Delicious pasta with shrimp, Brussels sprouts, and creamy wine sauce seems like a splurge but it’s surprisingly good for you.
Why you’ll love it: The shredded Brussels sprouts add so much nutrition, color, and flavor and replace much of the pasta.
How long it takes: 40 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: pasta pot, strainer, large skillet, slotted spoon, stove
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.
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.
I’ll run through the recipe here so you know how to get started. Look for lots of extra tips and information.
As always, you’ll find the printable recipe card at the end of the post with complete directions and nutrition information.
What’s in this recipe?
- Linguine, Regular or Whole Wheat – But of course, you can use any type of pasta you’d like. You’ll only need 8 ounces.
- Diced Pancetta – Bacon will also work!
- 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.
- 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 to have a little fun.
- 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.
How to make it
First up, start cooking your pasta. Make sure to salt your water for the best possible flavor. Before you drain the pasta, don’t forget to save some of the pasta water!
Next, you’ll cook the pancetta until crispy. Place it on a paper towel lined plate when it’s nice and crispy.
Pat the shrimp dry (it browns better and develops the best flavor this way!), and season with pepper.
Cook the shrimp in the bacon grease (yum!), and transfer it to a plate when it’s opaque and shaped like the letter C. It will take only a few minutes to cook so don’t walk away.
Add oil to the pan if needed, and the shredded Brussels sprouts and shallots. Cook until the Brussels sprouts are tender but still crisp.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, which should only take 30 seconds to one minute.
Add wine and cook for 1-2 minutes until it is mostly evaporated. Oh, it smells so good! Stir in shrimp (and any juice on the plate!), half and half, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest.
Add the pasta and toss it all together. If needed, now is the time to add some of that reserved pasta water to help create a silky sauce.
Top with pancetta, fresh parsley, and a squeeze of lemon and 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!
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 are all lovely.
Definitely! Substitute 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock for the wine if you’d like.
Make It 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.
Storage & 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.
More Pasta Recipes
Creamy not criminal! Looking for more creamy pasta recipes that won’t break the calorie bank? Try:
- Easy Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli — one pan, and healthy
- Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi Pasta
- Healthy Shrimp Alfredo with Carrot Noodles
- Skinny Alfredo Sauce made with Cauliflower
- Creamy Chicken Spaghetti
- One Pan Rigatoni with Creamy Red Wine Tomato Sauce
- Instant Pot Bolognese Recipe
- 8 ounces linguine (see note)
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 1 pound shrimp (31/40), peeled, deveined, and tails removed (if frozen, thaw by running under cold water)
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Pat shrimp dry and season with ¼ teaspoon pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and add shrimp to the pan. Cook, flipping once, until opaque and curled, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate with a slotted spoon.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice and topped with pancetta, and parsley, if desired.
- 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.
- Recipe adapted from Eating Well magazine.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.