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Comfort food is made healthy and convenient in this One Skillet Shrimp Alfredo! With only 5 minutes of prep work and pasta that cooks right in the pan, you can feed your family a fast, nutritious, and protein-packed easy dinner — in less than 30 minutes!

Overhead image of Shrimp Alfredo Pasta in a cast iron skillet

Frozen shrimp is one of my best short-cuts to get a healthy, family-friendly dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes!

And if it’s a busy night and we’re worried about making dinner FAST, the last thing we want to deal with is a sink full of dishes at the end of the night, right? That’s why I’m on a constant mission to master the art of the one dish/one skillet/one baking tray/one pot meal! In my opinion, it’s the only way to go!

Overhead bowl of shrimp alfredo penne pasta

How to make Shrimp Alfredo:

To start the Alfredo sauce, you’ll need diced onions and minced garlic. I like to use these frozen pre-diced onions and a bottle of fresh minced garlic for a shortcut, but you can certainly chop your own if you prefer.

Diced onions and garlic for shrimp alfredo

Cook the onion and garlic in olive oil for about 1 minute. Stir constantly so that the garlic doesn’t burn.

cooked garlic and onion in cast iron skillet

Now it’s time for the liquid. Instead of the traditional butter and cream that’s usually included with Alfredo sauce recipes, I’m using 1% milk and chicken stock. You’ll get a creamy flavor without all of the fat and calories. A couple tablespoons of flour helps to thicken the sauce.

Ingredients for alfredo sauce

Once the sauce starts to gently boil and thicken, stir in the uncooked mini penne pasta.

Adding penne pasta to alfredo sauce

I like to use this mini penne, which cooks in just 9 or 10 minutes, but you can use regular penne pasta if that’s all that you can find. You’ll just need to increase your cooking time to at least 11 or 12 minutes.

Box of mini penne pasta for shrimp alfredo

The pasta cooks in the sauce for about 10 minutes (covered), just until the penne is tender. Then add the cooked shrimp, remove the cover, and continue cooking over low heat for just 2-3 minutes (or until the shrimp is warm).

Adding shrimp to skillet with alfredo pasta

I use frozen peeled and deveined cooked shrimp, which I thaw in the refrigerator overnight. This is a great shortcut so that all of the prep work is done for me!

Bag of frozen cooked shrimp

Once the shrimp is heated through, remove the skillet from the heat and stir in about 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. This will add great flavor to the sauce and will thicken it up even more.

Grated parmesan cheese in measuring cup

With a garnish of fresh parsley or basil, your restaurant-quality Shrimp Alfredo Pasta is ready in less than 30 minutes!

Healthy Shrimp Alfredo Pasta in a cast iron skillet garnished with parsley

Can you freeze Shrimp Alfredo?

Due to the lower fat content in this Alfredo sauce, I don’t recommend freezing it. There’s a good chance that it will curdle or not remain smooth when you thaw and reheat the sauce. Freezing the shrimp and then thawing and reheating also results in a rubbery, less desirable texture. Short story: serve and enjoy immediately!

Can you reheat Shrimp Alfredo?

If you have leftovers, you can store the shrimp Alfredo in the refrigerator for a few days. Gently reheat the dish (covered) in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through, or on the stovetop over very low heat. Just be careful that you don’t cook it for too long, or the shrimp will become tough.

Front view of Shrimp Alfredo pasta in a white bowl with blue trim

What goes with Shrimp Alfredo?

This Shrimp Alfredo pasta pairs nicely with:

Close up image of Shrimp Alfredo in skillet with wooden spoon


  • Stir constantly as you’re cooking the garlic and onion. This will prevent the garlic from burning. If you get distracted and your garlic burns, start over (it will be too bitter to use).
  • I like to use mini penne, which cooks in just 9 or 10 minutes, but you can use regular penne pasta if that’s all that you can find. You’ll just need to increase your cooking time to at least 11 or 12 minutes.
  • I use frozen peeled and deveined cooked shrimp, which I thaw in the refrigerator overnight. This is a great shortcut so that all of the prep work is done for me!
  • Garnish with fresh herbs for a touch of fresh, bright color and flavor!

Overhead image of bowl of Shrimp Alfredo surrounded by fresh parsley

Looking for even more easy Alfredo recipes? Try these favorites:

Lightened Up One Skillet Shrimp Alfredo

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 445 kcal
This lightened up version of a classic Shrimp Alfredo cooks entirely in one skillet for an easy dinner recipe that's ready in less than 30 minutes!


  • 1 ½ cups uncooked mini penne pasta (or other small similar pasta with a cooking time of 9-10 minutes)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 cup milk I used 1%, but skim or 2% would also work
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb. peeled, deveined, cooked shrimp (I use the frozen cooked shrimp and just defrost them in the refrigerator overnight)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley; fresh basil


  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When oil is shimmering, add garlic and onion and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add chicken broth, milk, flour and salt and whisk until completely combined. Stir in uncooked pasta.
  • Bring to a gentle boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring once or twice during this time.
  • Stir in shrimp and cook, uncovered, for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp is heated through.
  • Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately.


Serving: 1/4 of the recipeCalories: 445kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 37gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 296mgSodium: 1797mgPotassium: 476mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 315IUVitamin C: 13.9mgCalcium: 465mgIron: 3.5mg
Keyword: shrimp alfredo, Shrimp Alfredo Pasta
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in November, 2015. It was updated in January, 2019.


Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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  1. Mmmmm…you’ve done it again, Blair! Created such an amazing and delicious one-skillet meal that comes together in a flash! I’ve gotta try this–looks so yummy! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and followed the recipe completely. It made so much more than four servings. It was very delicious.

  3. I’m so glad I found your site!! this is the second dish I’ve made of yours and it’s spot on!

    I can never indulge in any Alfredo typically because the aftermath on my stomach is too much. This is just the right amount of taste without feeling gross afterwards.

    1. Yay! That’s exactly what I was going for — indulgent taste in a lighter dish. So glad that you’re enjoying the recipes. Thanks, Jamie!

  4. I am confused about what kind of Parmesan to use. The recipe says fresh grated Parmesan, but the picture shows Kraft parmesan in a jar. Which is best for this recipe?Thanks, I look forward to trying this recipe!

    1. Hey, Sarah! Sorry for that confusion — I’ve used both (either is fine), but I usually just use the Parmesan in a jar (as shown) because that’s what I keep on hand. 🙂

    1. Hi, Moe! Yes — you definitely can! Fettuccine cooks slightly faster than the penne, though, so just keep an eye on it and add the shrimp as soon as the pasta starts to get tender. That way you won’t have overcooked, gummy pasta. 🙂

  5. This sounds so delicious! I’ve made something similar using salmon that I think would also be great instead of the shrimp in this recipe.

  6. I know you mentioned that these are large portions but the sodium content seems rather high. Do you have any suggestions or alternatives to reduce sodium somewhat? Thank you

    1. Hi, Julie! Sure! The ingredients that are adding sodium are the chicken broth (so maybe pick a low-sodium option there), the Parmesan cheese (not much you can change about that one), and the salt itself (which you can omit or decrease to suit your taste). Shrimp itself is relatively high in sodium, but again, there’s not much you can change about that ingredient. Hope this helps!

  7. 5 stars
    My family LOVED this recipe! It is a keeper, especially since it is light on calories, without sacrificing the taste. I pre-boiled the noodles since I didn’t have the smaller noodles on hand. I added the noodles right before adding the thawed shrimp. Amazing smooth taste and NO BUTTER!

    1. Thank you, Heidi! We’re so glad you were able to make it work for you and that it was such a hit!