Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto

Classic Pesto

This recipe for Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto didn’t start out with pepper flakes. It never even occurred to me to pair pepper flakes with pesto. However, when I was sautéing the zucchini and shrimp I forgot I wasn’t making a butter sauce and sprinkled in the spice. One of those “aha moments” – spicy pesto is delicious!

Sauté zucchini, shrimp and crushed red pepper flakes in olive; add pesto and combine, stir in cooked spaghetti and a little pasta water, if need to thin the sauce. Garnish with cherry tomatoes. Click here for the Classic Pesto recipe.

Classic Pesto

Watch the Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto Here:


Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto

Classic Pesto

Spice things up with this spaghetti and shrimp dish with spicy pesto!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 37 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini cut in quarters lengthwise and then in ½-inch cubes
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 pound large shrimp (1620 count), peeled and deveined
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
  • 1 cup pesto sauce
  • pasta water, as needed
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes


  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta liquid before draining.
  2. In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  3. Stir in the zucchini and salt and cook stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and crushed pepper flakes, cook stirring occasionally until shrimp are pink and firm – about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the pesto sauce and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta liquid. Stir to loosen. Add the pasta, stir to combine and add as much pasta liquid as need to coat the spaghetti evenly.


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