This Creamy Pesto Shrimp Pasta can be made in one pot and is a family favorite. It’s easy, inexpensive, yet impressive for a fancy dinner party or quick weeknight meal.

Every Sunday my Mom comes over for dinner and this is always my go to meal for her. Why? Reason number one is that she loves shrimp and reason number two is its just that good!

The Ingredients

Shrimp – If you’re not a seafood person feel free to leave out the protein option all together or sub in chicken. I used cooked shrimp (thawed) and removed the tails before cooking.

Sun Dried Tomato Oil Instead of butter or olive oil I prefer to use the oil from the jar of sun dried tomatoes to sauté the veggies in. Just adds a little more flavor.

Pasta – I used rigatoni, but bowties or penne pasta would also work well. Because this pasta to broth ratio is very important in one pot pastas I can’t vouch for alternative pastas like gluten-free, rice, chickpea, or even whole wheat pasta. They absorb broth differently than semolina pasta and may not work the same in this recipe.

Garlic – Fresh garlic is a great way to add additional flavor to the dish.

Chicken Broth – This will be the liquid that cooks the pasta. I typically look for low/lower sodium chicken broth. This adds great flavor to the dish. If you don’t have chicken broth you can use a mixture of water and chicken or vegetable bullion.

Milk – I used whole milk because that’s what we have in the fridge. Feel free to use whichever milk or milk alternative you prefer. Note, the higher the fat content of the milk the creamier the dish will be.

Cream Cheese – The “secret” ingredient. I’ve been on this kick of adding cream cheese to some of my meals and baked goods. It just adds that extra creaminess a meal needs.

Pesto – My all time favorite pesto is Classico basil pesto. Use your favorite brand. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, make you’re own!

Parmesan Cheese – Doesn’t every meal need cheese?

Spices – The recipe calls for pepper and crushed red pepper, I sometimes leave the crushed red pepper out as my husband doesn’t enjoy spicy food. Start with the recipe recommendations, taste and add more if desired.

Sun Dried Tomatoes – A staple in my house! The addition of just a few sun dried tomatoes to any meal adds that perfect punch of intense tomato flavor.

Veggies – The recipe calls for mushroom’s and fresh spinach. Add, remove or sub in asparagus, tomatoes, peas, or any other veggie you like!

Creamy Pesto Shrimp Pasta

This Creamy Pesto Shrimp Pasta can be made in one pot and is a family favorite. It's easy, inexpensive, yet impressive for a fancy dinner party or quick weeknight meal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 421kcal


  • 1 lb. shrimp thawed and tails removed
  • 2 tbsp. sun dried tomato oil from jar
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms sliced
  • ½ lb. pasta rigatoni or pasta of choice
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • cup basil pesto
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper optional
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes sliced


  • Spray a large pan with cooking spray. Turn the heat to medium-high. Place shrimp in pan, cook for about 2 minutes then flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from pan and place in small bowl, set to the side.
  • In same pan add sun dried tomato oil and garlic. Sauté for about one minutes and then add sliced mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set in small bowl, set to the side.
  • Add the uncooked pasta and chicken broth to the same pan. Stir to dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Place a lid on the pan, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil.
  • Once the broth comes to a full boil, give the pasta a quick stir, replace the lid, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the pasta simmer over medium-low heat for about 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and most of the broth has been absorbed. Stir the pasta briefly every two minutes as it simmers, replacing the lid quickly each time.
  • Once the pasta is tender and most of the broth absorbed, add the milk, cream cheese (cut into chunks), and pesto. Stir and cook over medium heat until the cream cheese has fully melted into the sauce. Finally, add the grated Parmesan and stir until combined.
  • Add the fresh spinach, sliced sun dried tomatoes . Stir until the spinach has wilted. Then add mushrooms and shrimp back in. Remove the pasta from the heat. Top the pasta with pepper and crushed red pepper, then serve.


Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 595mg | Potassium: 784mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2078IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 217mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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