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Easy lemon pasta with juicy shrimp and a creamy Parmesan sauce. You can make this restaurant level dish at home and be the star of the kitchen!

lemon shrimp pasta with Parmesan cream sauce.

All about this lemon pasta with shrimp

  • This is a simple recipe but tastes like you ordered it at your favorite local Italian restaurant! You can use spaghetti, fettuccine or even linguine for your pasta. The sauce is made by combining heavy cream and Parmesan which acts as a thickener.
  • Lemon is the first word of the recipe title so we can’t be stingy with the flavor. Lemon zest is the best way to get that citrus flavor into the pasta.
  • Uncooked and deveined shrimp are what you’ll need for this pasta, and the bigger the better in my opinion.

Quick summary of how to cook this lemon pasta

  • Cook the pasta while you make the sauce and cook the shrimp.
  • Sauté the shallot until soft and add the cream.
  • Add the shrimp.
  • Add the Parmesan and let the sauce simmer until slightly thickened.
  • Add extra Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
lemon pasta with shrimp on a plate with crusty bread

top tips for making pasta for dinner

  • Don’t overcrowd your pot with too much pasta. Whatever amount you add to the pot will double in volume.
  • Heavy cream is better than single cream or whipping cream. More fat means a creamier sauce.
  • Peel the shrimp for easier eating but I like to keep the tails on the shrimp for presentation.
  • When adding the pasta to the shrimp, start with small amounts until the pasta has absorbed most of the sauce. If you add all of the pasta at once, it may be too much pasta. I like my pasta to be more creamy so adding a splash of cream to loosen up the sauce at this stage is okay.

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Lemon Pasta with Shrimp and Parmesan

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Author: foodnessgracious
Easy lemon pasta with juicy shrimp and a creamy Parmesan sauce. You can make this restaurant level dish at home and be the star of the kitchen!
Print Recipe


  • 12 ounces dried spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled but tails left on if preferred.
  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 pinch of salt and black pepper
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnishing.
  • fresh chopped basil


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and begin to cook the pasta as per the directions on the box.
  • While the pasta cooks, add the cream to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium low heat.
  • Add the lemon zest, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
  • Once the cream begins to bubble add the Parmesan and mix until smooth.
  • Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Using a set of tongs, grab some of the pasta from the pot and add it to the cream sauce.
  • Mix well making sure the pasta is well coated in sauce. Add more pasta if you think there is enough sauce to coat it.
  • Transfer the pasta with shrimp to a plate and garnish with some extra Parmesan and chopped basil.
  • Serve at once.