Shrimp Pasta with Creamy Chipotle Sauce

November 14, 2010 · 29 comments

filed in: Dairy,Fish/Seafood,Main Courses,Pasta

Shrimp Pasta with Creamy Chipotle Sauce

On a busy evening when dinner in a hurry is needed, very few dishes fit the bill as well as pasta. It cooks up in a flash, is both satisfying and child-friendly, and is an excellent way to stretch ingredients already at hand in the fridge, freezer, or garden. And is there a dish that is easier to make or lends itself to more delicious adaptations than pasta Alfredo?

In this south-of-the-border riff on that much-loved dish, I combined some beautiful wild-caught shrimp I found yesterday with bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, and a touch of cumin in a chipotle-spiced creamy sauce. Although this was an impromptu recipe, I thought the flavors combined beautifully, and, yes, I will definitely make this recipe again. For chili lovers, this recipe is quick enough for a weeknight dinner and would also work well when company is expected.


8 ounces dried pasta (linguine, fettuccine, etc.)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 small bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced
4-5 small fresh plum tomatoes (or 10 cherry tomatoes), stem ends and seeds removed, sliced
1 or more canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 pound peeled large shrimp
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups half-and-half, light cream, or evaporated milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander greens, dhania, etc.)
Salt and pepper, to taste
(Optional) 1/4 cup grated cotija or parmesan cheese


  1. Boil the pasta in a large sauce pan until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large frying pan on medium heat and, stirring occasionally, sauté the onions for 2 minutes or until wilted. Stir in the garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cumin. Sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the chipotle(s), shrimps, lemon juice, and half-and-half (or cream or evaporated milk). Simmer until the shrimps are just cooked through, approximately 3-4 minutes, depending on the size of shrimps used. Stir in the cilantro. Taste and correct the seasoning by adding salt, pepper, and, if needed, additional chipotles to suit your taste.
  4. Return the pasta to the sauce pan in which it was cooked, sprinkle with the grated cheese, if used, and pour the shrimp sauce over it. Toss until well blended and transfer to a serving dish. Serves 4 as a main course.

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{ 27 them below or add one }

kevin December 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm

pretty good but what you need to do change the order of things a bit . I would not just throw in the raw shrimp with the cream as suggested. Saute the garlic and onions, then remove from heat , separately with high heat cook the shrimp with some garlic and oil and then remove . now you can add back the other ingredients – and lastly the shrimp before serving . We also used the whole can of chipotle which makes it a 4-5 star heat rating, extra cumin, and pecorino Romano


Rachel August 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Wow! This has some kick and is spicy but very good! I used non-fat greek yogurt so it would be a bit healthier and it was still great…. I’m sure even more yummy with the cream.


kvnbagues August 21, 2011 at 8:46 pm

This dish is delicious, I made mine spicier. N blended the chipotle peppers, adobo n half n half


The Texas Peach March 10, 2011 at 3:42 pm

This sounds delicious! I LOVE Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Actually, I love all of the ingredients in this dish. I will definitely have to try this recipe!


Jamie December 1, 2010 at 1:04 pm

This is no ordinary I’m-frazzled day meal! This is elegant and special! Fabulous flavors for a stunning dish!


Kelly November 27, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Yum! I absolutely have to try this recipe. I love all things Chipotle and shrimp…combined looks heavenly.


My Man's Belly November 18, 2010 at 9:27 am

A little smoke…a little heat…a little creaminess the only thing that seems to be missing is a margarita. Cheers!


Barbara Bakes November 18, 2010 at 9:26 am

Great idea to add a little kick to a pasta dish. I have some chipotles in the freezer. I’ll have to give it a try.


blackbookkitchendiaries November 17, 2010 at 8:57 am

beautifuly done …this dish looks amaizing! thanks for sharing this post.


Susan: My Food Obsession November 17, 2010 at 6:28 am

Great pasta dish, it is such a versatile ingredient. I love the combination of flavors you have used.


Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog November 16, 2010 at 7:40 pm

So yummy combination of chipotle spiced-creamy sauce with shrimps! No doubt this recipe could be a winner at home! Cheers, Gera


Eva November 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I am craving this!


Cookin' Canuck November 15, 2010 at 11:13 pm

This looks like the ultimate comfort dish. A little smoky heat and a lot of shrimp – right up my alley.


Kim Beauchamp November 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Pasta, chipotle, cilantro, shrimp–yum! Some of my all-time favorites all wrapped into one delicious-looking dish.


marla {family fresh cooking} November 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Thanks for sharing this recipe with us and for giving us the go ahead on the smoked paprika if we don’t have the chipotle peppers. That is my go-to spice for everything! Love this pasta dish.


HoneyB November 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Love all the flavors here and especially the chipotle!


Lana @ Never Enough Thyme November 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Oh, Barbara…what a creative twist on the classic Alfredo! The flavors must be incredible with the shrimp, chipotle, cilantro, garlic. This is one of those recipes that truly makes me want to run to the kitchen and try it immediately!


Barbara November 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Admittedly, I’ve been on a chipotle kick lately, and spicy foods don’t agree with everyone, but I was surprised how well this came together and how quick and easy it was. We had it as a leftovers dinner tonight, stretched a bit by adding more veggies.


Roxan November 15, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Wow, beautiful photos! I also love pasta for those days when I either don’t want to spend too much time on cooking, or when I’m in a hurry. It’s a great way to get tons of stuff into one dish.


Jane Bonacci - The Heritage Cook November 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Oh my, I can already taste this and can’t wait to make it! What a wonderful idea!!


SMITH BITES November 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Wow – I can almost taste that smokiness thru my screen – I am bookmarking to come back and make!


Megan November 15, 2010 at 11:49 am

How did I know there would be cream in this recipe! ;) Love it. Reminds me of a chicken dish my hubby loves at a local restaurant but sounds so much better with shrimp!.


Faith November 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

Shirmp pasta sounds great but with the addtion of the sauce will make it divine! Great recipe.


Savory Tv November 15, 2010 at 6:26 am

This looks gorgeous. I love love love your photography style, very inspiring! Wishing you a great holiday season!


Karen November 14, 2010 at 8:19 pm

This sounds wonderful! I don’t eat seafood, but I bet this would be equally delicious with chicken. Love the chipotle peppers in this recipe. Yummy.


Mags November 14, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Lovely pasta dish. Love the addition of the chipotle!


Suzanne Collier November 14, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Shrimp and Chipotle? Absolutely wonderful! I can’t wait to try this. It is calling my name!


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