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!
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!
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.
Cook the onion and garlic in olive oil for about 1 minute. Stir constantly so that the garlic doesn't burn.
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.
Once the sauce starts to gently boil and thicken, stir in the uncooked mini penne pasta.
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.
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).
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!
Once the shrimp is heated through, remove the skillet from the heat and stir in about ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese. This will add great flavor to the sauce and will thicken it up even more.
With a garnish of fresh parsley or basil, your restaurant-quality Shrimp Alfredo Pasta is ready in less than 30 minutes!
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.
What goes with Shrimp Alfredo?
This Shrimp Alfredo pasta pairs nicely with:
- A simple green salad dressed in Italian Balsamic Vinaigrette;
- 3-Ingredient Breadsticks or garlic bread;
- 2-Ingredient Italian Sugar Snap Peas;
- Garlic Roasted Broccoli
COOK'S TIPS AND RECIPE VARIATIONS:
- 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!
Looking for even more easy Alfredo recipes? Try these favorites:
- Dump-and-Bake Chicken and Ravioli in Alfredo Sauce
- Dump-and-Bake Chicken Alfredo Pasta Casserole
- Dump-and-Bake Tortellini Alfredo with Chicken and Veggies
Lightened Up One Skillet Shrimp Alfredo
- 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 ¾ cup chicken broth
- 1 ¾ 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.
This recipe was originally published in November, 2015. It was updated in January, 2019.