What could be better than garlicky shrimp and pasta in a great alfredo sauce?
Garlic Shrimp Alfredo: Perfect For Christmas Eve
I fondly remember Christmas Eves growing up in my native Brooklyn New York. Mostly I remember the big feasts some of my Italian friends used to have. Oh my! The food was spectacular and they always had seafood.
With today’s busy lifestyles, I doubt very many people make these delicacies anymore. Lack of time would be a major reason. However, if you’d like to do a nice meatless meal for Christmas Eve, I can’t think of a better meal than this garlicky shrimp alfredo and pasta casserole.
Easy To Prepare
This delicious casserole is surprisingly easy to prepare! It’s quick too so you can have dinner on the table in about 30 minutes.
I always use easy-peel shrimp because most of the work is already done for you. The shrimp in these recipe photos are big ones–16/20 per pound. That’s what I had so I used it, but I would recommend using medium shrimp because the smaller ones will disperse better and each portion would look as if it had more shrimp.
All you have to do is quickly saute the shrimp and make the sauce–all pretty fast considering. I used instant flour to make the sauce. That way you don’t have to worry about lumps. This is one staple I always recommend everyone have on hand. It’s pricy, but well worth it for sauces and gravies.
Since this goes from stovetop to oven and you use the same pan, the skillet must be ovenproof. Cast iron is an excellent choice. If you don’t have a pan that’s totally ovenproof, you can turn this into a 2-quart baking dish to complete the cooking.
Fresh, Fresh, Fresh
As with most herbs, I always recommend that you use fresh.
Parsley is an important part of this garlic shrimp alfredo so please try to refrain from using the stuff in the jar. Italian flat leaf is the best variety to use. You will have to buy a bunch unless you have a year-round herb garden. However, don’t let the rest go to waste! I always chop up most of it and set it on a plate to air dry. That way you can use it in other recipes in the future. It dehydrates nicely if you spread it out on the plate and it stays bright green for a long time.
Same thing with garlic. Don’t be tempted to use garlic powder. This dish needs fresh and freshly minced!
- 1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp
- 8 oz (uncooked) penne or any tubular pasta
- 3 tbs butter, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbs fresh chopped parsley (divided)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp chicken bouillon granules -OR- 1 tsp concentrated chicken stock (like Better Than Bouillon)
- 2 tbs flour
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 2 small tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 2 tbs Panko bread crumbs
- salt/pepper to taste
- Prepare penne per package directions, cooking to al dente stage; drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Melt 1 tbs of the butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, shrimp and 2 tbs of the parsley. Cook shrimp until it’s pink on each side, about 4 minutes each side. Remove the shrimp to a plate, keep warm.
- Melt the remaining 2 tbs butter in the same pan. Stir in the flour being careful not to let it lump. Cook until the butter/flour mixture is golden.
- Add the chicken granules/concentrated stock and stir well.
- Gradually add the milk, while stirring, until smooth. Add ¾ cup of the mozzarella and the grated Parmesan or Romano. Stir until cheeses are melted and smooth. Let this simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the penne, tomato and shrimp to the pan and toss to combine.
- Top with the remaining mozzarella and the Panko crumbs.
- Bake for 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Pop it under the broiler for about 3 minutes to brown the top. Watch this carefully because it can easily burn.
- Garnish with remaining parsley.
*Adapted from Delish.com Yum