Shrimp, Lemon, Spinach Linguine


The concept is simple. Sauté shrimp with shallots, garlic, lemon, and toss with spinach and linguine. Pretty straightforward, right?

Here’s where it gets interesting. Instead of just squeezing some lemon juice over the pasta, or grating lemon zest, we are sautéing thin slices of lemon until they are well browned and caramelized. Those sautéed lemons slices get minced and added to everything else. 

The browned lemon bits bring zippy bursts of roasted lemony flavor to the dish, providing a wonderful accent to the shrimp, spinach, and linguine.

Try it, you’ll see! Just make sure the lemon is very thinly sliced and that you sauté it long enough to get thorough browning.

Shrimp Lemon Linguine

Shrimp, Lemon, Spinach Linguine Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 8 ounces linguine pasta
  • Salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole lemon, quartered lengthwise then thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 pound peeled, deveined 26-30 count shrimp
  • 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1 Heat water for the pasta: Heat a large pot of salted water (2 quarts of water, 1 Tbsp salt) for the pasta.

2 Brown the lemon slices: While the pasta water is heating, cook the lemon slices. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the thinly sliced lemons to the pan and cook until browned and softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from pan, set aside to cool. Once the lemon slices are cool, mince them.

shrimp-lemon-linguine-method-1 shrimp-lemon-linguine-method-2

3 Start cooking the linguine: Once the pasta water is boiling, add the linguine pasta to cook.

4 Sauté shallots and garlic: Add 1 Tbsp olive oil back to the pan you had used to cook the lemons. Heat on medium high heat. Add the sliced shallots. Cook until softened and lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

shrimp-lemon-linguine-method-3 shrimp-lemon-linguine-method-4

5 Cook the shrimp: Add the shrimp to the shallots and garlic and cook until pink on one side, then toss them to cook on the other side, about 2 minutes for each side.

6 Add the spinach, lemon, some pasta water: Add the spinach and lemon to the pan and toss to wilt the spinach. Add about 1/2 cup pasta water to the pan.

shrimp-lemon-linguine-method-5 shrimp-lemon-linguine-method-6

7 Drain pasta, toss with shrimp and spinach: When the pasta is done, strain it and add it to the pan with the shrimp (if you have room, otherwise put everything in a separate bowl), toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese to serve.

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Shrimp Lemon Linguine

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Showing 4 of 17 Comments

  • Christine

    made it last night, but added a little bit of heavy cream to the sauce (mainly to keep it from drying/noodles soaking up all the sauce for hubby, who came late for dinner). Loved the lemon flavor, though I felt it was a bit on the sour side, so I just added a bit of sugar to balance it and it was perfect afterwards. Definitely a nice change from our usual pasta & tomato sauce routine :)

  • Whitney

    This was fantastic! I had made shrimp tacos earlier in the week, so I decided to bake a salmon fillet and use it instead. I tossed the salmon chunks with rest of the pasta right before serving – delicious! And I personally thought the lemon was a perfect touch.

  • lola

    I really didn’t like the lemon. I always like your recipes, but this one tasted strange and can only attribute it to the lemon.

  • Gloria Kelly

    I made this last night; it was delicious. I made one small change: I used chicken stock rather than the pasta water. Next time, I’ll increase the spinach to 8-10 ounces. Overall, the dish was really nice, and the lemon was a wonderful addition.

  • Mark

    I like recipes that I can remember without a recipe and have common ingredients. I don’t like buying unusual ingredients just for one thing and then having to throw them out later. I think I will give this one a try. Very similar to a standard prep for white fish with some spinach and pasta added. Easy to remember.

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