Quick Skillet Shrimp Pasta Dinner

Last night I needed a very simple and quick dinner idea because Ben was feeling sick, Ava was very grumpy, and me being six months pregnant... I was very tired yet hungry. I looked at everything I had in the fridge & pantry and decided that a quick, skillet shrimp pasta with fresh tomatoes, lemon, garlic, and capers would be an excellent idea. I had some roma tomatoes that needed to be used and pre-cooked, frozen shrimp I just picked up from Costco that I wanted to try out anyways. This was enough for two medium sized adult servings, no leftovers.

Skillet Shrimp Pasta Dinner


  •  Frozen or fresh shrimp, raw or pre-cooked
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 2 tbs capers
  • 1 tbs Oregano (dried)
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • Thin spaghetti
  • 4 tbs good olive oil butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs butter 
 Ingredients for the skillet shrimp pasta dinner

Ingredients for the skillet shrimp pasta dinner

While the pasta water was is coming to a boil,  prep the shrimp & other ingredients. If using frozen shrimp, thaw overnight if possible, and you can soak it in lemon and minced garlic overnight as well. I did not plan in advance, so I ran my shrimp under cold water, patted dry, then soaked in a bowl of half my lemon, juiced. Cut up the Roma tomatoes into small cubes and place in a mixing bowl. Add the garlic, juice of half of a large lemon, capers, salt and pepper (to taste), and oregano. I used dried oregano because I did not have any fresh. Mix the ingredients well.  You can adjust these ingredients to your liking, but I am a big lemon and capers lover and cook accordingly.

 Tomato, garlic, capers, and lemon mixture

Tomato, garlic, capers, and lemon mixture

This mixture will sit while your pasta boils until it's complete. When the pasta is done,  strain well and set to the side. Take a skillet and add the olive oil and butter. On medium heat, melt the butter and then add your tomato mixture to the pan. Saute for about three minutes, then add your shrimp (if you have it sitting in lemon juice, discard this additional juice prior to adding so you don't overpower the dish with extra lemon!). If using uncooked shrimp, cook together for about five additional minutes or until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. If using precooked shrimp, then cook the shrimp in the tomato mixture for about two minutes. You DON'T want to overcook the shrimp! 

Cooking the shrimp

Once the shrimp is cooked through, quickly take your pasta noodles and add into the skillet and toss  continually for another minute until well mixed and the pasta is warmed through. I served our dinner with garlic bread as a side and fresh sliced cucumbers. Unfortunately, Ava did not participate in this dish due to the lemon, so she got chicken nuggets as her main dish instead!

Skillet shrimp pasta dinner

Do you have any tips or experiences you'd like to share about making this dish? Please comment below!

Happy Eating! 

Mindy Sullivan