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Quick & Creamy Shrimp & Tomato Pasta for One

Indulge in the delightful flavors of a single serving creamy shrimp & tomato pasta, a recipe that is versatile, and simple, but delicious and will become one of your favorites. You can experiment with different pasta shapes, and pesto variations to make it every time more unique.

Black plate with shrimp pasta with tomatoes.

This pasta with tomatoes and shrimp is the ideal choice for a quick lunch or dinner, perfect when you’re cooking just for yourself.

It is not only quick to prepare but also uses common ingredients to create something truly special. Imagine succulent garlic shrimp tomato pasta for one, blending perfectly with the fresh flavors of tomatoes and basil pesto.

The sauce, rich in garlic, pairs beautifully with the fresh tomatoes, creating a delightful combination of flavors that’s sure to please your palate.

Whether you’re winding down after a long day or fueling up for the night ahead, this tomato prawn pasta is a guaranteed hit for any occasion.

🌟 Recipe Tips

  • Choose Quality Ingredients: For the best flavor, opt for high-quality, fresh shrimp. If using frozen shrimp, ensure they’re thoroughly defrosted and patted dry to avoid wateriness in the dish. Fresh tomatoes are also key for a vibrant and juicy sauce.
  • Don’t Overcook the Shrimp: Shrimp cooks quickly and can easily become tough if overcooked. Cook them until they’re just pink and opaque, which usually takes about 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Cook Pasta Al Dente: Since the pasta will continue to cook a bit when mixed with the hot sauce, aim for an al dente texture. This ensures your spaghetti doesn’t become too soft or mushy.
  • Reserve Pasta Water: Before draining your spaghetti, save a cup of the pasta water. The starchy water is a great addition to adjust the sauce’s consistency, making it cling better to the pasta.
  • Balance the Flavors: The garlic should be fragrant but not burnt, as burnt garlic can impart a bitter taste. Adding a pinch of red pepper flakes can enhance the dish with a subtle heat.
  • Fresh Basil for Garnish: A sprinkle of fresh basil not only adds color but also a burst of freshness. If basil isn’t available, parsley is a great alternative.

🥘 Ingredients & Substitutes

Shrimp with spaghetti, cherry tomatoes and pesto sauce on a wooden surface.
  • Spaghetti provides the base of our dish, offering a classic, twirl-worthy texture. If you’re out of spaghetti or looking for a twist, try linguine or fettuccine. They’re close cousins in the pasta family, offering a similar texture and surface area for the sauce to cling to.
  • Shrimp is the star protein, bringing a delicate, slightly sweet flavor and a wonderful texture contrast. If seafood isn’t your thing, or you’re looking to switch it up, chicken breast cut into small pieces can be a great alternative. It offers a mild flavor that pairs well with the sauce.
  • Tomatoes add a fresh, slightly acidic touch to balance the richness of the dish. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes can be a convenient substitute. They bring the same acidity and freshness, plus a little extra sauciness.
  • Basil Pesto infuses the dish with its herby, nutty flavor, tying all the ingredients together beautifully. If pesto is not on hand, a blend of olive oil, minced fresh basil, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese can mimic its rich, aromatic essence.

👩‍🍳 Directions

For this recipe, the sauce is prepared very quickly, so start by boiling water for the pasta. When it begins to boil, add a little salt and then add the pasta to cook. Only now we can start preparing the sauce.

Raw spaghetti in a pan with boiling water.

Take a large skillet, as you’ll need to add the pasta to it later. Pour 2 teaspoons of olive oil into the skillet and add cherry tomatoes cut in half or quarters, depending on their size.

Pan with oil and cherry tomato halves.

Cook the tomatoes for 3-4 minutes on medium heat until they start to soften, then add the shrimp.

Pro tip: I prefer to use shrimp that are peeled but still in their shells, as this makes the sauce more flavorful. If you don’t like peeling shrimp while eating pasta, you can peel them before adding them to the skillet.

Fried shrimp with cherry tomatoes in a pan on the stove.

Cook the shrimp on medium heat for about 5 more minutes. Now, take the skillet off the heat and wait until the pasta is cooked to al dente, according to the package instructions.

Fried shrimp with cherry tomatoes in a pan on the stove.

When the pasta is al dente, return the skillet with the sauce to medium heat, and drain the pasta.

Pro Tip:

Set aside some of the pasta water in case you want to thin the sauce or if the pasta seems dry.

Add the pasta over the shrimp sauce and then add the pesto sauce. Turn off the heat, as the skillet is now hot enough to properly combine all the ingredients and prevent the pesto sauce from sticking to the bottom of the skillet and burning.

Frying pan with spaghetti, shrimp, pesto and tomatoes.

Mix well so that all the components are well combined. If it seems too dry, add a few tablespoons of the pasta water.

Frying pan with spaghetti, shrimp and tomatoes.

Serve immediately while it’s hot, along with a green salad for a more balanced meal.

Black plate with shrimp pasta with tomatoes.

🍴 How to Double the Recipe:

Doubling the creamy shrimp & tomatoes pasta recipe is straightforward. Simply double each ingredient.

When cooking, use a larger pan to accommodate the increased volume, ensuring even cooking and space for the ingredients to sauté properly. Keep an eye on the pasta and shrimp, as cooking times may vary slightly with the larger quantity.

Lastly, adjust seasonings to taste, as you might want a bit more salt, pepper, or garlic to enhance the flavors for the larger serving. This way, you can easily turn a meal for one into a delightful dinner for two.

🍽️ Servings

Italian-Style Salad Side

Components: Pair the pasta with a light, Italian-style salad made of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and a sprinkle of feta cheese. Dress it with a simple balsamic vinaigrette.

