Juicy bits of perfectly cooked shrimp served in scrumptious garlic cream butter sauce makes a delightful meal as it is. You’ll surely love the harmonious ensemble of spices infused in the chunky seafood and in every spoonful of the sauce. Make this quick and easy one-pan shrimp meal with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and grated parmesan!
I always find it so amazing how a simple shrimp dinner can make a night more intimate and fancy. Personally, I serve this for special occasions more than just date nights because of the luscious flavorful sauce. I’m telling you, my hubby goes head over heels for this hearty and hefty dish because he just loves seafood.
I totally understand if you’ve had bad experiences with other shrimp recipes, cooking it is undeniably tricky. Well, you’re in luck because I’ll be showing you the easiest way to perfectly cook this dish just by the eye. This dish easily comes together without all the fuss and fear.
What is Tuscan Shrimp?
Tuscan shrimp is not a traditional Italian dish per se but it’s inspired by one; the creamy Tuscan Chicken! The cuisine from this region of Italy is simple and affordable. It uses easily understandable cooking methods with simple fresh ingredients that you can harvest from your own garden.
Shrimp cooks faster than chicken but is harder to season, this is where the creamy garlic butter sauce comes in. The garlicky sauce penetrates the plump and juicy shrimp which complements the natural flavor of the seafood.
The use of cream and spinach makes the signature Tuscan flavor!
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
Just like other shrimp recipes, this one is also super easy to make. However, what sets this recipe apart is its mix of simple ingredients that make up the fresh flavors. Here’s what you’ll need to recreate this tasty meal right at home.
- Large Shrimp
- Salt and Pepper
- Italian Seasoning (Get the homemade recipe HERE)
- Garlic Powder
- Cooking Oil
Garlic Cream Sauce
- Fresh Minced Garlic
- Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Heavy Cream
- Chicken Broth
- Italian Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper to taste
We all know that legitimate Parmesan comes at a hefty price. Luckily, Grana Padano gives you a super close flavor to that of the original ingredient. It’s also less dense so it’s great for mixing in sauces.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes are easy to come by especially the canned or jarred version submerged in oil. However, if you plan to use an affordable alternative, try using tomato paste instead. (1 tablespoon for 3-4 tomatoes).
We’re gonna use chicken broth for this shrimp recipe because it gives us a light flavor perfect for the sauce. If you’re a Pescatarian, you can make your own broth by boiling in scrap veggies, herbs, and spices. Just make sure that you’ll end up with a mild broth that won’t overpower the main ingredient.
Don’t have heavy cream? Simply melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter and slowly whisk in 3/4 cup of whole milk or half-and-half. This would be equivalent to 1 cup of heavy cream.
CAN’T consume heavy cream? This vegan mix of olive oil and soy milk can mimic the function of heavy cream in sauces. It also adds an Italian flavor to the dish!
We all know that cooking seafood can be a bit tricky to handle especially when using a stovetop method. Shrimp can also be a bit pricey depending on the season. This is why I’m gonna give you tips on how to prepare shrimp recipes so you won’t end up throwing money down the drain.
Taking the shell off these creatures is one of the most tedious tasks you’ll have to endure. The best way through this is to twist the head to remove this part. Press your thumb underneath the shell to release the legs from the body which releases most of the shell. Now, gently tug the tail to remove the remaining shell.
Keep these parts if you want to make a flavorful shrimp stock.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t really have to devein your shrimps. The black line at the back is actually just the digestive tract of the sea creature. To remove this, you can either of two methods: 1) use a toothpick and pierce it a little below the “vein” and pull it outward, 2) or slit the back part and simply pulling it out by hand.
Cooking the Shrimp
The trickiest part of cooking this dish is telling whether it’s perfectly cooked or not. Undercooking shrimp can be dangerous as it can harbor malicious bacteria. Overcooking it is also bad because you’ll be left with rubbery and tasteless meat.
To tell if it’s perfectly cooked, you can look for two things: the color and the shape. A vibrant orange color shows its freshness and if it’s cooked enough. Fresh shrimps often start with an obtuse curve; this slowly changes to a “c” shape which tells you it’s cooked. If it forms an “o” it means it’s overcooked.
