Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Basil is a classic Italian combo of seafood and pasta in a pomodoro sauce. It's a quick, easy dinner recipe that is ready in just 20 minutes! Serve with crusty bread and a green salad for a delicious weeknight meal!

Pasta always appeals to kids and adults alike. Some of our other favorite quick and easy pasta dinners are Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, Penne Alla Vodka, and Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta.

A white pasta bowl with angel hair pasta and shrimp next to roma tomatoes, basil, and parmesan.

Everybody at our house devours this angel hair pasta with shrimp, tomatoes, and fresh basil whenever I make it for dinner. The girls love angel hair pasta and I'm always sneaking the last shrimp from the pan because it tastes so wonderful in the pomodoro sauce made from the fresh tomatoes and basil.

Angel hair pairs perfectly with a lighter, brighter sauce like this one. It's made by cooking down chopped roma tomatoes with a little olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes for just a bit of kick. Then we add fresh basil for classic Italian flavors that still allow the pasta and shrimp to shine through. You can add a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top if you like.

It's easy and fast for a weeknight, but special enough to serve guests.

Ingredient Notes

This is a quick overview of some of the important ingredients you'll need for this angel hair pasta with shrimp recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Shrimp: Peeled, deveined shrimp is best and can be purchased frozen at the store. It is convenient and I can keep a bag or two of it in the freezer. I like the presentation of tail-on shrimp, but removing the tails before cooking will make this dish easier to eat.
  • Tomatoes: Fresh roma tomatoes are cooked down to create a flavorful pomodoro sauce. Canned whole plum tomatoes can also be used instead.
  • Basil: Fresh basil leaves makes all the difference with a simple recipe like this. Dried can be used in a pinch, but fresh really is preferable for this dish.
Ingredients for angel hair pasta with shrimp and pomodoro sauce.

How to Make Shrimp Pomodoro

To start, get your water boiling for your pasta. I always prep the rest of my ingredients while that is happening so I can make the sauce while the pasta is cooking.

Chiffonade or chop the basil and deseed the tomatoes by slicing them in half then running your fingers along the inside to push out the seeds. Roughly dice the tomatoes, then mince the garlic and you are ready to start cooking.

Drizzle a large pan with a little olive oil, then cook the garlic and red pepper flakes for 30-60 seconds.

Add the chopped tomatoes and chicken broth, then season with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer.

Pouring chicken broth into a pan of sauteed tomatoes and garlic.

Add the shrimp to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp turn pink. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp or they will get rubbery and tough. They really only need about 3-4 minutes total.

Add the fresh basil and a little nub of butter to the pan, then stir to combine. The buttery gives a wonderfully rich and silky finish to the sauce.

Add the cooked and drained angel hair pasta to the pan and toss everything with tongs to evenly coat the pasta in the sauce. Serve with extra basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top.

Recipe FAQ's

What is pomodoro sauce?

Pomodoro is Italian for tomato. This sauce is made with fresh, ripe tomatoes, garlic, olive, oil, and red pepper flakes for a little bit of heat.

How do you thaw frozen shrimp?

The safest and best way to thaw frozen shrimp is in a bowl in the fridge overnight. But if you forget to pull it out the night before you can also run the shrimp under cold water for a few minutes until the shrimp has thawed.

What does it mean to chiffonade basil?

When a recipe calls for chopped, fresh basil, I like to do a chiffonade, which is where you stack your basil leaves, roll them up into a cigar, then slice into thin strips. It's great for presentation because it makes pretty, bright green ribbons of basil and it's easy to do as long as you have a good, sharp knife. Basil bruises really easily and you can crush the edges if you knife is dull.

Angel hair pasta on a fork with shrimp and tomatoes.

Storage & Reheating

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash or two of chicken broth to loosen up the pasta and keep it from drying out.

Tips & Variations

  • Shrimp cooks fast. Shrimp is a great solution for a weeknight dinner because it cooks so quickly, but if you overcook it you will end up with tough bites. It really only needs a few minutes to turn from grey to pink and then it's done!
  • Reserve some of the pasta water before draining. You can add a little of the starchy water to finish the pasta dish to moisten things up a little if it needs it after tossing the pasta with the sauce. It gives a wonderfully silky texture and flavor to the dish.
  • Use another protein or go meatless. Substitute 1 ½ to 2 cups of diced, cooked chicken or veggies like bell peppers, eggplant, or mushroom for the shrimp.
  • Use a different type of pasta. This sauce pairs particularly well with the thin shape of angel hair pasta, but regular spaghetti or fettucine can be used. Keep in mind that they have longer cooking times so you may want to start them earlier than indicated in the recipe.
  • Replace the chicken broth with white wine. This sauce can be made with white wine as the liquid instead of chicken broth, if you prefer.
A white plate full of angel hair pasta with shrimp, tomatoes, and fresh basil.

More Pasta Recipes to Try

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Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Fresh Basil

4.89 from 35 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Basil is a classic combo of seafood and pasta. It's a quick, easy dinner recipe that is ready in just 20 minutes! Serve with crusty bread and a green salad for a delicious weeknight meal!

