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Creamy Shrimp & Broccoli Pasta

Fresh ricotta, lemon, garlic, and chili. This creamy Shrimp & Broccoli Pasta recipe celebrates this classic Italian flavor combination. A fresh yet comforting meal that you can whip up in 30 minutes flat – perfect for slow summer days.

A large pan filled with shrimp broccoli pasta.
Table of contents

Why you’ll love my shrimp & broccoli pasta recipe

I love seafood pasta of ANY kind but this is the one the whole family enjoys.

  • Quick and easy: Whip up this easy pasta dish in 30 minutes flat with only a few fresh but simple ingredients and pantry staples. Minimal effort, maximal flavor!
  • Creamy but fresh: Fresh lemon and ricotta work well with the spicy shrimp. It’s a creamy yet fresh pasta dish, unlike its richer Alfredo sibling, that makes an easy and fresh summer meal.
  • Versatile: Perfect for a weeknight dinner, an easy lunch with the whole family, or a special occasion such as Mother’s Day, this summer pasta dish can be easily adjusted to suit everyone’s taste. Less heat, more veggies, more cheese – no problem!


Ingredients needed to make shrimp broccoli pasta.
  • Pasta: Short pasta works best. I chose farfalle (bowtie) but penne, fusilli, or macaroni all work well too. You can also use spaghetti, fettuccine, or angel hair if you prefer a longer pasta shape, or use fresh pasta of course.
  • Butter & oil: Extra-virgin olive oil, salted or unsalted butter.
  • Shrimp: Fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined or frozen raw shrimp but you’ll need to defrost them and pat-dry them first.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves, minced. Alternatively, you can use 3/4 tsp ground garlic.
  • Broccoli: 1 medium-sized broccoli cut into florets.
  • Cheese: Grated parmesan cheese and fresh ricotta cheese.
  • Lemon: Zest and juice of 1 lemon.
  • Chili: Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
  • Seasoning: Salt and ground black pepper.


  1. Extra veggies: Add sliced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, or arugula for extra color.
  2. Surf and turf: Add crispy bacon such as pancetta for a richer flavor.
  3. Shrimp and broccoli Alfredo: Substitute the ricotta cheese with heavy cream or 1/2 cream and 1/2 whole milk. Check out this Alfredo sauce recipe for more tips on how to make it.

How to make this creamy shrimp pasta

Steps 5-8 to make shrimp broccoli pasta.
Steps 5-8 to make shrimp broccoli pasta.
  1. Cook the broccoli florets and bowtie pasta.
  2. Set aside 1 cup of pasta water.
  3. Add ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, and zest to a small bowl.
  4. Stir to combine.
  5. Cook the raw shrimp in olive oil and butter.
  6. Add minced garlic and 1/4 tsp chili flakes halfway through cooking the shrimp, season with salt and ground pepper.
  7. Add the ricotta cheese mixture.
  8. Stir to combine. Add pasta water if needed.


Serve this shrimp pasta with fresh flatbread and a simple green salad such as insalata mista for a complete meal. Pair with a chilled glass of wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or blush Rosé, to enhance the fresh flavors of the pasta dish.


Can I use frozen shrimp?

Yes, thaw frozen shrimp before cooking and pat dry with paper towels for best results.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave. I don’t recommend freezing this pasta dish.

A fork with a bowtie pasta, a shrimp, and broccoli floret.

For more easy pasta dinners, check out the following recipes:

If you loved this Shrimp & Broccoli Pasta Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating below. Thank you!

A white pasta bowl filled with shrimp broccoli pasta.

Creamy Shrimp & Broccoli Pasta

Caro Jensen
This creamy shrimp & broccoli pasta recipe celebrates the classic Italian flavors of fresh ricotta, lemon, garlic, and chili. A fresh yet comforting meal that you can whip up in 30 minutes flat – perfect for slow summer days.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 439 kcal


  • 8 oz farfalle pasta dried, aka bowtie pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets 1 small head of broccoli
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese grated, divided
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb shrimp defrosted, deveined
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes divided
  • 1 tsp salt divided
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper divided
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts optional, toasted
  • 1/4 cup parsley optional, finely chopped


  • In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Add the broccoli florets for the last 3-4 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and broccoli.
    8 oz farfalle pasta, 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • Combine ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl with a spoon. Set aside.
    1 cup ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest, 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and butter. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pink and opaque, about 2-3 minutes per side. Add minced garlic and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes halfway through. Season with salt and pepper.
    3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp butter, 1 lb shrimp, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • Reduce heat to medium heat and add cooked pasta and broccoli to the cooked shrimp. Add the ricotta mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add reserved pasta water a little at a time until you have the desired consistency.
  • Garnish with remaining red pepper flakes, toasted pine nuts, extra parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley.
    2 tbsp pine nuts, 1/4 cup parsley


  1. Don’t overcook shrimp: Cook shrimp just until they turn pink and opaque to prevent them from becoming rubbery.
  2. Use pasta water: Adding pasta water to the sauce helps to thicken, creating a creamy texture that coats the pasta evenly.


Calories: 439kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 31gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 742mgPotassium: 459mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 744IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 309mgIron: 2mg
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