Presentation: Serve the salad on a small side plate or in a bowl alongside the pasta. The vibrant colors of the salad will complement the creamy pasta.

Occasion: Perfect for a refreshing and balanced dinner, especially during warm summer evenings.

Garlic Bread Accompaniment

Components: Add a side of garlic bread, made by spreading garlic butter on a baguette slice and toasting it until golden brown.

Presentation: Slice the garlic bread and arrange it neatly on a small plate or basket, garnishing with a sprinkle of parsley.

Occasion: Ideal for a cozy, comforting meal on a chilly night or when you’re craving something extra indulgent.

Wine Pairing Elegance

Components: Complement your meal with a glass of white wine, like a crisp Pinot Grigio or a Chardonnay.

Presentation: Serve the wine in an appropriate glass, alongside the pasta for a sophisticated touch.

Occasion: Suitable for a special date night or a relaxing evening after a long day, adding a touch of elegance to your dining experience.

🍽️ Variations

Spicy Kick

Twist: Add red pepper flakes and a splash of cream to introduce a spicy yet creamy dimension.

Ingredients: Along with the main ingredients, include ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes and ¼ cup of heavy cream.

Suitable For: Those who love a bit of heat in their meals. It’s perfect for warming up on a cool evening.

Vegetarian Delight

Twist: Replace the shrimp with grilled zucchini and bell peppers for a hearty vegetarian version.

Ingredients: Substitute shrimp with 1 small zucchini and ½ bell pepper, both sliced and grilled.

Suitable For: Vegetarian palates or for those seeking a meat-free meal option.

Lemon Zest Freshness

Twist: Add lemon zest and juice for a refreshing citrus flavor.

Ingredients: Include the zest of one lemon and a tablespoon of lemon juice into the sauce.

Suitable For: Summer meals or when you’re looking for a light and zesty flavor profile.

Creamy Alfredo Transformation

Twist: Incorporate Alfredo sauce instead of tomato-based sauce for a creamy and rich flavor.

Ingredients: Use ½ cup of Alfredo sauce in place of tomatoes and pesto.

Suitable For: Those who prefer creamy and decadent pasta dishes.

❄️ Storage


This dish is best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Store in an airtight container to maintain freshness and prevent the absorption of other food odors.


Freezing is not recommended for this dish. The texture of the shrimp and pasta can change significantly, with the pasta becoming mushy and the shrimp rubbery upon thawing.

Considerations for Storage:

Ensure the dish has cooled to room temperature before refrigerating.

Separate components if possible. Store the pasta and shrimp separately to maintain their textures.

Thawing and Reheating:

Since freezing isn’t advised for this dish, thawing instructions are not applicable.

To reheat, gently warm the pasta over low heat in a pan, adding a small amount of water or broth to loosen the sauce if necessary. Avoid overcooking as this can make the shrimp tough and the pasta too soft.

🤔 FAQs

What Should I Do with Leftover Ingredients?

Leftover ingredients can be creatively used in other meals. For example, extra shrimp can be used in salads or stir-fries, while leftover tomatoes and basil pesto are great in sandwiches or as a topping for grilled chicken.

Can I Make This Recipe Gluten-Free?

Yes, simply substitute regular pasta with your favorite gluten-free pasta to make this dish gluten-free. The cooking process remains the same.

How Can I Make This Recipe Vegetarian?

Replace shrimp with grilled vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or mushrooms to turn this into a vegetarian dish while maintaining the rich flavors.

📔 Recipe Card:

Black plate with shrimp pasta with tomatoes.

Quick & Creamy Shrimp & Tomatoes Pasta for One

Quick, easy, and delicious! Prepare a single serving of creamy shrimp tomato pasta that's perfect for your busy lifestyle.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1
Calories 585 kcal


  • salt
  • 3 oz Pasta
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 3 oz Cherry tomato
  • 4 oz Shrimp
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Basil Pesto


  • Boil Pasta: Start boiling water for pasta. Add salt once boiling, then cook pasta.
    3 oz Pasta
  • Prepare Sauce: In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add cherry tomatoes. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
    3 oz Cherry tomato, 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • Add Shrimp: Add shrimp to the skillet. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
    4 oz Shrimp
  • Combine Pasta and Sauce: Drain pasta, reserving some pasta water. Add pasta to the skillet. Stir in pesto sauce.
    1 ½ tablespoons Basil Pesto
  • Finish & Serve: If dry, add reserved pasta water. Serve hot with a side of green salad.


  • Pasta Choice: While spaghetti is recommended, feel free to experiment with other pasta shapes like penne or bowtie for a different texture and presentation.
  • Pesto Variations: If basil pesto isn’t your favorite, try using sun-dried tomato pesto or even a cilantro-based pesto for a unique twist.
  • Shrimp Size: Opt for medium or large shrimp for this recipe. They provide a better bite and are easier to cook to the perfect texture.
  • Fresh vs. Dried Herbs: Using fresh basil for garnish adds a bright, fresh flavor, but if unavailable, a sprinkle of dried basil can be a good substitute.
  • Cheese Topping: For an extra touch of richness, consider finishing the dish with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese.
  • Serving Size: This recipe is designed for one serving, but it can be easily scaled up for more people. Just double or triple the ingredients as needed.
  • Wine Pairing: A glass of white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc pairs beautifully with this dish, complementing the light, savory flavors of the shrimp and tomatoes.
  • Balance Your Plate: For a well-rounded meal, consider serving this pasta with a side of steamed vegetables or a fresh green salad.


Calories: 585kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 36gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 184mgSodium: 360mgPotassium: 675mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 869IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 136mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Basil, Pasta, Shrimp
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