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Creamy Mozzarella Shrimp Pasta

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Creamy Mozzarella Shrimp Pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes in a delicious creamy Mozzarella pasta sauce, made from scratch. A great recipe for shrimp lovers!

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I am always looking for new, interesting ways to cook shrimp, and I also happen to have lots of really high quality shrimp in my freezer.  So, my today’s recipe is a very flavorful, creamy shrimp pasta dinner.

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This recipe was a total success in my house! I hope you will try it, too!

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Creamy Mozzarella Shrimp Pasta

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 servings

Creamy Mozzarella Shrimp Pasta


  • 8 oz penne pasta (for gluten free, use gluten free brown rice pasta)
  • Shrimp:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (drained from sun-dried tomatoes jar or just use regular olive oil)
  • 1 pound shrimp, without shells, and deveined
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Sauce:
  • 1 small jar (3-4 oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, or use 3-4 oz oil-free sun dried tomatoes
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (never frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon basil (if using dry basil), if using fresh basil you can add more
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (at least, add more to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water (or more)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • NOTE:
  • WHAT IS HALF AND HALF? Half and half is the US milk product that combines half milk half cream to form a lighter cream. To make 1 cup of half and half, combine 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup heavy, or whipping cream.


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain the pasta.
  2. Note: if using sun-dried tomatoes in oil (in a jar), make sure to drain sun-dried tomatoes from oil, before using them. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this drained oil for sauteing the shrimp as described below:
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil (reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar - see note above, or use regular olive oil) in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp, minced garlic and cook the shrimp on one side for about 1 minute, until shrimp turns pink or golden brown on that side. While it cooks, sprinkle the top of shrimp with salt to cover every single shrimp. Make sure not to crowd the shrimp in the skillet, otherwise moisture will form and shrimp won't sear right. After 1 minute, Flip the shrimp over to the other side and cook for about 30 seconds or 1 minute more. The shrimp should be golden color or pink on both sides and not overcooked.
  4. Remove the shrimp to a plate, being careful to leave all the oil in the skillet.
  5. To the same skillet, add sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil and sliced into smaller chunks, if needed) and more minced garlic, and saute in olive oil (remaining from shrimp) on medium heat, stirring, for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant. The skillet should be hot.
  6. Add half and half to the hot skillet with sun-dried tomatoes and bring to boil. Add shredded cheese to the skillet, and stir in while boiling. Immediately reduce to simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all the cheese melts and the creamy sauce forms. If the sauce is too thick, add a small amount of half and half or reserved cooked pasta water. Add basil, crushed red pepper flakes, paprika. Stir.
  7. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt gradually, stirring on low heat and tasting (you might need slightly less than 1/4 teaspoon).
  8. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, and reheat gently on medium heat. Add the cooked shrimp, stir it in. Taste, and add more salt, if needed. Add a small amount of half and half or reserved cooked pasta water, if the sauce is too thick. Let everything simmer on low heat for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine.
  9. Note: Make sure to salt the dish just enough to bring out of the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes.



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{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Christine May 4, 2017, 6:09 pm

    For this recipe what is the exact serving size? I know it serves 4 but what portion size.

    • Hanna July 11, 2017, 6:01 pm

      Christine, the portion sizes are pretty large. Half the pot was large enough to fill up two larger people. Hope this helped!

  • Antoinette medina June 6, 2017, 2:33 pm

    I love your recipes but you cook with a lot of sun dried. Tomatoes which I hate..can I use something else?

    • Michelle July 3, 2017, 10:12 am

      I’m going to use roasted red peppers in place of the sundried tomatoes as I don’t care for them either.

  • Emily June 7, 2017, 1:08 am

    Made this tonight – it came out so good! We also added broccoli and cauliflower, maybe a cup of each. We added the veggies to the pasta water about 2 minutes before the pasta was done and drained pasta and veggies together. Delicious, thanks for sharing!

  • Faith June 8, 2017, 2:17 pm

    I have everything but half and half. Can I sub for whole milk?

