it would last in the fridge?

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