Spicy Shrimp Tomato Pasta

$6.24 recipe / $1.56 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.67 from 53 votes
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oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! This Spicy Shrimp Tomato Pasta has me excited.

I’m not a person that goes crazy over anything that has shrimp in it, but this Spicy Shrimp Tomato 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 Shrimp Tomato Pasta

Skillet of spicy shrimp tomato pasta

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Spicy Shrimp Tomato Pasta

4.67 from 53 votes
It takes less than 30 minutes to make this super flavorful and filling Spicy Shrimp Tomato Pasta. Dinner made FAST! 
Servings 4
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 25 minutes


  • 8 oz. fettuccine ($0.95)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 Tbsp butter ($0.15)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 1/2 lb. peeled & deveined shrimp, 41/50 size ($3.50)
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes ($0.69)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked pepper to taste ($0.05)
  • Handful fresh parsley ($0.22)


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Roughly chop a handful of parsley leaves and sprinkle over top before serving.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 378.7kcalCarbohydrates: 48.03gProtein: 20.1gFat: 11.8gSodium: 517.6mgFiber: 4g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Top view of a bowl of spicy shrimp tomato pasta with fork on the side

Step by Step Photos

oil and butter in skillet on stove top

Start 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 Garlic added to skillet

Rinse 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 Shrimp (will turn pinkish white)

They 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.

Pasta added to pot of boiling water

At 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 and Pepper in skillet to make sauce

After 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.)

Cooked pasta added to skillet with sauce

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

Shrimp added to skillet with pasta and sauce

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

Parsley sprinkled on top of dish

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

Finished spicy shrimp tomato pasta in skillet
Top view of a bowl of spicy shrimp tomato pasta in bowl with fork

Oh boy oh boy oh boy…

It takes less than 30 minutes to make this super flavorful and filling Spicy Shrimp Tomato Pasta. Dinner made FAST! BudgetBytes.com
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  1. This recipe saved my sanity tonight! I had to change things because it’s what we had in the cupboard- a can of stewed tomatoes instead of diced, and chili powder instead of crushed red pepper flakes.
    Even my MIL complimented the dinner!

    1. That would require a very different method and I’d need to test that before offering a suggestion. :)

  2. I used scallops instead of shrimp and used more crushed red pepper. So yummy and easy. Easy recipe to double as well. Oh I also added spinach. Yummmmm. 

  3. So I just made this (used spaghetti squash instead of pasta) and here was the calorie breakdown for me:

    Spaghetti Squash (10 oz) = 50
    medium raw shrimp (1/2 lb) = 140
    olive oil (2 Tbl) = 240
    butter (1 Tbl) = 100
    garlic (6 cloves) = 18
    diced tomatoes (14.5 oz) = 87.5
    Parsley/spices = .5

    It came to a TOTAL of 636 calories!
    Oh yeah. I’m definitely making this again!

    Any tricks for cooking with spaghetti squash? I liked it but it was a tad too hard. Would a different veggie work better?

  4. Every Sunday for the past month I try one of your recipes to add on my books of cooking. I’m a beginner & very picky on measurements. You do such a great job explaining & showing the recipe in pictures! I’m enjoying cooking more than usual. My fiancé gets really excited for Sunday’s now. As do I! Thank you 

  5. I made this tonight. It was really easy and it turned out great. I think I’d like the sauce to be sweeter. I’m not sure if adding sugar would be the right way to do that, but I think I might try.

    My teenage son thought it was great.

  6. Quick recipe and pretty good. I cooked this per the recipe (except accidentally buying already cooked shrimp.. which is why the dish isn’t probably isn’t as delicious as the others. Lesson learned!) I think I’ll add some sautéd mushrooms for to this dish next time to increase my veggie intake.

  7. I have been making this recipe 1-4 times a month since you posted this two years ago, and it’s always a family favorite. I really can feed 4 hungry people in NYC for less than $10, with a recipe that takes under 20 minutes start to finish. I also always get compliments on it from guests. .. to which I (almost) always pass on to Budget Bytes!. Thanks!