30-Minute Pesto Shrimp Pasta

4.89 from 17 votes
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An easy 30-minute pesto shrimp pasta recipe. A delicious sauce is created by blending fresh spinach, arugula, basil, walnuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil.

shrimp and pesto pasta in a bowl

Pesto shrimp pasta is a quick meal solution that packs superior flavor when the craving for Italian food hits. This recipe combines succulent shrimp and spaghetti with a vibrant vegetable sauce. Make yourself or your family a satisfying dinner without the long preparation time.

I save time by using my Vitamix blender to create a smooth pesto sauce within minutes, no cooking required! A healthy blend arugula, spinach, and basil deliver maximum taste and nutrition in each serving. Layers of flavor are developed with a hint of pungent garlic, aged Parmesan cheese, and walnuts for creaminess and texture. This delicious meal is an excellent alternative to your classic tomato-based pasta dishes.

Making pesto with a Vitamix Ascent Series A3500 blender using arugula and walnuts

A quick meal that does not compromise on taste is essential during busy weekdays. Instead of grabbing a jar of premade sauce, wholesome ingredients can be added directly to your blender for an instant homemade pesto.

My blender has five unique program settings,  and I used the “Dip and Spreads” setting, which uses pre-set smart controls for speed and timing to create the perfect texture for the pesto sauce. This machine also has a manual variable speed dial and a programmable timer for flexibility so I can experiment with these additional controls.

Vitamix blender with green pesto sauce

In just under a minute the laser-cut stainless steel blades and metal drive system blended the leafy greens and chunky pieces of nuts with ease.

Small wooden bowl of pesto sauce with crushed walnuts on top

This blender is handy for creating an emulsion sauce because it can effortlessly disperse the oil into smaller droplets that become suspended in the sauce mixture of fibers, protein, and water. The result is a smooth, thick, and creamy pesto sauce that’s perfect for coating tender pasta noodles.

Metal tongs lifting spaghetti noodles out of a pan

The warm spaghetti noodles are gently mixed with the fresh pesto sauce, adding herbaceous and savory flavor to each bite. This sauce is so versatile. You can use it as a dip with crunchy vegetables, top with your choice of protein, or mixed in with cooked grains or soup to elevate the flavor.

Frying pan with several seasoned shrimp

Lean shrimp is added to the pesto pasta to create an irresistible entreé. The shrimp is tossed in paprika, salt, and pepper, then seared in olive oil to infuse more flavor into the seafood. It only takes a few minutes of cook time in a hot pan using the sauté technique for the shrimp to be ready.

You are not going to want to wait a moment longer to serve and devour this pesto shrimp pasta. Garnishing with sweet baby tomatoes, chopped walnuts, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese will guarantee that your culinary efforts will be rewarded with a delightful supper.

White bowl with pesto shrimp pasta and cherry tomatoes

More shrimp recipes you might like

What is Pesto sauce?

A classic pesto sauce is a combination of two cooking techniques: pureéing, and emulsification. The large leafy greens, nuts, garlic, and cheese first need to be broken down by using the sharp, quick blades in the blender. The olive oil is then gradually added to suspend the mixture of food particles in a creamy sauce that does not separate once added to the pasta.

Pesto Shrimp Pasta

An easy 30-minute pesto shrimp pasta recipe. A quick sauce is blended together with fresh spinach, arugula, basil, walnuts, parmesan cheese and olive oil.
4.89 from 17 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Italian


  • 3 cups arugula, packed
  • 2 cups baby spinach, packed
  • ¼ cup basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup walnuts, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces spaghetti, dried noodles
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, 16-20 count size
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in half


  • To make the pesto add arugula, spinach, basil, garlic, walnuts, cheese, and ¾ teaspoon salt to a blender. Process until greens begin to break down, 30 seconds.
  • With the blender running, slowly add six tablespoons of olive oil to the pesto. Process until a smooth pesto with some particulates is formed, 15 to 30 seconds. Season with more salt and pepper as desired. Set aside.
  • Cook pasta according to manufacturer's directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, make the shrimp.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine shrimp, ¼ teaspoon salt, paprika, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, once hot add the shrimp in a single layer.
  • Cook shrimp 2 minutes on each side, until no longer translucent and the flesh is pink. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • In a large bowl or pan toss pasta with pesto sauce.
  • Portion out pesto pasta on a plate. Add shrimp and tomatoes. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and chopped walnuts.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 655kcal (33%)Carbohydrates 48g (16%)Protein 37g (74%)Fat 36g (55%)Saturated Fat 6g (30%)Polyunsaturated Fat 9gMonounsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 178mg (59%)Sodium 639mg (27%)Potassium 169mg (5%)Fiber 4g (16%)Sugar 2g (2%)Vitamin A 2400IU (48%)Vitamin C 19mg (23%)Calcium 240mg (24%)Iron 5.9mg (33%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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  1. meann torres says

    hi jessica, how long can I keep my pesto sauce and what’s the best way of preserving it? thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. God bless!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi There! Store the pesto in an airtight container, using plastic wrap to cover the surface with no air space and place in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.