Creamy Tuscan Shrimp is a delicious one-pan 30-minute restaurant-quality meal that is sure to become one of the family favorites! This quick and easy dinner features spinach, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic. It's low-carb, high in protein, and gluten-free. The recipe can also be easily adjusted to be dairy-free.
Quick and easy Tuscan shrimp
My family loves Italian-inspired shrimp dinners, such as a bowl of comforting shrimp risotto or a colorful plate of shrimp pesto pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes and pine nuts. Recently, I added creamy Tuscan shrimp to the list of our family favorites. This one-pan recipe takes only 30 minutes and it looks and tastes like an entree from a fine-dining restaurant.
- I used large raw shrimp - freshly seared shrimp always tastes better than the pre-cooked version. I seasoned it generously with smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Then, I quickly seared the shrimp together with lots of minced garlic in olive oil without over-cooking it.
- Next, I made garlic Tuscan cream sauce in the same skillet (it's one pan recipe!) with lots of veggies: spinach, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Smothered in a silky cream sauce, the Tuscan shrimp has the best texture: tender and juicy, not overcooked, and never rubbery!
Why make it
- One-pan, 30-minute recipe. Make creamy Tuscan shrimp on a busy weeknight for your family, kids, and friends! This simple and quick dinner is so cozy, comforting, and flavorful - it will become your new favorite comfort food!
- Restaurant-quality dish and presentation. This one-pan meal tastes like a dish from a nice restaurant! Easy enough to make on busy weekdays, and fancy enough to impress your guests.
- Low-carb, high in protein, and gluten-free. To keep Tuscan shrimp low-carb and gluten-free, serve it over roasted or steamed vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans, or Brussels sprouts. You can also serve this over roasted spaghetti squash or zoodles (spiralized zucchini).
- Comfort food. Turn this creamy shrimp into a decadent dinner by serving it with store-bought ravioli, tortellini, or your favorite pasta.
- Shrimp. I used large raw shrimp (peeled and deveined) - it works best in this recipe. Make sure to space out the shrimp in the skillet when searing. This will ensure that shrimp actually gets seared and not steamed. Also, watch the cooking times closely not to overcook the shrimp. Sear it just until pink on both sides - about 2 minutes per side.
- Sun-dried tomatoes. I used sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil which I drained and then used some of the oil for searing the shrimp.
- Spinach is a nice addition to Tuscan shrimp. You can use other veggies, such as arugula, kale, or asparagus.
- Artichokes hearts - I used canned artichokes in olive oil and water.
- Garlic adds pungency and so much flavor to shrimp.
- The heavy cream is added to the cooked veggies (sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and artichokes) to create a luscious and delicious Tuscan cream sauce. Use heavy cream or half-and-half.
How to make Tuscan shrimp
- Prepare the shrimp by seasoning it with smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. This recipe uses 1 lb raw shrimp (peeled and deveined) which usually equates to 16 or 20 count.
- Sear the shrimp with olive oil and minced garlic on medium-high heat for 2 minutes per side. Make sure the shrimp are not overcrowded to avoid steaming. You might have to work in batches. When the shrimp is done, remove it to a plate.
- Cook the veggies in the same, now empty, skillet: chopped sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and spinach.
- Make the sauce by adding heavy cream to the veggies in the skillet. Season with more smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Assemble the dish by adding cooked shrimp to the creamy Tuscan sauce, and reheating everything until the shrimp is cooked through and the sauce is reheated.
Can you make it dairy-free?
Tuscan shrimp can easily be made dairy-free. Here are several options:
- Use unsweetened coconut milk and follow the recipe as is.
- Use thicker cashew milk without any changes to this recipe.
- Use other dairy-free alternatives, such as oat milk or almond milk, but first, make a slurry with a small amount of olive oil and flour. Or, simply sprinkle a small amount of flour over the veggies along with a splash of olive oil. Then, gradually whisk in the milk while the sauce simmers.
Can you use cooked shrimp?
While I cooked raw shrimp from scratch here, you can use pre-cooked shrimp and add it directly to the Tuscan cream sauce to heat it through.
What can you use instead of shrimp?
- Add seared scallops in addition to or instead of shrimp.
- Seared salmon fillets pair well with the creamy Tuscan sauce.
- Chicken. This is a perfect recipe for using seared skinless boneless chicken breast or chicken thighs. Season it with the same spices (smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic).