    • Luke Worsham June 23, 2017, 4:58 pm

      Half and half/pasta water is to just thin the sauce, I put in a little and it helped it not be as thick.!

  • Ariane June 18, 2017, 7:44 pm

    Is this calling for “fresh” mozzarella (like balls in water) or regular mozzarella? Thanks in advance for clarification.

  • Lara June 26, 2017, 7:26 pm

    This shrimp pasta is very delicious. I have eaten it a couple of time and i really l like it.

  • Alyssa July 8, 2017, 5:56 pm

    Looks like a wonderful dish I will make it soon. However, your definition of Half and Half is incorrect. Half and Half is a brand name not a literal proportion of the ingredients contained in the carton. Half and Half is actually about 4.5%-5% cream. Since Whole Milk is alway 3.5% it’s a product that contains a slightly higher cream content. I was born and raised on a dairy farm and was the local Dairy Ambassador several years ago. This is a very common misconception, and while there is nothing wrong with the confusion I find it hard not to spread the knowledge. Thank you very much for the recipe it looks SUPER YUMMY!

  • Kaylee July 9, 2017, 12:02 pm

    I’m wondering what the breakup of macronutrients are for this meal? Or if you. An give any nutritional breakdown?

  • Lupe July 9, 2017, 4:35 pm

    Made it and it was delicious. The family asked if I can cook it again.

  • Boyan Minchev July 10, 2017, 9:02 am

    Looks very delicious, amazing dish. Shrimps and mozzarella are one of my favorites, I will try to cook this tomorrow.

  • Janet July 16, 2017, 10:33 pm

    Looks good but what is the nutritional breakdown? Seems very rich.

  • Jordan July 18, 2017, 1:57 pm

    What would be another Good cheese I could use to substitute for the mozzarella?

  • Jane Ritchuk August 3, 2017, 9:16 am

    I am trying to save calories. Can I substitute low fat Cream Cheese for the 1/2 and 1/2?

  • Gloria August 10, 2017, 7:15 pm

    Tried the recipe tonight. The aroma itself made my taste buds tingle. However, once i added the cheese the sauce became grainy.

  • Donna August 11, 2017, 3:09 pm

    8 oz dry pasta or is that cooked pasta

  • Rina August 19, 2017, 1:03 pm

    I made this for dinner for my mom and bf, they loved it. pot was just big enough to adequetly feed all 3 of us. Absolutley love this recipie, I’ll defineitly be making it more in the future.

  • Hazel September 6, 2017, 3:38 pm

    I love shrimp, crab, tuna, etc. . . . . .but due to them having high purines, which triggers gout episodes, I try to keep my distance (sadly). Therefore, I’m wondering if I can use chicken. If so, would I skip that cooking process OR saute some raw/cooked chicken along with those seasonings? This dish looks and sounds soooo good.

  • Rpittd September 8, 2017, 3:27 pm

    Sure would be nice to print a one page recipe without all the crap scattered throughout the twenty printed pages. Bought stock in printer ink, did we?

  • Shelbie September 11, 2017, 7:28 pm

    This shrimp dish was fabulous!! We loved it!!!
    It will be a keeper recipe in our home. I forgot to save the pasta water – but it was still great!!

  • Erika September 17, 2017, 9:52 pm

    Wow this pasta was amazing! I added mushrooms, too and they went really well with the flavours. A keeper for sure!

  • Sally Bliss September 21, 2017, 9:35 pm

    Had it for family dinner tonight. General consensus, it’s a keeper!! Think I would like it with asparagus!

  • Daminike Barganier September 27, 2017, 10:37 pm

    What are the portion sizes the average is 3/4 cups carbs 1/2 cup protein etc. but they are all mixed up so can you be more specific with the portion sizes plz

  • Ruth October 14, 2017, 7:46 pm

    This recipe is excellent. My daughter wanted chicken, so I made it with 1/2 shrimp and 1/2 chicken, cooking it separately since they have different cooking times. We will definitely make again.

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