There are a lot of perfect pairings you can serve with this dish mainly because of the shrimp cream sauce. Since our main dish is already flavorful as it is, pairing basic carbs is a great way to enjoy it. Here are some of my top picks on what to serve with Tuscan Shrimp.
- The sauce, or the whole dish rather, comes out thick when cooked correctly. This is just the perfect consistency to serve it on cooked pasta.
- The most basic application of this dish is to serve it on top of a fluffy bed of rice. This will make sure you’ll have the fullest taste of the meal without any overpowering taste.
- Steamed Veggies are also good for this shrimp recipe. The cream, blended with the natural seafood flavor, beautifully coats the veggies.
- A light wine such as Moscato or Chardonnay is a perfect pair for this. The dish becomes a creamy cocktail meal for a fancy evening, especially for intimate date nights.
Making Ahead Instructions
Planning to make a batch ahead? You should remember that this dish uses fragile ingredients. This means that the two parts of the recipe (the sauce and the shrimp) have a short shelf life. You can still make this ahead of time with proper precautions.
Since you’ll be initially cooking the two parts separately, I suggest keeping the two apart until you’re ready to serve.
Although the sauce alone can last for about 5 -7 days refrigerated, the shrimp cannot. Wait for the sauce to cool down before placing it in a tightly sealed container. This will avoid moisture buildup thus decreasing bacterial formation.
The shrimp, when perfectly cooked, can only last for about 3 days. Yes! This is true even when it’s refrigerated and sealed.
More Shrimp Dinner Ideas
How to Make Tuscan Shrimp
In a medium shallow bowl, whisk together Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and paprika.
Season shrimp with salt and black pepper. Next, season the shrimp with the spice mixture. In a large skillet or cast iron, heat 1-2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pan; add garlic and Italian seasoning, sauté for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Pour in the chicken broth, and scrape any browned bits from the bottom or sides of the skillet. Add heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.
Cook over medium heat for 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently until the sauce slightly thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach and simmer for about 2-3 minutes or until the spinach wilts. Return the cooked shrimp back to the skillet and let it heat for about 1-2 minutes, adjust seasonings to taste. If the sauce is too thick adjust with broth. Spoon sauce over shrimp. Remove from the heat and serve with lemon wedges.
Creamy Garlic Tuscan Shrimp
- 1 pound (453.59) large shrimp
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon (1.8g) Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon (3g) garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon (0.5g) paprika
- 1-2 tablespoons (14ml-28ml) oil
Garlic Cream Sauce
- 1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon (8g) minced garlic, (about 3-4 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon (1.8g) Italian seasoning
- ¾- 1 cup (187.5ml-250ml) chicken broth
- ¾- 1 cup (180g-240g) heavy cream
- ½ cup (50g) grated parmesan
- ½ cup (26.95g) sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 4 cups (120g) fresh spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- lemon wedges, for serving
- In a medium shallow bowl, whisk together Italian seasoning, garlic powder and paprika.
- Season shrimp with salt and black pepper. Next, season the shrimp with the spice mixture.
- In a large skillet or cast iron, heat 1-2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.
Garlic Cream Sauce
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pan; add garlic and Italian seasoning, sauté for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Pour in the chicken broth, and scrape any browned bits from the bottom or sides of the skillet.
- Add heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Cook over medium heat for 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently until the sauce slightly thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach and simmer for about 2-3 minutes or until the spinach wilts.
- Return the cooked shrimp back to the skillet and let it heat for about 1-2 minutes, adjust seasonings to taste. If the sauce is too thick adjust with broth . Spoon sauce over shrimp.
- Remove from the heat and serve with lemon wedges.
Tips & Notes:
- This dish serves around 2-4 persons depending on what else is served with this dish.
- If you don't have sun-dried tomatoes, use 1 tablespoon of tomato paste for 3-4 tomatoes.
- Don’t have heavy cream? Simply melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter and slowly whisk in 3/4 cup of whole milk or half-and-half. This would be equivalent to 1 cup of heavy cream.
- CAN’T consume heavy cream? This vegan mix of olive oil and soy milk can mimic the function of heavy cream in sauces.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only. Please keep in mind that it is a rough estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary greatly based on the products used.