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Shrimp Alfredo {Light and Easy}

Rich, creamy and decadent, this Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo dish is another family favorite. It’s a fantastic quick and easy dinner to make during the week, and also is great when entertaining! This Shrimp Alfredo Pasta recipe takes under 30 minutes to prepare, and if you prefer Chicken Alfredo you can easily replace the shrimp with chicken.

shrimp alfredo feature image.

Loaded with tender and juicy shrimp, this Light and Easy Shrimp Alfredo recipe is made on the healthier side by making the homemade Alfredo sauce without using any heavy cream. Made with Neufchâtel cheese* (or light cream cheese), chicken broth, garlic, a small amount of butter, and parmesan cheese, you get the same great taste as the traditional Alfredo sauce without using heavy cream or large amounts of butter. If you want to make this even healthier by adding some vegetables, some great options are including sautèed mushrooms, steamed broccoli, or fresh spinach to this yummy pasta dish.

* Found right next to the cream cheese in the dairy section of your local supermarket.

Why This Recipe Works?

  • Super easy to make.
  • Comes together in under 30 minutes.
  • Readily available ingredients.
  • Rich, creamy, and decadent.
  • The sautéed shrimp adds a wonderful flavor to this dish.
  • Easy to incorporate vegetables such as mushrooms, broccoli, or spinach.
  • No heavy cream used.
  • Healthier than traditional Alfredo recipes.
  • The Best Shrimp Alfredo ever!!!
shrimp fettuccine second feature image.

Main Ingredients

This recipe uses super easy ingredients that can be purchased from a local grocery store if they are not already in your kitchen. Read the Recipe Card for the measurements.

  • Shrimp – We use shrimp that comes peeled and deveined, this makes the whole process easier and faster.
  • Garlic – We love the flavor of garlic in this dish, it adds a great touch to the shrimp and Alfredo sauce. While this is not typically used in traditional Alfredo sauce, we love the flavor and health benefits of garlic.
  • Butter – While butter is a key component of Alfredo sauce, we limit the amount to two tablespoons to try and keep this on the healthier side.
  • Neufchâtel Cheese – This replaces heavy cream in our shrimp Alfredo recipe. This cuts down the calories and fat substantially from recipes that use heavy cream, while retaining the rich and decadent flavor. Neufchâtel cheese can be found right next to the cream cheese in the dairy section of your local supermarket. Light cream cheese would also be a suitable substitute.
  • Chicken Broth – Adds flavor while being lighter than using milk or heavy cream. It also helps dissolve the Neufchâtel cheese and creates the creamy texture of the sauce.
  • Parmesan Cheese – We use freshly grated parmesan cheese because it adds a richer flavor.
  • Fettuccine – We use dry fettuccine pasta for this classic Alfredo dish. You can also substitute fusilli, linguine, or really whatever pasta you have in the cupboard if need be.
Shrimp alfredo ingredients picture.

How To Make Shrimp Alfredo {Light and Easy}

Step 1: Cook the Shrimp

  • Pre-heat a large heavy bottom pan on medium-high heat and add olive oil.
  • Toss in the shrimp and arrange in a single layer; season with 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side until they are no longer translucent and appear pink and white on the outside. Do not over cook as they will become rubbery. Once done, remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
cooking the shrimp.

Step 2: Make the Sauce

  • In the same pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the Neufchâtel cheese (or light cream cheese) and chicken broth. 
make the alfredo sauce.
  • Continue cooking and simmering on low heat for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce.
  • Season with lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Add the freshly grated parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Remove from the stove top and set aside.
continue making the alfredo sauce.

Step 3: Boil the Pasta

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the fettuccine. Cook according to package instructions until al dente (each brand of fettuccine might have slightly different cooking times).
  • Use tongs and transfer the pasta to the pan with the cream sauce; toss to combine. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside for later use.
boil the fettuccine pasta.

Step 4: Add the Shrimp

  • Add the reserved shrimp to the pan with the pasta and toss to combine.
  • If the sauce seems a bit dry, add  a splash of the reserved pasta water a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
add the shrimp to the fettuccine.
  • Season with freshly grated black pepper and garnish with parsley. 
plate the shrimp alfredo and enjoy.

Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese, steamed broccoli or kale crunch salad

Shrimp Alfredo {Light and Easy}

Shrimp Alfredo {Light and Easy}

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Rich, creamy and decadent, this Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo dish is another family favorite. It's a fantastic quick and easy dinner to make during the week, and also is great when entertaining! This Shrimp Alfredo Pasta recipe takes under 30 minutes to prepare, and if you prefer Chicken Alfredo you can easily replace the shrimp with chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt divided, plus more for pasta water
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 oz of Neufchâtel cheese or light cream cheese
  • 2 cups chicken broth, (low sodium)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1lb (16 oz) dry fettuccine
  • Parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat a large heavy bottom pan on medium-high heat and add olive oil. Toss in the shrimp and arrange in a single layer; season with 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side until they are no longer translucent and appear pink and white on the outside. Do not over cook as they will become rubbery. Once done, remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and add the Neufchâtel cheese (or light cream cheese) and chicken broth.
  4. Continue cooking and simmering on low heat for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce. Season with lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Add the freshly grated parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Remove from the stove top and set aside.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the fettuccine. Cook according to package instructions until al dente (each brand of fettuccine might have slightly different cooking times). Use tongs and transfer the pasta to the pan with the cream sauce; toss to combine. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside for later use.
  6. Add the reserved shrimp to the pan with the pasta and toss to combine. If the sauce seems a bit dry, add a splash of the reserved pasta water a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  7. Season with freshly grated black pepper and garnish with parsley. 

Notes

Any leftovers are best when heated up in a large pan and using the reserved pasta water to bring the sauce back to life.

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