Ingredients
  

  • 8-12 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 7 medium roma or plum tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent the garlic from burning.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, and white wine or chicken broth (I just used the broth). Bring everything to a simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente (typically 3-4 minutes). Reserve about ½ cup of the starchy pasta water, then drain the pasta.
  • Add the shrimp to the skillet and nestle them in the sauce. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, turning the shrimp halfway through, until the shrimp turns pink. Be sure not to overcook the shrimp though or they will be tough and rubbery.
  • Add butter and basil, and stir until the butter melts. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper, as needed.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat. Add as much of the reserved pasta water as you would like to moisten the pasta if needed, then serve with additional chopped basil and the parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Notes

  • Shrimp cooks fast. Shrimp is a great solution for a weeknight dinner because it cooks so quickly, but if you overcook it you will end up with tough bites. It really only needs a few minutes to turn from grey to pink and then it's done!
  • Reserve some of the pasta water before draining. You can add a little of the starchy water to finish the pasta dish to moisten things up a little if it needs it after tossing the pasta with the sauce. It gives a wonderfully silky texture and flavor to the dish.
  • Use another protein or go meatless. Substitute 1 ½ to 2 cups of diced, cooked chicken or veggies like bell peppers, eggplant, or mushroom for the shrimp.
  • Use a different type of pasta. This sauce pairs particularly well with the thin shape of angel hair pasta, but regular spaghetti or fettucine can be used. Keep in mind that they have longer cooking times so you may want to start them earlier than indicated in the recipe.
  • Replace the chicken broth with white wine. This sauce can be made with white wine as the liquid instead of chicken broth, if you prefer.

Nutrition

Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 977mg | Potassium: 577mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1421IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 236mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

This post was originally published in January, 2017. The photos and content were updated in January, 2022.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Yum! My family loves both shrimp and pasta - this classic dish looks great. Making it with the chicken broth keeps it nice and light - thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Amy, this looks absolutely stunning! Love how easy it is to prepare - the step by step pics show that!!

    Going to add this to my meal rotation.

  3. This looks delicious! I love that you stuck with simple, fresh flavors just like true Italian dishes do. It sounds amazing! And what a fun matchmaker site to find recipe ideas!

  4. Lucky you to have such a cute little helper! This looks like a really delicious dinner - shrimp is one of my favorites but we don't eat it very often -- I guess I'm too lazy to go to the fishmonger... That's going to change!

    1. I'm too lazy to go to the fishmonger too, lol. That's why I almost always just use frozen shrimp. Better than nothing, I guess, right?

  5. 5 stars
    Wow, how delicious. I love how quickly the dish comes together, perfect for a mid week meal. Your photos are amazing, thanks for sharing.

  6. 5 stars
    YUM! I love how easy this is and it looks absolutely delicious. I'm totally craving pasta right now (ok, I kind of always am....) but I think I may make this tonight! thanks for the recipe!

  7. I'm in love with your pics. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I think the basil makes everything just perfect!

  8. I looked at this post both before and after eating dinner... and I was craving it equally as much both times. Simple ingredients, short prep time... what's not to love?! Thanks for sharing! #client

  9. We enjoy a nice simple pasta dish any night of the week, but especially on weekends. Hubby LOVES angel hair pasta and I love shrimp. Fresh basil is always a get addition to pasta.

  10. This really looks delicious! I love shrimp and pasta mixed together and this light sauce looks yummy!

  11. Stunning photos and adorable shopping buddy! And the preparation sounds like the perfect way to warm up a wintry evening. Luxurious but simple.

  12. You just combined all my favorite foods into one dish! Your shrimp pasta with tomatoes and fresh basil looks absolutely amazing! Can't wait to make this when I have fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden, pinning till then!

  13. Sounds delicious! I need to introduce my girls to the "angel hair" name... they will love it! Here in UK we call it simply spaghetti but the younger one often calls it "scarpetti" as she can't pronounce it.

  14. Such a fantastic looking pasta. It reminds me a little bit of this low fat shrimp and vegetable pasta my mom used to make when we were growing up. Boy do I miss that pasta.

    1. I don't think I ever remember my mom cooking shrimp when I was a kid. But we were in landlocked Nebraska much of the time where seafood wasn't on the menu much! Love that you have memories of dishes similar to this!

  15. Angel hair and shrimp dishes are a staple in our house. I have never prepped it this way and can't wait to try.

  16. My family loves the combo of pasta and shrimp. I love that it is so quick, easy and delicious. This is a great contest by Golden Grain

  17. I love the light freshness of this dish. And your pictures are gorgeous! I am a new blogger and hope that my pictures can look like yours someday (with my own flair obviously!). Great recipe!

  18. Super good. The red pepper flakes added a nice touch of heat that was barely there but made a difference. We added veggies: red pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash, cut thin and quartered or julienned, after the shrimp had been going for a minute or two. Came out crisp perfect. Added extra broth for the veggies, but it was not needed. Splash of lemon juice for brightness and fresh ground Parmesan and Romano. Yummy!

  19. Tried this recipe w/ a small modification last night. I added 2 cups of sugar snap peas to the recipe. Looked like the flag of Italy - red, white and green. It turned out really, really well.

  20. Excellent recipe! I used whole wheat linguini rather than angel hair, and the linguini worked well. I also used even more garlic--can one use too much garlic? I'm trying to find out apparently 😉

    Easy, tasty, healthy--what more could one want from a dinner recipe? Was a big hit at my house.

    Thanks!

  21. Well that was delicious and easy!! I used a 14.5 oz can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes instead of fresh and it still tasted great! Easy weeknight meal.