Shrimp, Lemon, Spinach Linguine

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

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


  • 8 ounces linguine pasta
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole lemon, quartered lengthwise then thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon 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.

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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 the minced lemon to the pan and toss to wilt the spinach. Add about 1/2 cup pasta water to the pan.

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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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  • Kim

    Not sure if I did something wrong but the saute of lemon made the dish really really bitter. On top of that, the flavour of the lemon was also very strong.


    • Carrie Havranek

      Hi Kim. Did your lemons get too brown? That could have affected the taste of the dish. Perhaps next time use zest instead? I’m sorry to hear that this happened!

  • Pam

    Very little flavor, so disappointed, and the shrimp was tough.


  • Noreen

    very good! added a little butter on the noodles at the end (1 T)
    Great combination of flavors and with simple ingredients I already had on hand :)


  • Bri

    This was AMAZING! It will be a regular on my meal rotation! My 4 year old son LOVED the lemon and ate it all up! Thank you for a great recipe!


  • Tiffany

    YUM!!! Only thing we did differently was keeping the lemons in pieces & didn’t eat them. Didn’t really understand what mincing the lemons meant. Also added lemon juice on top. Thank u!!!


  • N

    The lemon was a little overwhelming. Would consider making again without, or just much less


  • Suzanne Norris

    I made this for dinner tonight. I was delicious. I followed the receipe used onion because I didn’t have any shallots in kitchen. My only complaint had to do with the size of my shrimp and amount of spinach I used. It could use a little more liquid but all in all I will make it again for sure. Did not find any issues with the lemon rind being bitter.


  • Jacqueline

    Not a fan of the lemon rind…pasta had nice flavor from the sauce made with the pasta water doubt I would make again


  • Jeffrey Norenberg

    YUK! Lemon zest was over powering. Inedible

  • Rochelle D Johnson Cabil

    thank you for this recipe. I was sick today sneezing coughing hacking but I knew my husband would love a hot meal when he came home today. I made this recipe it was simple quick and delicious and it’s not fried so yay to you and me for being a success today thank you for this awesome recipe


    • Elise Bauer

      So glad you liked it Rochelle, and hope you feel better soon!

  • 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.

    • Mia Valentini

      Exactly what happened to us tonight! Had to throw it out. Disappointed!

  • 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 :)

  • 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.

  • Sandie Jay

    How does one go about mincing the cooked lemon? The Sandie

    • Elise Bauer

      Put them on a cutting board and use a sharp chef’s knife to cut them finely.

  • Dorothy

    Made this tonite…awesome..just added a pinch of dried chilies..thanks for recipe..Will definitely make it many more times.


  • Lisa

    Could you use preserved lemons? I picked up a nifty little jar of preserved sliced (relatively) thin lemons from Trader Joe’s. Not sure I truly understand the nuances of preserved lemons and was wondering if it would work.

    • Pat

      Lisa – the preserved lemons go really well in Turkish recipes or Mediterranean ones like chicken tagine. Go online to find them. They are delicious and an essential part of the recipe. And thanks for letting me know where to get them!.