Shrimp Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce is not only incredibly easy to prepare but also bursting with delicious flavors that will delight your taste buds. Imagine succulent shrimp in a thick and robust marinara sauce, served on top of angel hair pasta; it's a quick, satisfying meal that'll whisk you to Italy in just 20 minutes!
If you're a seafood lover, this recipe is a must-try. The tender shrimp paired with the savory marinara sauce and pasta create a mouthwatering combination that's bound to satisfy even the heartiest appetite, leaving you craving seconds and thirds!
Shrimp Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce is a fantastic option for those weeknight dinners when you need something scrumptious on the table fast. This stove top version can easily be made in your slow cooker or oven (keep reading for those directions).
If you love shrimp, try this Shrimp and Rice Casserole. Shrimp and rice are baked together in a creamy sauce and just the right amount of Cajun seasoning.
Ingredients for Shrimp Spaghetti
Raw shrimp - Large, raw, peeled, and deveined shrimp: These are the star of the show, bringing a delicate seafood flavor and tender texture to the dish. Use fresh or frozen shrimp - let frozen shrimp thaw first.
Pasta - any spaghetti will do, but I especially like angel hair pasta because it cooks quickly and twirls around your fork so easily!
Crushed tomatoes - forms the base of this rich and flavorful marinara sauce.
Tomato paste - provides the rich and deep tomato flavor and provides thickness for the sauce. Have your tried the tomato paste in a tube? Just squeeze out the amount you need, then store it in the refrigerator to use for another recipe!
Minced garlic - I always use the minced garlic that comes in a jar because it's very close in flavor to fresh garlic. The mincing is done for you so it saves prep time and it's super convenient to keep in your fridge for later use.
Olive oil - to sauté the garlic and shrimp.
Dried Italian seasoning - a classic blend that usually contains dried basil, oregano, thyme, and a pinch of rosemary.
Parsley - I like fresh parsley for its fresh flavor, aroma, and visual appeal; you can use dried parsley if that's all you have.
- Instead of shrimp, you can use crawfish, scallops, crab meat, or chunks of any white fish.
- You can use any type spaghetti such as regular or thin. You can also use any shape pasta such as linguini. Watching carbs? Try zucchini pasta or spaghetti squash.
- If you're out of tomato paste, here's a link to my article 23 Best Tomato Paste Substitutes. Ketchup or tomato sauce are good substitutes for tomato paste.
- For the crushed tomatoes you can substitute with canned diced or whole tomatoes, and crush them with a potato masher or blend briefly in a blender or food processor.
- Substitute fresh minced garlic with garlic powder or garlic paste. One teaspoon of garlic powder is roughly equivalent to one fresh garlic clove.
- Instead of olive oil, you can use other cooking oils like vegetable oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil. Butter or margarine can also work, but they will alter the flavor.
If you prefer a spicier kick, add red pepper flakes to the sauce. For a veggie boost, toss in some sautéed spinach or bell peppers. Top with parmesan cheese.
How to Make Shrimp Spaghetti
Step 1 - saute garlic in olive oil.
Step 2 - add the shrimp.
Step 3 - stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, dried Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes.
Step 4 - serve over cooked spaghetti. Top with fresh parsley! Serve with a roll.
What Goes with Shrimp Spaghetti
This dish is delicious on its own, but you can pair it with a crisp green salad and some garlic bread for a complete meal. Another great side dish is Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips. You can never go wrong with Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread either!
Tips for Success
- Don't overcook the shrimp. They should turn pink and opaque, but if you cook them too long, they can become tough and rubbery.
- Taste the sauce as you go and adjust the seasonings to your preference. Some like it spicier, while others prefer a milder sauce.
- Be mindful when salting the pasta water, as the sauce will also have salt. Start with a little and add more if needed.
Tips for Cooking Pasta
Cooking pasta may seem simple, but achieving perfectly cooked pasta every time requires some attention to detail. Here are some tips to help you cook pasta like a pro:
- Use a Large Pot: Choose a pot that's large enough to hold the pasta comfortably and has plenty of room for water to boil. Using a big pot helps prevent sticking and ensures even cooking.
