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Shrimp and Pasta in Tomato-Chile Cream Sauce

This Shrimp Pasta in tomato-chile cream sauce is total comfort food! Who could turn down a plate of creamy noodles with tender shrimp mixed in?

A plate of shrimp and tomato pasta.

Spicy Shrimp Pasta Recipe

This spicy little number will forever be associated with Valentine’s Day in our house. After Blake and I made this together a couple years ago for a special dine-in Valentine’s meal, it has now come to be an annual February dish.

The original recipe for Shrimp and Pasta in Tomato-Chile Cream Sauce comes from Emeril Lagasse and is full of his signature {rich + bold} flavor. The cream and shrimp provide sweet lusciousness. And then the jalapenos and Pepper Jack cheese follow up with a kick of heat.

It’s deliciously romantic.

I realize this pasta dish may not make it to your table this Valentine’s Day, given my timing in sharing it with you, but it’s a great dish to make during any winter month. And even though the past few days have been rather balmy here in the midwest, I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of this winter’s wrath.

Also…don’t let this recipe’s length scare you off. It’s not difficult to make. But prep is key. Have everything chopped and measured before you get started, and you’ll be just fine. This is a great dish to whip up with your honey by your side. Turn on some music, pour some wine (I really like a chilled crisp Cline Viognier with this), and make an evening of it.

(Baked shrimp mac and cheese would also be good if you’re looking for more easy shrimp recipes!)

a plate of shrimp and tomato pasta

Shrimp and Pasta in Tomato-Chile Cream Sauce

Yield: 6
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
total time: 40 minutes
Shrimp and Pasta in Tomato-Chile Cream Sauce is a delicious meal that the whole family is sure to love. This creamy pasta recipe mixed with shrimp is full of flavor, and carries a little spice in each bite!
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For the Pasta:

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons Essence recipe follows
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped jalapenos seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup reserved pasta cooking water
  • 1 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

For Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning: (can be purchased at the grocery store, labeled as “Bayou Blast”)

  • 2-1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme


  • For the Seasoning: Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Store in an empty spice bottle or similar container for future use. I always have a few empty spice bottles on hand, for just this sort of thing. (Yield: 2/3 cup)
  • Set a large 1-gallon stock pot of water to a boil. Add the kosher salt and then the linguine to the pot. Return to a boil and stir the noodles to separate. Cook the pasta until al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking, start preparing the shrimp and sauce. Set a large deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Once the butter has melted, season the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the Essence seasoning, plus 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Add the shrimp to the pan and sear until nicely browned on both sides. This should take just a couple minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  • Turn heat down to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onions and jalapenos to the pan and saute until the onions are softened, translucent, and slightly caramelized. This should take about 4 or 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 1 minute. Add the cream, remaining 1 tablespoon of Essence seasoning, remaining 1-1/4 teaspoons of the salt, and the pepper to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook the sauce until the cream is reduced by half. This should take about 2 minutes.
  • Return the shrimp to the pan. Add the linguine, tomatoes, and the reserved cooking water to the pan and cook, tossing to incorporate for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and add the Pepper Jack, Parmesan, parsley, and basil. Toss to blend. Serve immediately.


adapted slightly from Emeril Lagasse and Food Network.com

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 719kcal Carbohydrates: 43g Protein: 33g Fat: 47g Saturated Fat: 27g Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 281mg Sodium: 4279mg Fiber: 5g Sugar: 6g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!
Plate of shrimp pasta in a cream sauce.

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43 comments on “Shrimp and Pasta in Tomato-Chile Cream Sauce”

  1. I made the spicy tomato sauce today, sort of. I had some salmon and some sea scallops I wanted to fix, so I used them instead of the shrimp. Didn’t have jalapenas so I used poblemo peppers. I forgot to add the cheeses, basil and parsley, but what I got was wonderful (reduced the cream too)………. loved it. Nice slight kick, smooth and tasty.

  2. I can’t wait until I have a chance to make this… hopefully next week! Until then I’ll be stopping by just to glance at the photos :) It looks so delicious!

    1. Sorry to hear about the shrimp, Sandy. But don’t let that stop you from trying this – just use chicken – I’m sure it will still be super delicious. Great to hear from you!

  3. Brenda, this looks amazing. Seriously, I want some now!!

    I suppose I will have to make some soon, since you twisted my arm. :)

  4. Mmmm that looks amazing! I’ll have to try and make it for my housemates! Its a shame one of them doesn’t like prawns, I’ll just leave them out of hers. I have a question though, what is kosher salt? Is it a special salt or can I use normal table salt?

    1. Thanks, Harriet – great to hear from you again! You could leave the shrimp out, or just use chicken. And kosher salt is just a salt with a coarser grain. I also think it has a softer taste than ordinary table salt, and actually prefer it over table salt. It also makes for a nicer crust when grilling and searing meats. You should be able to find it in the same area as ordinary table salt at the store.

  5. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    This dish looks awesome. We really like shrimp and that sauce looks great. So glad I found your blog and Thanks So Much for sharing this recipe!

  6. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

    This is stunning! I wish I had gotten to eat this for Valentine’s Day… My hubby doesn’t like shrimp, but I might give it a try with chicken for him. :)

  7. Oh my goodness does this look heavenly! I’m sitting here fantasizing about swirling a fork right in the center of that dish! YUMMMMMMM!

  8. Robyn | Add a Pinch

    I love Shrimp and Pasta and absolutely without a doubt need to try your recipe soon. I looks scrumptious! Hope you had a Happy Valentine’s Day!


    You got me at “spicy little number!” I got to the grocery and will indeed treat my valentine’s to this treat!
    Thank you!!

  10. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies

    This looks absolutely delicious. There used to be a New Orleans themed restaurant in San Antonio that had a dish just like this that I *adored*. I haven’t thought about it in years. Thanks for the reminder, and the great recipe!

  11. Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids)

    That looks delicious – nothing like slurping spaghetti :-) (Imagining the scene in Lady in the Tramp – YES, I am a mother!) xo