Easy and fancy feeling pasta coming in hot to close out the week! Juicy shrimp and creamy, tangy goat cheese melted into a perfect sauce for pasta, plus a spritz of lemon juice and a sprinkle of chives. This pasta has weeknight speed with date night class.
Sometimes the simplest meals feel extra indulgent and fancy. Today, that meal is shrimp and goat cheese pasta. It’s that whole being-fancy-without-having-to-be-fancy dinner that is perfect for a busy weeknight, and even better to throw together for a last minute dinner party.
We’re taking a bag of frozen shrimp, a pound of pasta, bacon, goat cheese, lemon, and chives and transforming them into a creamy and delicious meal.
Any shape of pasta will work here, I like using bucatini which is sort of a thicker spaghetti in a tube shape. It’s a little chewier than fettucine and holds the creamy sauce really well. Let’s get cooking!
How to Make Shrimp and Goat Cheese Pasta
First, start your pasta water boiling. Doesn’t that always take the longest?! Actually, I take that back. If you have frozen, uncooked shrimp, take that out and soak in a bowl of water in the sink. If you’re impatient/short on time/hungry (aka me at 6:30 on a weeknight) you can run warm water over the bag to help defrost the shrimp more quickly.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While impatiently waiting (no? just me?) for the water to boil, put six slices of bacon on a wire rack into the oven for 20 minutes until crispy, with a drip pan underneath to catch the extra grease. If you’re extra short on time, feel free to pop it in the microwave for 4-6 minutes with some paper towels. This gives you ample time to sneak a piece or two for a pre-dinner snack before adding it to the dish at the end.
Add a pound of pasta to the boiling water and cook until al-dente, about 8 minutes depending on your pasta shape. You want it to still have a bite to it.
Once the bacon is crispy, start on the shrimp. I typically use uncooked shrimp, but if yours is pre-cooked just thaw it per the package directions. For uncooked shrimp, peel if necessary, and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Add a drizzle of avocado or other high heat oil, garlic powder, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Give it a toss around on the baking sheet and cook for 3-4 minutes until pink. Keep a close eye on them!
After the pasta is cooked, reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water and drain the rest. Add the pasta back to the pot and crumble in the goat cheese with the lemon juice and chives. Add about 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and stir well to make a creamy sauce, add more if you want more saucy-ness. Chop the bacon, toss it in with the cooked shrimp to the pot. Taste and add more lemon juice or chives if you desire.
You now have yourself an easy weeknight meal, or a fancy date night masterpiece! Let me know if you try this and don’t forget to sign up to receive an email when there’s a new post. Thanks for stopping by the blog today!
Shrimp and Goat Cheese Pasta
This easy pasta dinner comes together in about 25 minutes and makes a great date night meal!
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 pound pasta see notes
- 12 oz medium shrimp
- 1 tbsp high heat oil, like avocado
- 1-2 tsp garlic powder
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 2 tbsp dried chives
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place 6 bacon strips on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil to catch the grease. Bake bacon for 20 minutes, until cooked and crispy. Alternatively, you can cook bacon in the microwave by layering it with paper towels and cooking for 4-6 minutes.
If using frozen shrimp, let thaw completely in fridge or run under hot water for 4-5 minutes until defrosted. Peel and de-vein the shrimp if necessary.
While the bacon is cooking, start a large pot of salted water on the high heat and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente, usually about 8 minutes depending on the shape.
When the bacon is done, spread the peeled and de-veined shrimp onto a clean baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake for 3-4 minutes until bright pink.
When the pasta is cooked, reserve about 2 cups of cooking water and drain the rest. Return the cooked pasta to the pot. Crumble 4 ounces of goat cheese into the pot and add the chives, lemon juice, and about 3/4 cup of reserved pasta water to make a creamy sauce.
Stir everything to combine well. Add the shrimp and chopped bacon and mix well. Taste and add more lemon juice/chives/pasta water if desired. Serve and enjoy!
- Any style of pasta will work, I suggest a spaghetti shape like fettuccine or bucatini
- The pasta will soak up the sauce as it cools, so you may need some extra olive oil if you reheat leftovers.
- A couple variations: To make this strictly vegetarian/pescetarian, just leave out the bacon. You can also toss in some spinach at the end to sneak in some greens.