Garlic Butter Prawn (Shrimp) Linguine is one of my favourite things to eat and favourite things to cook. It’s quick, it’s easy and it feels fancy, yet I can have it on the table – wine in hand! – in less than 20 minutes, with very minimal wash-up. Perfectly cooked prawns are simmered in a luscious, garlicky, buttery sauce before being tossed with linguine and served with fresh lemon and lashings of freshly grated parmesan.

Garlic Butter Prawn Linguini
This restaurant-worthy Garlic Butter Prawn (Shrimp) Linguine is on the table in less than 20 minutes, with minimal preparation and minimal washing up.

It’s amazing just how flavour-packed this meal is with so few ingredients. The recipe is as low-maintenance as it gets, and it also happens to be incredibly budget-friendly with the use of frozen (pre-cleaned) raw prawns from the supermarket. I used to be a self-confessed “prawn snob” until my brother (who worked in hospitality for many years) served up some of the best garlic prawns I’d ever had in my life. After I interrogated him about the recipe, he produced a bag of prawns from his freezer and, from then on, I was hooked! Check for additive-free varieties that are locally and sustainably sourced, where possible. Of course, if you prefer, you can use fresh prawns, but you will need to peel and devein them first and remove the head and tail. This easy and elegant meal is beautifully served with a simple leafy green salad or steamed greens. See below for more ideas.

Why frozen raw prawns (shrimp) are great

They cook perfectly –  Contrary to popular opinion, when frozen prawns are prepared correctly, there is no moisture in sight and they have an amazing texture. 
Local options – You can now find locally caught options available most of the time.
Budget-friendly – They are often cheaper (especially when purchased on sale).
Longer shelf life – They can be kept in the freezer for months, with no risk of spoilage (unlike fresh prawns). 
Fresh – They are typically frozen soon after being caught, preserving their freshness. 
Convenient – They are already peeled and deveined, with heads and tails removed, and easy to defrost. 

Garlic Butter Prawn Linguini
The key to perfectly cooked prawns (shrimp) is ensuring they are not overcooked. For prawns this size, a hot pan and no more than 1 minute on each side is all they need!

How do I defrost frozen prawns (shrimp) quickly?

Place them in a colander and run them under cool tap water for a couple of minutes, or place them in a bowl of cold tap water for 15 minutes. Pat them dry with a paper towel before using. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use them (within 24 hours).

Can you use fresh prawns (shrimp)?

Fresh prawns are great and you can absolutely use them if you can access them. You will need to peel them (removing heads and tails) and devein them. If you buy an extra-large batch, you could prepare them all at once, then freeze the rest so they are ready to go.

Tips for cooking prawns (shrimp) with success

Dry them – Make sure they are completely dry to avoid excess moisture. Use a paper towel to pat the prawns dry prior to cooking.
Cook over high heat – Ensure your pan is preheated. Use a high heat to help sear the prawns, create a nice colour and lock in moisture,
Don’t overcook – This is the key! Prawns can quickly turn rubbery or mushy. For small to medium prawns, 45–60 seconds per side is all they need!

Garlic Butter Prawn Linguini
Twirls of linguine are coated in a garlicky, buttery sauce before being topped with parmesan, parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon and tossed with the prawns (shrimp).

What sides can I serve with Garlic Butter Prawn (Shrimp) Linguine?

To cut through the richness of the sauce, try a mixed leaf salad or steamed greens tossed in olive oil and lemon juice. Some of my favourites are steamed asparagus, broccoli, broccolini (tender-stem broccoli), sugar snap peas or green beans. For extra indulgence, serve with crusty bread to dip into the butter sauce.

Watch how to make Garlic Butter Prawn (Shrimp) Linguine

If you loved this recipe, I think you’ll also love:
Tuscan Prawn Pasta
Prawn Spaghetti
Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta 
Easy Roasted Garlic Butter Chicken 
Creamy Sausage Pasta

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Garlic Butter Prawn Linguini

Garlic Butter Prawn (Shrimp) Linguine

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This Garlic Butter Prawn (Shrimp) Linguine recipe is an impressive meal for any night of the week, with perfectly cooked prawns and a garlicky, buttery sauce, all ready in under 20 minutes.

  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4

Ingredients

Pasta

  •     400 g (14 oz) linguine (or any pasta of choice)

Prawns (Shrimp)

  •     500 g (1 lb 2 oz) raw prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined (frozen or fresh, see note 1)
  •     ½ tsp sweet paprika
  •     ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  •     ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
  •     1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Sauce

  •     2 tbsp olive oil
  •     1 tbsp freshly chopped garlic
  •     ¼ cup (60 ml) dry white wine (can be substituted with chicken stock)
  •     100 g (31/2 oz) unsalted butter
  •     Juice of 1 lemon
  •     1 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish
  •     Salt and pepper, to taste
  •     ⅓ cup (35 g) freshly grated parmesan, to serve
  •     Lemon wedges, to serve

Instructions

Pasta:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, less 1 minute. Drain and set aside, reserving ½ cup (125 ml) of the pasta water.

Prawns (shrimp) and sauce:

  1. Meanwhile, add the prawns to a medium bowl along with the sweet paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss to coat. Do not leave the prawns for longer than 20 minutes – only marinate them once you are ready to cook them.
  2. Heat a large, deep pan over medium–high heat. Cook the prawns in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan), cooking for a total of 1 minute per side. Remove the prawns from the pan and set them aside on a plate.
  3. To the same pan, add the olive oil and the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the white wine and cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes until the wine has mostly evaporated.
  5. Add the butter and, when it’s just melted, add the lemon juice, cooked prawns, cooked pasta and reserved pasta water. Toss to coat the ingredients in the butter mixture.
  6. Stir the parsley through and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Divide the pasta across four bowls, sprinkle with parmesan, extra parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Notes

Note 1 – If using frozen prawns (shrimp), which are readily available from the supermarket, ensure they are completely thawed and patted dry with a paper towel prior to cooking. Ensure the head and tail are removed and your prawns are deveined if using fresh prawns.

Make ahead

Prawns (shrimp) – If using frozen prawns (shrimp), thaw them in the fridge overnight, pat them dry with a paper towel and store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours, covered, until you’re ready to cook with them.

Leftovers

Garlic Butter Prawn (Shrimp) Linguine is best made and served immediately, but leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave until just heated through. Not suitable for freezing.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 8 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Category: mains, pasta, seafood
  • Method: pan
  • Cuisine: Italian