Variations, substitutions, and add-ins
- Can you use frozen spinach? I used fresh spinach but you can use frozen kind - thawed and drained really well from all liquid.
- What can you use instead of sun-dried tomatoes? The best option would be halved cherry tomatoes. The next best option is regular fresh tomatoes, diced. If you're in a crunch, you can use canned diced or crushed tomatoes, drained of most of the juice.
- Use or add other veggies. Add kale, arugula, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, or bell peppers.
- Add cheese. Sprinkle a small amount of shredded or grated Parmesan, Asiago cheese, or Pecorino Romano to take creamy Tuscan shrimp over the top.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end.
- Use raw, peeled, and deveined shrimp. Pre-cooked shrimp might be overcooked and taste too rubbery, especially when you reheat it.
- Take the tails off. It's easier and less messy to eat the shrimp with a fork and knife instead of picking up the shrimp out of the creamy sauce by the tail. So, I recommend removing the tails.
- Do not overcook shrimp. Cook it for only about 2 minutes per side, just until it turns pink in color. Overcooking the shrimp will result in a rubbery texture that nobody likes.
- Use sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil in a glass jar. They are juicier and plumper than sun-dried tomatoes without olive oil. Drain most of the olive oil and use it to sear the shrimp.
Storage and reheating tips
Creamy Tuscan shrimp is one of those recipes that doesn't really refrigerate well and does not freeze well either. It should be eaten right away. When reheating, the sauce is likely to lose its texture and might turn into something greasy vs creamy. Here are some tips if you do have leftovers:
- Fridge. Leftover Tuscan shrimp can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. I do not recommend freezing it.
- How to reheat. Reheat the leftovers on medium-low heat in a large, high-sided skillet. Add a small amount of water, chicken stock, heavy cream, half-and-half, or milk to thin out the sauce when reheating. Or, you can reheat it briefly in the microwave in 30 seconds increments, stirring regularly.
What to serve with Tuscan shrimp
- Vegetables. The garlic cream sauce makes a great pairing with sauteed, roasted, or steamed green veggies. I recommend broccoli, asparagus, green beans, or Brussels sprouts. Or, serve it over roasted spaghetti squash. These sides will keep Tuscan shrimp low-carb and gluten-free.
- Cooked greens. Sautee your favorite greens (spinach, kale, arugula, or Swiss chard) as a side dish. This option is also low-carb and gluten-free.
- Pasta. For a more comforting pairing, serve creamy Tuscan shrimp over pasta. Thin pasta, such as angel hair or spaghetti, works great. I also recommend bow-tie pasta, orecchiette, or gnocchi.
- Ravioli or tortellini. If you're looking for more ways to dress up store-bought ravioli or tortellini, this shrimp recipe is perfect for elevating them!
- Spaghetti squash. For a healthier side dish, roast spaghetti squash in the oven and then scrape out the spaghetti squash strands with a fork.
- Zoodles (or spiralized zucchini). Another healthy alternative is to use zucchini noodles. You can buy those in the store or make them yourself!
Other creamy shrimp recipes you might like
- Spicy Shrimp Pasta in Garlic Tomato Cream Sauce
- Creamy Shrimp Pasta with Mozzarella Sauce and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta
- Shrimp Risotto
Tuscan Shrimp (One-Pan, 30-Minute Dinner)
How to sear the shrimp
- This recipe uses 1 lb of large raw shrimp (peeled and deveined) which usually means 16 or 20 count. Season the shrimp with smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet until hot. Add shrimp and minced garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes per side.
- Make sure the shrimp are not overcrowded to avoid steaming. You might have to work in batches. Remove from heat. Remove shrimp to a plate.
How to make Tuscan sauce
- To the same, now empty, skillet, add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and chopped artichokes. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute on medium heat.
- Add fresh spinach. Cook until the spinach wilts, for a couple of minutes, on medium heat.
- To the skillet with sautéed vegetables, add 1 cup of heavy cream and paprika. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 1 minute, stirring. Season with salt, if needed. Add more paprika, if you like.
- Add seared shrimp to the skillet with the cream sauce.
- Spoon the sauce over the shrimp, and simmer for about 2 minutes (or more), until the shrimp is warmed up and completely cooked through.
- Season with salt, if needed.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.