Seafood Pasta – Delicate seafood flavors are enhanced by garlic, butter, spices and lemon, then served over a bed of delectable al dente pasta.
This recipe will quickly become one of your favorites and will definitely impress your friends and family every single time. 😋
Seafood pasta is one of my favorite fancy Italian restaurant dishes. But let’s be real; it’s pricy! 💸 So much so that I decided to satisfy my craving right at home to stay within my budget. 🙈
Not only does this recipe taste just as good as any restaurant meal, quick-cooking seafood means you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen to make it. Plus, it’s fancy enough to make it an ideal dish for entertaining or spicing up your weeknight meal routine. 😉
What Seafood Is Best for This?
What Seafood Is Best for Seafood Pasta?
In this recipe, I opted for shrimp and scallops. They are two of my favorites because they’re more fuss-free than other sea creatures. However, include any seafood in this pasta recipe you like. Go crazy with calamari (sliced squid tubes), baby octopus, clams, and mussels. It’s your call; but aim for 1.5 pounds of seafood.
- Pasta – Spaghetti is listed in the recipe, but any long pasta like fettuccine or angel hair pasta would work just fine.
- Seafood – Shrimp and scallops are mildly sweet and super easy to prepare, but use your faves for a delectable seafood dinner.
- Seasonings – Thyme, Creole seasoning (homemade and salt-free!), and fresh lemon highlight the seafood flavors.
- Butter and Oil – Two key ingredients for sautéing and general flavor-enriching purposes.
- Sauce – Onions, garlic, and bell pepper are all the vegetables you need for this quick pasta. Then chicken or seafood broth and roasted diced tomatoes will add wonderful flavor for a tasty sauce.
How to Make Seafood Pasta
Cook the Pasta
- Cook Pasta – Boil the spaghetti in a large pot, according to box instructions.
- Prep Veggies – While the spaghetti is boiling, chop the onions and bell pepper and mince the garlic.
- Drain the spaghetti and set it aside.
Cook the Seafood
- Prep Seafood – Lightly season the shrimp and scallops with Creole seasoning. Then heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet. (Photo 1)
- Saute – Add the shrimp and scallops (together or separately, it’s up to you) and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until the shrimp turns pink and begins to curl. (Photos 2-5)
- Set Aside – Remove the shrimp and scallops from the pan and transfer them to a plate.
Make the Pasta Sauce
- Saute Veggies – Add about 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet, followed by onions, garlic, thyme, and bell pepper. Sauté the ingredients for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. (Photos 6-7)
- Add Liquid – Next, pour the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, and lemon juice in. Stir until combined. (Photos 8-9)
- Simmer – Cook for about a minute, and then season with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning. Optionally, add some red pepper flakes too! 💥 (Photo 10)
Assemble the Seafood Pasta
- Pasta and Sauce – Add the drained pasta to the skillet and mix it with the sauce. (Photos 11-12)
- Seafood – Next, return the shrimp and scallops to the skillet and mix gently to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
- Final Stretch – Finally, turn off the heat and let it soak up some of the sauce for a few minutes.
- Serve warm and garnish with a lemon wedge and pepper flakes if you like it spicy.
- Swap up the protein. Chicken, pork, and beef are all fantastic with pasta.
- Use a different pasta. I recommended long pasta, but any will do (like penne or rigatoni).
- Make it creamy. Add ½ cup of heavy whipping cream when finishing the sauce to create a creamy version of this pasta. You can even leave out the tomatoes if you want a simple, creamy lemon sauce.
Tips and Tricks
- Scallops only need to sear for a couple of minutes on each side. How will you know they are done? If they feel mushy, they still need to cook. If they feel really firm, they might be overcooked. A perfectly cooked scallop will be slightly firm but springy. It takes some practice, but you’ll get the hang of it! 😉
- And while we’re talking about scallops, always rinse them and pat them dry before you sear them. If they are wet when they go in the pan, they won’t brown properly, and you’ll be cheating yourself out of some amazing flavor.
- Cook your pasta al dente! Overcooked pasta is mushy and gets even mushier when you add it to the sauce.
- For a quick-fix broth, mix ½ cup of spaghetti water, ½ cup of regular water, and ½-1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon, done.
You can make this pasta the day before; just store the pasta and the sauce separately in airtight containers in the fridge. Warm them up together over medium heat stovetop when ready to serve, adding a little extra broth to the sauce if you need it to prevent burning.
Serving and Storage Instructions
Serve this recipe fresh and piping hot for maximum yumminess. Refrigerate leftover seafood pasta in an airtight container for up to three days. Then zap it in the microwave or reheat it on the stovetop on medium heat (as noted above.)
Depends on who you ask. I consider it healthy because seafood is good for you, right? It is still a buttery pasta dish, though, so if you have any issues with gluten, it might not be a “healthy” dish for you personally.
No! You may be used to heaping up the parm on pasta dishes, but the strong cheese flavor can quickly overpower the delicate seafood flavors in this dish. However, if you’re feeling tremendously disappointed right now, go ahead and sprinkle your parmesan; it won’t bother me. 😜
Why, yes, you can! Simply add them to the pasta and sauce when you assemble this dish, and give them a few minutes to heat up with the rest of the ingredients.
What Goes With Seafood Pasta
This dish can stand alone, but it goes well with a wedge salad or bacon-wrapped asparagus. Also, it goes great with a glass of white wine, especially if you want to play up its fancier qualities.
Oh, and one more thing you’ll definitely want to serve with this (and any other pasta dish): Red Lobster cheddar biscuits. They are so easy to make and will give your meal a true restaurant vibe. 👩🍳
More Delectable Seafood Recipes to Try
- Seafood Paella
- Shrimp Etouffee
- Grilled Lobster Tail
- Crab Bisque
- Jamaican Curry Shrimp
- Southern Seafood Boil
There you have it! Fancy, not to mention scrumptious, seafood pasta in the comfort of your own home. Do you have a favorite fancy seafood meal you whip up at home from time to time? Please tell me what it is! 💕
- 1 10-ounce package (285g) spaghetti
- 1½ pounds (680g) seafood, shrimp (peeled and deveined), scallops, squid tubes, baby octopus, oysters, etc.
- 2-3 teaspoons (10-15g) Creole seasoning
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil (or canola oil)
- 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon (8g) garlic, minced
- 1 14.5-ounce can (411g) roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons (2g) thyme, minced
- ½ large bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup (240ml) seafood broth or chicken broth (see notes)
- ½-1 whole lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the spaghetti in a large pot, according to box instructions. Drain and set aside.
- While the spaghetti is boiling, chop the onions and bell pepper and mince the garlic.
- Lightly season the shrimp and scallops with Creole seasoning. Then heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet.
- Add the shrimp and scallops (together or separately, it's up to you) and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until the shrimp turns pink and begins to curl.
- Remove the shrimp and scallops from the pan and transfer them to a plate.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet, followed by onions, garlic, thyme, and bell pepper. Sauté the ingredients for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Next, pour the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, and lemon juice in. Stir until combined. Cook for about a minute, and then season with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning. Optionally, add some red pepper flakes too!
- Add the drained pasta to the skillet and mix it with the sauce.
- Next, return the shrimp and scallops to the skillet and mix gently to combine all ingredients thoroughly. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
- Finally, turn off the heat and let it soak up some of the sauce for a few minutes.
- Serve warm and garnish with a lemon wedge and pepper flakes if you like it spicy.
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