How to Make Wallet-Friendly Shrimp Pasta With Pantry Staples

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Do you also reserve seafood dishes for special occasions? For many Filipino families, crabs, prawns, oysters, and scallops are saved for birthdays and anniversaries – or when VIP balikbayans arrive. It’s unsurprising since these ingredients typically fetch a high price. Some even consider them too luxurious for weekend meals. But what if you found a way to enjoy your favorite shellfish regularly without breaking the bank? By cooking more shrimp pasta, perhaps?

For this dish, a little goes a long way. Who says you need to buy a kilo of shrimp for it? If you’re feeding a family of four, 250 grams should suffice. And if you use fresh and plump shrimp, you won’t need many other ingredients to make your pasta sing – you only need five, in fact. You’re free to add more, but make sure they don’t steal your main star’s thunder.    

Fewer components mean shorter cooking time. Just allot half an hour to put everything together, and you’re good to go. Still can't believe it's possible? Here are five wallet-friendly shrimp pasta recipes to get you started.

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

A large plate of lemon garlic shrimp pasta served on a wooden board

Start with a straightforward yet always dependable dish you can finish in 30 minutes or less. Even if you’re not a seasoned chef, you can learn to cook garlic shrimp pasta à la authentic Italian restaurants. This sauce only requires five main ingredients. Melt butter in a pan, sauté garlic until fragrant, then add cream. Toss in shrimp and cook until pink. Remove the pan from the heat and finish with a squeeze of lemon for a light and fresh surprise. Serve over your favorite noodles. Buon appetito!

Creamy Shrimp Pesto

A serving of creamy shrimp pesto penne

Oil-based pasta sauces are the easiest to make. Take the classic pesto, for example. It only calls for fresh basil leaves (or malunggay), pine nuts or cashews, grated Parmesan, olive oil, and garlic. Just toss your ingredients in a blender and blitz everything until smooth. Done!

What other shrimp pesto pasta ingredients will you need to complete the dish? Shrimp and pasta! Simply grill or pan-fry your shellfish, then toss them with the sauce and your preferred noodles (try penne!). Top it with more Parmesan, pair it with garlic bread, and serve it warm to your loved ones.

Bang Bang Shrimp Noodles

A plate of creamy bang bang shrimp pasta garnished with fresh herbs

If you’ve never had bang bang shrimp, you’re missing out. The sweet and spicy dish, including its many iterations, has been trending all over social media. It pairs well with rice, but you’ll get even more satisfaction when you top it over warm, buttery noodles.

To make this creamy shrimp pasta, you’ll need butter, garlic, sweet chili, sriracha, and Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise. If you’re making this for kids, add honey and calamansi juice to mellow its spiciness. Cook your shrimp in the sauce, then pour everything over al dente pasta. 

Chili Garlic Shrimp Pasta

A plate of spicy shrimp pasta on a checkered cloth

Chili garlic oil has fast become a beloved pantry staple in many homes. The ready-to-use condiment goes perfectly over pizza, fried eggs, and dim sum. But did you know you can also use it as a quick sauce for noodles?

Trending recipe videos suggest combining it with soy sauce, black vinegar, and garlic. Follow suit, then toss it with warm pasta (try fettuccine!), cooked shrimp, and fresh tomatoes. From start to finish, you’ll only need 10 minutes, tops.

Fresh Shrimp Pasta Salad

A large serving of shrimp pasta salad on a dark countertop

Pasta salads are severely underrated. You can never go wrong with a hearty combo of greens and noodles. Stary by cooking penne, fusilli, or farfalle for your base. Next, toss in some grilled shrimp, sliced tomatoes, chopped lettuce or cabbage, olives, and shaved cheese. Finally, drizzle a simple vinaigrette or wasabi mayo dressing and dig in!

Shrimp pasta is always a fantastic option when you don’t have time to prepare a meal with several components. And just like rice, noodles can fill you up without having to spend too much. Start rummaging in your pantry for the ingredients and enjoy your favorite seafood even on ordinary weekdays.



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