Lemon Pepper Shrimp Pappardelle
Juicy lemon pepper shrimp tangled with ribbons of pappardelle and dressed in a light citrus sauce. You can make this restaurant-quality meal at home in 20 minutes with simple ingredients!
Who says eating well at home has to be complicated? I love recipes that bust that myth, and this delicious shrimp pasta is a prime example. Easily one of the best things we’ve eaten this month, yet super simple.
Shrimp are a key freezer staple, because they defrost in minutes and cook in no time. They’re the foundation of my easy garlic butter shrimp, which is done in just 15 minutes, and shrimp pasta with asparagus and pistachios. This recipe is a perfect addition to that tasty collection!
Best of all, you can have this on the table in a mere 20 minutes — and grab every ingredient you need in one swing through the fridge and pantry.
What you need to make lemon pepper shrimp
- Shrimp: Buy them frozen, raw, pre-peeled and deveined for maximum ease.
- Lemon pepper seasoning: A simple blend and pantry staple for flavoring meat, seafood, and veggies. I like to buy it in a grinder, so the spices stay fresh and potent as long as possible. If you don’t have lemon pepper on hand, substitute fresh-cracked black pepper and add an extra pinch of lemon zest to the sauce.
- Lemons for juice and zest: Two large lemons should yield enough juice for this recipe. Fresh is best, because the flavor is very prominent.
- White wine: A key component of this light yet flavorful sauce. If you prefer not to cook with wine, substitute shrimp, chicken, or vegetable stock. The flavor will differ slightly.
- Olive oil, butter, and salt.
- Fresh parsley and dried red pepper flakes: Optional garnishes.
- Pasta: Flat, broad ribbons of pappardelle are beautiful in this dish and easy to find in most major groceries. Of course you can substitute any other type of pasta you like.
Looking for a low carb option? Easy! Serve the shrimp and sauce over zucchini noodles or ribbons or cauliflower rice.
Fun fact: a singular piece of pappardelle would be una pappardella — though you may not really encounter such a thing in practice — and both words are derived from the Italian verb pappare, meaning to devour or gobble up. How appropriate!
Tips and tricks for success
- Defrost shrimp the easy way: You can transfer frozen shrimp to the fridge for several hours to defrost, but I find it much easier to do just before cooking. Simply place frozen shrimp in a large colander, place in the sink, and run them under cold water for about 5 minutes. Why cold water? Shrimp are so easy to cook that hot water can start doing so prematurely!
- Salty like the sea: Add a generous pinch of salt to your water before cooking the pasta. It should be salty like the sea! This adds subtle flavor to the pasta and gives the finished product that little something.
- Have your ingredients ready: This sauce is simple and comes together very quickly, so it helps to have your ingredients gathered and at least some measured out before you begin. This is the classic mise-en-place, and while it sounds fancy, it’s a very simple way to make cooking more orderly, less stressful, and more successful.
- The great tails debate: Shrimp cooks identically with or without its tails. They’re easier to eat if the tails are already off, but prettier with the tails on. This is why you’ll typically see tails-on in photos! And yes, it means the diner must subsequently remove the tails one-by-one.
What to serve with lemon pepper shrimp
Lemon Pepper Shrimp Pappardelle
- 12 ounces pappardelle or another dried pasta
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper can substitute fresh-cracked black pepper
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup lemon juice from 1 or 2 lemons
- zest of 1 lemon
- chopped fresh parsley, lemon slices, red pepper flakes optional garnishes
- Boil a large pot of well-salted water, and cook pasta according to package directions, just to al dente. Drain and set aside.
- While pasta cooks, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter together with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds.
- Add shrimp in an even layer and season with salt and lemon pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then use tongs to flip the shrimp. Cook on the other side just until pink and opaque. Transfer shrimp to a plate, squeeze with a bit of lemon juice, and set aside.
- Quickly add the white wine, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the skillet, scraping the bottom to remove any browned bits. Bring sauce to a simmer. Cook 1 minute, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
- Once butter melts, return shrimp to the pan along with the drained pasta. Toss to coat everything with the sauce. Garnish with parsley, lemon slices, and more pepper as desired. Dig in!