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

4.6 from 25 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. Lou Anne says:

    Made this tonight and it was so good I shared on facebook! Hubs loved it too! Used whole wheat angel hair pasta. Simple and easy and didn’t change a thing because it was perfect as is!

  2. Ruby says:

    The recipe looks sooooo delicious! My SO and I are having some friends over for dinner tomorrow night and this will be perfect with a simple side salad and something fancy for dessert.

    Do you think I could get away with frozen, already cooked shrimp? Just realized the ones I have in the freezer are pre-cooked “salad shrimp”.

    • Well, you could, but the sauce won’t have quite as much of a shrimp flavor. When you cook them from raw, they give off juice that adds flavor to the sauce.

  3. Michelle says:

    Made this for dinner tonight. It was AWESOME! My family loved it and it was so easy. The hardest part was peeling and deveining the shrimp. Thank you!

  4. Dana H says:

    Oh boy, this was so tasty and fast to make for my hungry family on a hot humid night (so kitchen didn’t get more heated!) I had some frozen broccoli florets so tossed them in when pasta was done, then drained. Pretty, yummy, and still enough sauce for everything – I love Beth’s idea of a bit of goat cheese and will try that next time. Oh yeah girl, you’re getting me quite a reputation as a good cook…! ;-)

  5. Laura says:

    Mmm, this was delicious. I rarely cook with shrimp because it never seems cost effective. This was simple enough and I cut each of the shrimp in half after cooking since they were slightly large than the ones you used. It was awesome and so easy and fast! I added a bit of fresh basil (because it was in my garden, so why not?) and a healthy splash of white wine. Great recipe!

  6. loved the pasta, will be making more of it in the future, i made naan with it, i loved the combination with the sauce and naan.

  7. Erica R. says:

    Omg….I just made this and totally love it. Thanks, I’m totally passing it on to my sister and cousin who are in college.

  8. Iryna says:

    I would like to try out this recipe, but would it freeze well?

    On a side note, I can safely say that your blog is the sole reason I started cooking, and I must thank you!

    • This one won’t freeze quite as well as some others because it doesn’t have much sauce (just enough to coat the pasta, really) and the shrimp will probably over cook while reheating.

  9. Angelica says:

    This was a HIT at our house tonight!!! A definite winner…I just added 1/2 tsp. of red chili flakes instead of 1/4…It kicked up the heat a bit….I will definitely make this as a regular…

  10. Anna says:

    I really liked this recipe. So simple!

    I did a few changes that raise the price but I think were worth it: fresh instead of dried pasta, bottle diced tomatoes instead of canned to avoid the BPA, garlic powder because I ran out of regular garlic.

    I am going to try it today with already cooked shrimp meat because it was a lot cheaper than the other version.

  11. Lisa says:

    I just made this vegan and gluten free. I have tempura cakes from the Asian grocery store that my boyfriend says tastes like shrimp. I think they taste disgusting so he is probably accurate. Anyway used coconut oil and salt for the richness that you achieve with butter and added a tsp of apple cider vinegar. I used fresh roma tomatoes since I didn’t have canned then I added spinach because I didn’t have fresh parsley and wanted the green color. Plus I love spinach. I used GF corn pasta and everything else I did the same except I made an extra portion “shrimp” free for me and it’s beautiful and delicious. I wish I had mushrooms because I think that would have been an awesome replacement. Maybe next time. Thanks for the great, simple recipe!

  12. irene says:

    I’m ashamed&embarrassedbut I don’t know how to cook. But this recipe looks so easy and tasty I’m excited to try and make. Thanks I will be looking at more recipes to try.

    • One of my main goals is to make recipes that are accessible to people who are ashamed and embarrassed that they can’t cook. :) It just takes a little practice!

  13. Kara says:

    Just curious if anyone has used a substitution for the tomatoes? My fiancé hates tomatoes but will eat dishes with rotfl so I thought about using that instead.

  14. Nita says:

    I prepared this tonight and it was delicious! I didn’t have fresh parsley so substituted with dry and also added about 1 tsp of dried Basil and 1/4 cup of white wine. I cut the shrimp in half to get more shrimp per bite. Sprinkled with Parmesan and extra red peppers. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Enybe says:

    Easy and delicious. We sprinkled some parmesan cheese on it.


    (We got a copy of your book last week. Yay!)

  16. Keisha says:

    I can’t wait to make this!!!!

  17. Susan says:

    I’ll see your butter and raise you a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream!! :D This was fabulous! I threw in a bit of cayenne pepper and the sour cream at the end. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Sarah Benson says:

    Silly question but does this call for 8 ounces of cooked or un-cooked pasta? Thank you!

  19. Molly says:

    Made this recipe tonight! it was quick and easy! I love the step by step photos, it makes it impossible to screw up! having said that, I made mine a little too spicy, but I would definitely make it again adding onion and cheese next time! I will give a lot of the other recipes a go for sure! :)

  20. I just made this tonight and it is INCREDIBLE. I tripled the crushed red pepper (my husband and I are spicy-food fanatics) and it was so so good. We ate the entire thing between us two. I have YET to be disappointed by one of your recipes. I have made a ton of your dinners and I am so thankful for finding your site. They are all amazing, and this one is top at the moment!

  21. Beth Montalvo says:

    I will add a bit of goat cheese at the end…it brings a different taste to it….

  22. I made this the other night, and my boy friend loved it! I made it with chicken and added some cayenne pepper. My boyfriend said it wasn’t good, it was great! Thanks!

  23. USAF Wife says:

    Made this for dinner tonight. It sounded very good, but it turned out extremely dry. Hoping the next recipe I try is better.

  24. Andrew B says:

    So. Yummy. I doubled the recipe and added 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and substituted spinach in place of parsley (because I had spinach that needed to be used up). The spinach is fine, but doesn’t actually add much. Next time I will add 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, because the 1/4 tsp added a bit too much heat instead of flavor. Also, feta on top is amazing.

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