Shrimp, Lemon, Spinach Linguine

Sautéed shrimp with caramelized lemons, tossed with shallots, spinach and linguine. Delicious!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

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.

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.

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

Showing 4 of 15 Comments

  • Gilda

    This is the best lemon pasta I’ve ever made. I followed the recipe exactly, except that I used bowtie pasta, which is what I had on hand. I used a Meyers lemon from my tree, and it was absolutely delicious.

  • porkybun

    I was a bit hesitate to make this dish, after reading the mixed comments… i went ahead… I must say we all love this pasta dish! The lemon is a nice addition and brought the whole dish to a new level of taste with depth.

    Thanks for the recipe

  • Joanne Clarke

    I made this tonight. It would have been good but the lemon gave it the most awful aftertaste to the point where we actually could not eat it. Such a shame because I know it would have been great otherwise. Maybe next time I might make it with lemon juice rather than a whole lemon. Thanks all the same. I love trying new things.

  • Betsy

    I made this tonight without the shallots and the pasta water , I increased the amount of Spinach and both my husband and son Loved it so much they gave it a 10 – thanks for the recipe. Its been saved for future dinners :) and pinned on my board on Pinterest :)

  • 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 :)

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