Our Tuscan shrimp recipe can give you a rich, decadent shrimp meal in 20 minutes.
Tuscan Shrimp — Creamy and Savory
It is fascinating that Tuscan culinary is an entire philosophy, based on the idea of ‘poor cooking’. Tuscan dishes are not very elaborate and use rather inexpensive ingredients that are available all year round. It is all about accessibility and inclusivity, so that everyone is able to enjoy fine foods.
Having the down-to-earth spirit well preserved in our Tuscan butter salmon recipe, we recreated yet another delicious Tuscan dish: Tuscan shrimp. It’s shrimp thrown in a pan, together with milk, cream, tomatoes, and several basic pantry seasonings, and finally topped with parmesan cheese and freshly chopped herbs. The rich, savory sauce goes well with cooked pasta. It is an easy, hassle-free meal you can prep ahead of time and enjoy all week long.
What Makes Our Version Healthier than Others
The original recipe calls for wholesome ingredients that provide you with all sorts of nutrients. There are healthy fats and plenty of protein in shrimp, fiber in spinach and tomatoes, carbs in pasta, and loads of other micronutrients in this dish.
However, this dish also comes with several issues that need to be addressed:
- While pretty nutritious, it is typically high in saturated fats. Our bodies need fats, but saturated fats promote bad cholesterol build-up. Hence, these should be consumed with caution.
- Typically high in fat, it can also be high in calories. As recommended by experts, we should keep our daily calories within a certain limit.
- The same can be said for sodium. Salty foods taste good, but overconsumption can lead to several health problems.
To keep all of these within their acceptable ranges, we tried to efficiently use milk, cream, and salt-loaded ingredients. At the same time, we tried to manage the portion size. We were aiming for something healthy, yet did not want it to fall short on flavor.
The result is this Tuscan shrimp recipe, with around 500 calories, 6.6 g saturated fats, and 590 mg sodium. You can learn more about these numbers in our healthy eating guidelines.
Ingredients for Our Tuscan Shrimp
For our Tuscan shrimp recipe, you’ll need shrimp, a pasta you like, butter, cream, milk, tomatoes, spinach, parmesan cheese, and a few seasonings:
The spinach is our own twist, as the classic Tuscan shrimp recipe doesn’t call for any vegetable. We believe its texture is exactly what the dish needs, in addition to the firm shrimp, the al dente pasta, and the juicy tomatoes.
Speaking of tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes are actually preferred for this dish as they provide extra flavor. But in the spirit of Tuscan cooking, we used what we had on hand and believe you can as well.
As there is already savoriness and creaminess in the dish, a bright tang from lemon juice is necessary. It could also use some fresh aroma, and we thought nothing is more suitable than a few finely-julienned basil leaves on top.
In addition to their savoriness and saltiness, any type of cheese can impart a rich aroma that complements most savory dishes. Since our Tuscan shrimp is no exception, we decided to grate some parmesan on top, alongside the basil.
How to Make This Tuscan Shrimp
To save time, you’ll certainly want to cook some pasta first like we did, or at least have the pot of water boiling before tackling the shrimp. Either way, you may find the pasta hardens and clumps together, but will separate once added to the sauce.
With that taken care of, turn your attention to the shrimp:
Heat olive oil and butter, then saute the garlic until fragrant.
Add the peeled shrimp and stir to cook.
Add the milk, cream, and seasonings, and bring everything to a simmer.
Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until softened.
Turn off the heat, and scatter grated parmesan cheese, julienned basil, and chopped parsley on top.
Just before serving, add the cooked pasta, and gently mix until the pasta softens.
The measurements are listed in our ‘Tuscan shrimp recipe’ card at the bottom of this article.Jump to Recipe
How to Store and Reheat
Stored separately from the pasta, Tuscan shrimp is considered cooked meat, and hence, can be safely stored for up to 4 days in the fridge and for up to 3 months in the freezer. The pasta can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days, but it is not recommended to store it in the freezer.
It is crucial that both are tightly sealed in a container of choice to maximize their shelf life.
To reheat, bring everything to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes if refrigerated, and 4 minutes if frozen. Add about 1 tbsp of water to make up for the evaporated liquid.
What to Have With Tuscan Shrimp
Our picks for this satisfying dish are a fresh, juicy salad and a glass of iced water, infused with pineapples and mint leaves. The salad comprises steamed beets, peppery roquettes, and tangy orange cubes that balance out the richness of the creamy sauce.
Tuscan Shrimp Recipe
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 12 oz peeled shrimp from 24 oz whole shrimp
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 oz spinach stems removed
- 4 oz cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
- 2 tbsp basil julienned
- 0.5 oz parmesan cheese grated
- 16 oz cooked spaghetti
- Heat 2 tbsp unsalted butter and 1 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet, until the butter melts. Stir in 1 tbsp minced garlic and keep stirring until fragrant.
- Add 12 oz peeled shrimp and stir to cook for about 4 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup whole milk, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring everything to a simmer.
- Add 2 oz spinach and move it around, until all is wilted.
- Add 4 oz halved cherry tomatoes and make sure all the ingredients are submerged in the sauce. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Turn off the stove and sprinkle on top 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 2 tbsp julienned basil, and 0.5 oz grated parmesan. Set the skillet aside and wait until serving.
- To serve, toss 16 oz of cooked spaghetti with the sauce until everything softens. Serve right away.