Shrimp and Lemon Cream Sauce Recipe

shrimp and lemon cream sauce

On Saturday night, in dire need of some dinner and armed with spaghetti noodles and frozen salad shrimp I found in the back of my freezer, I stood at my stove brainstorming sauce ideas that would combine these two ingredients and make it look like I meant to create what the end result would be. At first I thought of doing a butter sauce, but I only had enough butter to make the Amish bread I will be posting later this week as part of my 52 Weeks of Baking Love project. I desperately needed to go grocery shopping, but I needed to make dinner more.

lemon cream sauce prep

With the random slew of ingredients I did have immediately available, I decided to make a cream sauce. I didn’t know exactly what I was doing in terms of the measurements I should use, but my thought process was how difficult could it be for me to just wing it?

Turns out that making a basic cream sauce is actually pretty easy to do, and simply adding ingredients that made sense to me worked out very well.

lemon cream sauce ingredients

As I boiled water and cooked the spaghetti noodles, I got all sorts of creative with my small saucepan. I started with heavy whipping cream and added chicken stock to cut through the abundance of sweetness from the cream and give the base more of a meaty taste. Because I love eating shrimp with lemon, I added lemon juice for acidity and that great lemon taste.

lemon cream sauce shrimp

I then added the defrosted shrimp (defrosted by sitting them in a big bowl of ice water), along with a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

lemon cream sauce herbs

After the shrimp were fully submerged and simmering with the sauce for about 5 minutes, I added in garlic powder and cilantro. I would have liked to also add some parsley but I didn’t have any on-hand. The troubles that arise when you fail to go grocery shopping as regularly as you should…

I also added a whole lot of Parmesan cheese to absorb the very thin sauce I had created. This worked to thicken the sauce up, and then I simply poured it over the spaghetti noodles and topped with a little more Parmesan cheese. I like really cheesy pasta.

shrimp and lemon cream sauce

I totally succeeded in making a pasta dish that looked like I knew what I was doing. It was delicious. After two heaping bowls for dinner, I also ate it for lunch the next day, reheated using a teaspoon of heavy cream to get it back to that creamy consistency.

Shrimp and Lemon Cream Sauce


  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 pound raw or frozen (and defrosted) shrimp — any kind of shrimp will work, I used mini salad shrimp because that’s what I had
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese — I used shaker cheese for pasta because that’s what I had, but I’m willing to bet freshly grated would be even more delicious


  1. In a small saucepan heat the heavy whipping cream, chicken stock, and lemon juice to a low simmer. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the shrimp to the simmering sauce. Stir well and add a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Simmer on low heat for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic powder and cilantro and let it cook for an additional 1 minute.
  4. Pour the shrimp and lemon sauce over the pasta in a large bowl and mix well. Add most of the Parmesan cheese and stir into the sauce and pasta. Let the pasta sit for a couple of minutes to let the cheese absorb the sauce and thicken up.
  5. Divide into servings and top with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Jam Hands Recipe Sharing Monday
Because I am seriously proud of myself for pulling this cream sauce off, I am linking up with Jam Hands for Recipe Sharing Monday!

13 thoughts on “Shrimp and Lemon Cream Sauce Recipe”

  1. This looks gorgeous! Yummy. I love a pasta with cream sauce. Alas, cream sauces don’t seem to love me because they add pounds to my body LOL

  2. Good job Holly! I’m not one for cream sauces, but if that’s all that on hand… This does look really good though and you can’t go wrong with shrimp and pasta.

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