- Use Plenty of Water: Use about 4-6 quarts (4-6 liters) of water for every pound (450g) of pasta. More water helps maintain a rolling boil and prevents the pasta from sticking together.
- Salt the Water: Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. A general guideline is about 1-2 tablespoons of salt per gallon (4 liters) of water. Salting the water enhances the pasta's flavor.
- Stir at the Beginning: Once you add the pasta to the boiling water, give it a quick stir to prevent it from sticking together. Stir again occasionally during cooking.
- Follow Cooking Time on the Package: Refer to the instructions on the pasta package for the recommended cooking time. Taste a piece a minute or two before the suggested time to check for doneness. Pasta should be "al dente," which means it's tender but still has a slight firmness when bitten.
- Test for Doneness: The best way to check if pasta is done is to taste it. It should be cooked but still slightly firm. If you press a piece between your fingers, it should offer some resistance. Avoid overcooking, as it can result in mushy pasta.
- Drain Properly: When draining the pasta, don't rinse it with cold water. Rinsing removes the starch that helps sauce cling to the pasta. Simply let it drain in a colander.
Alternative Cooking Methods
You can adapt the Shrimp Spaghetti recipe for both the slow cooker and the oven. Here's how:
Slow Cooker Directions - Add the olive oil and garlic to a skillet. Over medium-high heat, cook the garlic for 30 seconds. Transfer the olive oil and garlic mixture to your slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and the seasonings. Taste test and add additional seasonings if needed. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook on high 15-25 minutes, just until shrimp turn pink. Serve over cooked spaghetti.
Oven Directions - Preheat oven to 350F. Add the olive oil and garlic to a large oven-proof skillet. Over medium-high heat, cook the garlic for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and the seasonings. Taste test and add additional seasonings if needed. Stir in the shrimp. Place the skillet in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked. While the shrimp are baking cook and drain the pasta. Serve cooked shrimp marinara over the cooked spaghetti.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
To store leftover Shrimp Spaghetti, let it cool off completely then place the cooked spaghetti on the bottom of an airtight container then add the shrimp marinara. Cover it and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, gently warm it in a pan on the stove with a splash of water or microwave it in 30-second intervals until heated through.
Questions you may have
Yes, you can use frozen shrimp, but make sure to thaw them overnight (or up to 24 hours) in the refrigerator before cooking.
Yes, you can prepare the marinara sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge for a day or two. To reheat, gently warm it in a pan on the stove or microwave it in 30-second intervals until heated through. Serve on top of cooked spaghetti.
Marinara sauce is a simpler, tomato-based sauce with a smoother texture and a focus on rich tomato flavor, while spaghetti sauce (meat sauce) is a heartier, meaty sauce with a chunkier texture and a more complex flavor profile.
If you tried this recipe, please let me know by leaving a comment! I'd love to hear from you.
Shrimp Spaghetti with Marinara
- Pot for boiling pasta
- Strainer or colandar to drain pasta
- Large sauce pan
- measuring cup(s)
- measuring spoons
- 8 oz angel hair pasta
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic (or the jarred garlic) not dried garlic
- 12 oz Large shrimp, raw, peeled and deveined, tails removed If frozen, let thaw first
- 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 6 oz canned tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning Tip: rub the seasoning between your fingers while adding to the sauce to bring out the flavor.
- ½ teaspoon salt Start slow with salt, then add more after a taste test
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup minced fresh parsley (divided) Reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish
- Recommendation: Read all the directions first, then begin the recipe.
- Cook the pasta per the package directions, drain it, and set aside.
- Add the olive oil and garlic to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn the garlic; lower the heat if need be.
- Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring and turning the shrimps over occasionally. We won't cook the shrimp all the way through since they'll finish cooking with the sauce.
- Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, dried Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and slow-simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove skillet from the heat and stir in the parsley. Taste test and add more salt and pepper if you want to.
- Plate the spaghetti and top generously with shrimp and marinara sauce. Garnish with some of the reserved fresh parsley.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy to my readers. I'm not a nutritionist and I don't guarantee the accuracy of this data. The data may differ according to the brands I used versus the brands you use. To calculate the data yourself using your brands, try using an online nutrition calculator or app.