This Shrimp and Spinach Pasta in a flavorful tomato-parmesan cream sauce is an irresistible one pot meal. Impressive enough to serve to guests but so easy you can make it any night of the week!
I’ve got a seriously delicious skillet pasta recipe for you today that you should definitely add to your menu very soon. I’m talking about al dente penne pasta in a luscious, simply seasoned tomato-parmesan cream sauce with shrimp and fresh baby spinach. The whole beautiful thing is garnished with a generous amount of grated Parmesan before serving. Hungry yet?
This Shrimp and Spinach Pasta recipe was inspired by my beloved Chicken and Spinach Skillet Pasta which is the most popular one pot recipe on Valerie’s Kitchen. I’ve long wanted to create a one pot shrimp pasta dish and friends, the time has come!
Why this Recipe Works
- Super minimal prep. Dice some onion and grate some Parmesan and you are ready to start cooking.
- Just one skillet means easy cleanup.
- Utilizes easy to stock ingredients with a few fresh items thrown in.
- Just enough hands off time to toss a salad and warm some bread.
- Spinach – You’ll need a 5 ounce bag of fresh baby spinach. It will seem like a lot but trust me, spinach wilts like crazy and you’ll need all of it.
- Shrimp – I highly recommend picking up a bag of frozen raw shrimp that is peeled, deveined, and with the tails off for incredibly easy prep. I pick mine up at Costco. If the tails are still on, it’s quick and easy to pull them right off. Safely thaw frozen shrimp in your refrigerator overnight before starting. See more below on what size to buy.
- Penne – This is one of those fun recipes where you add dry, uncooked pasta along with the other ingredients. I think penne works best but you could sub another short pasta like bowtie or fusilli, if desired.
- Canned tomato sauce
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Cream – I use half and half or heavy cream, whatever happens to be in the fridge.
- Onion – I like to use sweet yellow onion. White onion will work fine too.
- Broth – Low sodium chicken or vegetable broth.
- Parmesan – Freshly grated.
- Minced garlic
- Seasoning – The simple seasoning consists of Italian seasoning, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a little crushed red pepper flakes for some kick.
- Olive oil – Extra virgin is best for sautéing.
Shrimp Counts Per Pound
When buying shrimp, you’ll notice they come in a range of sizes that indicate the number of shrimp per pound. The fewer shrimp per pound, the larger they are. For this recipe, I use either large (31 to 40) or extra large (26-30) shrimp. They are large enough to stand out but there is enough for each serving.
- Small – 51 to 60 per pound
- Medium – 41 to 50 per pound
- Large – 31 to 40 per pound
- Extra Large – 26 – 30 per pound
- Jumbo – 21 to 25 per pound
- Extra Jumbo – 16 to 20 per pound
- Colossal – 15 and under per pound
How to Make Shrimp and Spinach Pasta
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or two.
- Add the broth.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and the uncooked pasta.
- Increase the heat and bring it to a boil.
- Cover the skillet, reduce to low and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
- Stir in the half and half or cream, half of the Parmesan, and the shrimp.
- Cook until the shrimp is opaque, slightly pink, and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the spinach in a big heap on top. You want spinach to still have some life to it so remove the skillet from the heat and stir it in, just until it wilts. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top, and serve.
I like to set out some extra crushed red pepper flakes so my folks here who love spicy food can add as much as they’d like to their dish. And of course, a little extra grated Parmesan never hurts!
This one pot pasta is wonderful served with a simple green salad and some warm French bread.
- I really love the flavor combination in my Butter Lettuce Salad with Grapes and Gorgonzola.
- Toss a simple green salad and top it with Homemade Italian Dressing or Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette.
- Bake up a quick batch of Cheater Garlic Bread to complete your meal.
Promptly refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container. This shrimp pasta recipe is best if consumed within 3 to 4 days.
Gently reheat it in the microwave or in a pot on the stove, adding a splash of water, if needed, to loosen the sauce.
More Yummy Shrimp Recipes
- Caesar Salad with Oven Roasted Shrimp
- Orecchiette with Shrimp in Vodka Sauce
- Instant Pot Pasta Primavera
- Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimp and Spinach Pasta
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or enough to coat the bottom of your skillet
- 1 cup diced yellow or white onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 10 ounces dry uncooked penne pasta
- ⅓ cup half and half or heavy cream
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese divided
- 1 pound raw shrimp, extra large (26-30) or large (31-40) peeled, deveined, tails removed (if frozen, thaw completely before beginning)
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over MEDIUM heat. Add the onion to the skillet, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or two.
- Add the broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and the pasta. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover the skillet, reduce to LOW and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.
- Stir in the half and half or cream, half of the Parmesan, and the shrimp and cook over MEDIUM-LOW heat until the shrimp is opaque, slightly pink, and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the spinach in a big heap on top. You want spinach to still have some life to it so remove the skillet from the heat after you add it and stir it in just until it wilts. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan over the top, and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.