5-Ingredient Creamy Garlic Shrimp

published Mar 27, 2020
Five-Ingredient Creamy Garlic Shrimp

A quick-and-easy, one-pan recipe for creamy garlic shrimp.

Serves2 to 4

Prep10 minutes

Cook5 minutes to 10 minutes

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Skillet filled with a creamy sauce with garlic, parsley, and shrimp
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

This might be the most decadent dinner you can make in 15 minutes. It calls for just five ingredients — shrimp, garlic, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and parsley —and uses just one pan. It’s the perfect dish to transform a bag of frozen shrimp into something impressive and rich, and a great weeknight meal to keep in your back pocket. Serve with crusty bread, on top of cooked pasta, or with a simple rice pilaf for a fast-and-fancy dinner.

How to Tell When Shrimp Are Done Cooking

For anyone new to cooking shrimp, know this: shrimp are one of the easiest and quickest proteins to make at home. If you’re using frozen shrimp, thaw them in the fridge overnight, drain off any water that has accumulated, dry them off with a paper towel, and cook per usual. The thawed shrimp will cook just the same as fresh varieties, and there are some telltale signs that let you know when they’re done.

1. They turn pink and opaque: Raw shrimp start out grey and slightly translucent. Once cooked, they turn opaque, and have a light pink hue.

2. They curl: Uncooked shrimp start out flexible and somewhat shapeless. Once cooked, they curl and tighten. Perfectly cooked shrimp will form a tight C-shape, while overcooked shrimp will form more of a tight O-shape.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Five-Ingredient Creamy Garlic Shrimp

A quick-and-easy, one-pan recipe for creamy garlic shrimp.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes to 10 minutes

Serves 2 to 4


  • 3 cloves


  • 1 tablespoon

    fresh parsley leaves

  • 3/4 ounce

    Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1/4 cup)

  • 1 pound

    medium deveined raw shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled or unpeeled

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1 cup

    heavy cream


  1. Mince 3 garlic cloves. Coarsely chop 1 tablespoon parsley leaves. Finely grate 3/4 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup).

  2. Pat 1 pound cleaned shrimp dry with paper towels. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook until pink and curled, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp onto a plate.

  3. Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 cup heavy cream and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the Parmesan and stir until melted and the sauce is completely smooth. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices on the plate into the skillet and toss to coat in the sauce. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.