Sweet and juicy shrimp sautéed with an assortment of colorful vegetables – shallots, celery, bell peppers, zucchini and tomatoes, all served with pasta and coated in a garlic and white wine sauce.
At home date nights where you start out by cooking the dinner together are so much fun! I highly recommend making this Shrimp and Vegetable Pasta Dinner. Once you prep all the ingredients, it comes together quickly and looks spectacular too.
The shrimp is plump and sweet and pairs really well with the assortment of vegetables, marrying together with all their different flavors and textures. The long thin strands of angel hair pasta are perfect for this recipe and the garlic and white wine sauce is really tasty, but light too, not heavy at all. The combination of the golden and juicy shrimp with the sautéed vegetables and the fresh tomatoes and parsley is really wonderful.
Besides the pasta, everything else is cooked all in one skillet, so that’s another wonderful aspect of this recipe – less dishes to wash later.
Shrimp and Vegetable Pasta Video: Date Night At Home (Cooking With My Husband)
angel hair pasta (of course, you can use any other type of pasta that you like instead too)
shrimp – raw, peeled and deveined. If you don’t have a good source of fresh seafood, I recommend buying shrimp frozen and raw.
Vegetables: shallots (you can use onions instead), celery, bell pepper (I use bell peppers, but you can also use green peppers or others, like poblano peppers or add a jalapeño to add some heat, zucchini, tomatoes and garlic.
Dry white wine – I use sauvignon blanc.
Fresh herbs, parsley and basil are perfect.
Shopping For Shrimp
Frozen shrimp is the best option, unless you’re buying fresh raw shrimp at a market where they sell it right after catching it. Frozen shrimp is usually frozen immediately when it’s caught, so it is really fresh. Plus, it’s really convenient to have frozen shrimp on hand for a really easy and quick dinner. Frozen shrimp thaws really quickly.
The bigger the shrimp, the more juicy it will be, so look for large or jumbo shrimp. It is less likely to overcook and you can get a sear on the larger shrimp without making it rubbery.
Can you use Cooked Shrimp? The shrimp you find in stores that looks pink and is either sold frozen and needs to be thawed or behind the seafood counter or in cocktail rings is not ideal for this recipe. This shrimp is already cooked, will not have as much flavor and if you do heat it up, it will often be too dry, since it’s already cooked, so you’re essentially cooking it twice and instead of being juicy and flavorful, it will be rubbery and tough.
Tips For the Juiciest and Most Flavorful Sautéed Shrimp and Perfectly Sautéed Vegetables
Don’t overcook the shrimp or the vegetables. The shrimp will be tough and the vegetables will get mushy.
Pat the shrimp dry before sautéing so they get a nice sear quickly instead of steaming in the skillet because they are wet.
Cook the vegetables in different stages instead of adding them all to the skillet at the same time. They cook at different rates and will develop more flavor if you add them in in stages.
Use a stainless steel skillet to cook the shrimp and the vegetables. You will get a fond (brown bits on the bottom of the skillet) that will add so much flavor to the sauce and the whole meal.
Save some pasta water to use to deglaze the skillet and to thin out the sauce. The pasta water has starch in it from the pasta cooking in it, so it will add some richness to the sauce.
Using white wine and pasta water to deglaze the skillet develops a lot of flavor, cleans the skillet AND keeps the sauce really light and fresh instead of thick and rich, like if you would make a roux or use heavy cream.
What To Serve With the Shrimp and Vegetable Pasta
Since this recipe has the pasta, shrimp and vegetables all in one, it doesn’t really need anything else. However, a simple salad or some rolls or biscuits complement it really well too.
Place a large pot of salted water to boil. (Then cook the pasta according to how you like it. When you drain it, save 1 1/2 – 2 cups of the pasta cooking water.)
Prep all the ingredients before you start cooking, because the shrimp and vegetables will cook in the amount of time that it will take for the pasta water to boil and the angel hair to cook. Slice the shallots, celery, bell peppers and zucchini into thin slices. Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and chop. Mince the garlic and chop the herbs. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and season on both sides with salt and ground black pepper.
In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoons of oil until hot and add the shrimp, in one layer and cook until golden brown and pink, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining shrimp, adding about 1/2 Tablespoon more oil and using the same skillet. Set the shrimp aside while you cook the vegetables.
Use the same skillet, lower the heat to medium, add 1/2 Tablespoon of oil then the shallots and celery. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until they soften. Use some regular water or some of the reserved pasta water to deglaze the skillet, pouring in the water and scraping the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon to remove the brown bits and get them incorporated into the sauce.
Add the bell peppers, season with salt and pepper, mix to combine with the veggies and cook for another 3 minutes. Make a space in the center of the skillet, add about a teaspoon of oil and then the minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds – 1 minute until fragrant then mix with the vegetables.
Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minuets, then pour in the white wine, increase the heat to high and cook for about 3-5 minutes, just until the sauce is reduced a little and the vegetables are all cooked. Use the reserved pasta water throughout the process of adding all the vegetables to the skillet, deglazing the skillet as needed.
Add the cooked shrimp and vegetables to the pot with the cooked pasta. Add the fresh tomatoes and parsley and mix it all to combine. Add more pasta water to loosen the pasta, if needed.
Serve hot. This dinner is best served right away, but you can also store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-5 days and reheat.
If cooking for a date night, feel free to halve the recipe.