Shrimp Pesto Pasta with Asparagus (Easy Dinner)

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Easy basil shrimp pesto pasta with asparagus is the perfect quick and delicious dinner! It’s packed with flavor and comes together in under 30 minutes.

This post is sponsored by Klarbrunn.

How to Make the Best Shrimp Pesto Pasta:

If there’s one thing I feel very strongly about when it comes to cooking, it’s that it’s always (always!) better to make your own sauce. It’s normally more affordable, and the taste is 10 times better every single time. So, I’m sure it goes without saying that I’m going to tell you that you MUST make your own pesto for this recipe to be the best that it can be.

Now that we have that out of the way, there are a few other tips that will help you make the best pesto pasta with shrimp and asparagus.

Three plates of shrimp pesto pasta.

First, use fresh pasta if you can. It tastes so much better, and it also cooks more quickly, too!

Second, don’t overcook the shrimp! It’s easy to do, so keep an eye on them while they’re cooking. This is a great time to stand at the stove and watch them because if you walk away for a minute, they can easily overcook.

Third, bring this dish to the next level by pairing it with Klarbrunn’s Black Cherry Sparkling Water. I love all of their flavors, but black cherry is one of my favorites. It’s so incredibly delicious! It pairs perfectly with this dish and feels like a real indulgence while still being perfectly healthy!

Have you tried their sparkling water yet? If you haven’t, you’ve got to! You can get it here.

A plate of shrimp pesto pasta with a fork in it.

Can I Make Basil Pesto Without Parmesan Cheese?

The short answer is yes, definitely.

You might be surprised to hear that I actually don’t add parmesan to my pesto. I’ve always found that it takes away from the flavor of the basil. Instead, I opt to add in more pine nuts to replace the creaminess of the parmesan.

Fun fact: you can replace the pine nuts in pesto with walnuts to make it more affordable. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s incredibly delicious in its own right.

Shrimp pesto pasta in a skillet.

Can I Make Pesto Without Nuts?

You can, but it won’t be as creamy and the garlic will have a spicier kick. If you need to make it without nuts, I’d replace the nuts with additional oil.

A process collage showing pesto ingredients and pesto blended.

How to Make Gluten Free Pesto Shrimp Pasta:

Just swap the pasta for your favorite gluten free pasta!

Can I Make Pesto Pasta with Shrimp Keto or Low Carb?

Definitely! Just substitute the linguine with zoodles. Zoodles are noodles made from zucchini using a spiralizer and an amazing healthy swap.

A side shot of three plates of shrimp pesto pasta.

How Many Calories are in Shrimp Pesto Pasta?

This recipe has approximately 511 calories per serving.

What You’ll Need:

This easy recipe needs only a few tools. First, you need a high speed blender or food processor to make the pesto. Second, you need a large heavy-bottomed skillet to cook the shrimp and a large pot to boil the pasta.

Yield: 6 standard servings (or 4 generous servings)

Shrimp Pesto Pasta

Shrimp Pesto Pasta
Easy basil shrimp pesto pasta with asparagus is the perfect quick and delicious dinner! It's packed with flavor and comes together in under 30 minutes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

Pesto:

  • 3 cups fresh basil
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (depending on preference)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Shrimp:

  • 1 pound shrimp (shells removed and deveined)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium cloves garlic (minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil (thinly sliced)

Pasta:

  • 3/4 pound linguine (certified gluten free if necessary)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound asparagus (with tough ends broken off and cut into 1” pieces)
  • 1 medium shallot (thinly sliced)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Fresh mozzarella (to taste)

Instructions

Pesto:

  1. In a high speed blender or a food processor, combine the bail, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pulse until blended (but stop shy of it becoming a uniform paste). Spoon into a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap onto the top of the pesto to stop the pesto from browning.

Shrimp:

  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the shrimp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the garlic, salt, and red chili flakes. Stir to combine and saute until aromatic (about 30 seconds - 1 minute).
  3. Add the shrimp and cook until they are cooked halfway through (depending on the size of shrimp you’re using, this could take anywhere from 45 seconds - 2 minutes).
  4. Using tongs, flip the shrimp and saute until the shrimp are cooked through.
  5. Set the shrimp aside (being sure to reserve the oil).

Pasta:

  1. In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta until it’s just al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water when it’s finished cooking.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, saute the shallot and asparagus. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the shallot and stir. Saute for 30 seconds. Add in the asparagus and stir. Saute just until the asparagus turns a bright green.
  3. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet. Add the pasta water and the pesto, and toss to combine.
  4. Top with the shrimp, fresh mozzarella pieces, and the reserved oil.
  5. Serve hot. 

Notes

Avoid salting the steps that don’t call for it (even if you’re used to salting vegetables and garlic when you’re cooking them). Plenty of salt is added from the salt and peppered shrimp, the pesto, and the pasta water.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1/6

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 511 Total Fat: 24.8g Saturated Fat: 5.6g Trans Fat: 0.2g Cholesterol: 132mg Carbohydrates: 48.7g Net Carbohydrates: 42.5g Fiber: 6.2g Sugar: 4g Protein: 26.2g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. The nutrition information does not include sodium because much of it is to taste in this recipe - if sodium is a concern, please calculate the nutrition based off of what you use. I did not include mozzarella in the nutrition information because it is optional and to taste.

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you thought in the comments or on Instagram! @keytomylime #keytomylime

Be sure to pin this recipe for later!

Two images of shrimp pesto pasta.

Try making this easy basil shrimp pesto pasta with asparagus!

Shrimp pesto pasta in a silver skillet.

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