Delicious pasta with shrimp, Brussels sprouts, and creamy wine sauce seems like a splurge but it’s surprisingly good for you. 

Close up overhead view of pasta with shrimp and pancetta.

You’ll love this linguine with shrimp and Brussels sprouts. The flavorful creamy wine sauce is enhanced with bits of pancetta, lemon zest, garlic and shallot, and you can feel good knowing that it’s relatively low in calories and carbs compared to creamy Alfredo pasta.

Love creamy pasta? So do I! Unfortunately, a two cup serving of pasta Alfredo tops 1000 calories! Ouch. But take heart! With just a little half & half and white wine, your Alfredo cravings will be satisfied, for less than 600 calories per serving. 

And a lot fewer carbs, because Brussels sprouts essentially replace half the pasta. Bonus! You’ll enjoy all the many health benefits of Brussels sprouts and never miss the extra pasta. Tender flavorful shrimp provide plenty of low fat protein and nutrition as well.

A large serving plate of pasta with brussels sprouts and shrimp. Bread and wine in background.

About this pasta with shrimp & Brussels sprouts

This pasta dish would be at home on weekday menus or at an elegant dinner party. It’s not difficult to make!

First of all, get the pasta cooking. You’ll only need 8 ounces of pasta. Linguine is great but choose whatever you like. Whole wheat or gluten-free is great, if you prefer. Remember to reserve a half cup of cooking water before you drain the pasta.

Don’t you just love frozen shrimp? It’s so convenient, hanging out in your freezer until you need it. Thaw it under running water for a few minutes and it’s ready to cook. And it cooks up so quickly! Just a brief stint in a hot skillet is all it needs. 

Diced pancetta adds plenty of flavor to this pasta dish. Begin by briefly browning the pancetta in a large skillet. Remove the pancetta to drain on a paper towel lined plate and add the shrimp. Sear it briefly — it will only take a few minutes. Remove the shrimp and set aside.

Now add a little oil, four cups of sliced Brussels sprouts, and shallots to the pan. Stir fry until the sprouts are tender crisp; add the garlic and cook just a bit more. Deglaze the pan with white wine, cooking until most of the wine has evaporated. It will only take a minute or so. Wine adds a lot of flavor but the all alcohol is cooked off. 

Back into the pan go the shrimp, along with a half cup of half-and-half, red pepper flakes for a little zing, and lemon zest. Add cooked pasta and stir everything together. Loosen the sauce up with a little of the reserved pasta water.

It’s ready! Distribute the pasta evenly between four plates or pasta bowls, sprinkle with pancetta and freshly chopped parsley, add a squeeze of lemon juice, and serve. Yum, yum, yum!

Wondering what to serve with this pasta?

Well, of course, a glass of white wine. The bottle is already open. Chardonnay, Gewürtztraminer, or Sauvignon Blanc are great choices. Warm bread with dipping oil, a simple green salad with white wine vinaigrette, or a fresh citrus salad would all be lovely. 

Overhead view of a large platter of shrimp pasta.

What’s in this recipe?

  • Linguine, Regular or Whole Wheat – But of course, you can use any type of pasta you’d like.
  • Diced Pancetta – Bacon will also work!
  • Shrimp – Make sure it’s thawed, peeled, deveined, and the tails are removed.
  • Brussels Sprouts – To make them sort of mimic the texture of the pasta, you’ll want to shave, shred, or thinly slice these. You can use the slicer attachment on your food processor if you want!
  • Shallot – Onion will work in a pinch, but the mild flavor of shallot complements the other delicate flavors in this pasta.
  • Garlic – Omit or increase according to taste.
  • White Wine – Or, if you wish to leave this out, substitute with chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Half & Half – Feeling in the mood for something more decadent? Use heavy cream. Want something lighter? Just add some of the pasta water.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – These add the perfect dash of heat, but you may leave them out if they’re not your thing.
  • Lemon Zest, and lemon wedges for serving – The brightness the lemon adds really brings out all the other flavors in this recipe.
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley – Parsley also adds a pop of freshness that really takes this recipe to the next level.
Large platter of pasta, shrimp, brussels, pancetta, and more.

FAQ

Can I omit the wine in this recipe?

Definitely! Substitute 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock for the wine if you’d like.

What should I serve with shrimp?

We love this recipe with freshly baked bread and a green tossed salad. Try homemade white wine vinaigrette or healthy ranch on your salad!

How to make this your own

  • Substitute scallops or very thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts for the shrimp.
  • Replace the pancetta with chopped bacon, or omit it. Use an additional tablespoon of oil to sauté the shrimp.
  • Use a different pasta of your choice, whole wheat or gluten-free are fine, too.
  • Instead of Brussels sprouts, try chopped spinach or baby kale.
  • Increase or decrease the garlic, as you like. Same with the red pepper flakes.
  • Stir in a chopped tomato with the wine.
  • Omit the half & half, if you like, and add a bit more of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce.
Overhead view of a platter of pasta, with serving utensils next to it.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Creamy shrimp and Brussels sprouts pasta is definitely best eaten immediately. If you do have leftovers, cover them well, and refrigerate for up to two days.

Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stove in a sauce pan. You will probably need to add a little chicken broth or half & half to moisten the pasta.

Large plate of pasta with shrimp, bread and wine in background, fresh brussels sprouts in foreground.

Creamy, not criminal!

Looking for more creamy pasta recipes that won’t break the calorie bank? Try:

Overhead view of pasta with shrimp and brussels sprouts.

Pasta with Shrimp, Brussels Sprouts, & Creamy Wine Sauce

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Delicious pasta with shrimp, Brussels sprouts, and creamy wine sauce seems like a splurge but it's surprisingly good for you. 

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces linguine (see note)
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1 pound shrimp (31/40), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or avocado oil
  • 4 cups shredded or shaved Brussels sprouts
  • ½ cup sliced shallot (about 1 shallot)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup pasta water. Drain and cover to keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate with a slotted spoon.
  3. Pat shrimp dry and season with ¼ teaspoon pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and add shrimp to the pan. Cook, flipping over once, until opaque and curled, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate with a slotted spoon.
  4. Add oil and Brussels sprouts and shallot to the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Pour in wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until most of it has evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in shrimp and any accumulated juices, half-and-half, red pepper flakes and lemon zest; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat. If sauce seems too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta water until desired consistency.
  6. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice and topped with pancetta, and parsley, if desired.

Notes

  • If desired, substitute another pasta of your choice, whole wheat, gluten-free, or regular.
  • Want a different protein? Try scallops or very thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of shrimp.
  • If desired, use chopped bacon instead of pancetta.
  • For an alcohol-free version, substitute 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock for the dry white wine.
  • adapted from Eating Well magazine

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 of 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 572Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 270mgSodium: 1140mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 38g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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