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Easy Grilled Chili Garlic Shrimp with Pasta and Pesto Recipe

by Jeanette on June 16, 2014 · 15 Comments
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This Easy Grilled Chili Garlic Shrimp with Pasta and Pesto is the perfect summer meal – quick and delicious, it comes together in no time.
Easy Grilled Garlic Chili Shrimp with Pasta and Pesto © Jeanette's Healthy Living
Last week, I made a super easy and quick dinner for my family using some of Kale Basil Hazelnut Pesto and frozen Wild Blue shrimp from Trader Joe’s. I find having a few pre-made sauces like pesto handy in the refrigerator can transform an otherwise boring meal into something “fancy.” Although shrimp can be expensive, if you stick to the proper serving size, it’s easier on the pocketbook, while providing a quick solution to dinner.

Easy Grilled Garlic Chili Shrimp with Pasta and Pesto © Jeanette's Healthy Living
The trick is to bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta while you’re preparing a quick marinade for the shrimp (if using frozen shrimp, just take it out the night before and let it defrost in the refrigerator). Once the water boils, the shrimp can be skewered and grilled. As soon as the pasta is cooked, simply toss with pesto (I keep a jar of pesto in my refrigerator throughout the summer for quick meals) and a little cooking liquid or water to loosen it up. Toss in a little Romano cheese if you like (I left it out for my husband who has dairy intolerances) and top with a skewer of grilled shrimp.

This Easy Grilled Chili Garlic Shrimp and Pasta with Pesto dinner can be made in 30 minutes from start to finish.

Easy Grilled Chili Shrimp with Pasta and Pesto Recipe

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4


  • 1 pound extra large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • dash of sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces dried gluten-free pasta
  • 1/2 cup Kale Basil Hazelnut Pesto
  • grated romano cheese, optional


  1. In a medium bowl, toss together shrimp, olive oil, garlic, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Let marinate 15-30 minutes while you start up the grill and bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta. If using bamboo skewers, soak in a shallow pan of water. Skewer shrimp and grill until just cooked through, flipping skewers over to get grill marks on both sides.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Toss with pesto and a little pasta cooking liquid or water to loosen up. Add some romano cheese desired. Top with grilled shrimp.

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  1. When you call for extra large shrimp, what size do you mean? In my fish market, that generally means 21-25s, but I have also seen 16-20s and 26-30s marked as extra large.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Just checked the bag and the ones I used actually were called “colossal” shrimp so 15 and under. It does get confusing at the market because sizes vary even within categories. I find larger shrimp work well on the grill and make a nice presentation.

  2. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan(dot)com says:

    I love simple shrimp recipes – love this pasta and pesto accompaniment!

  3. I love tasty dishes like this that come together in no time especially when they involve the grill. We have been grilling almost every day and can’t wait to add this to our dinner rotation :)

  4. Love those giant shrimp! This is a fuss free and delicious pasta dish. Thanks for sharing, Jeanette.

  5. I hear you about quick and easy Jeanette – I am right there with you! This is a perfect weeknight dinner!

  6. What a wonderful dish – love the flavors – a great shrimp treat!

  7. Wow… This dish looks so tasty. I love shrimp with pasta. Great dish: easy and delicious!

  8. Made this for dinner last night and really enjoyed it. My husband said we have to put this into our meal rotation.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Kat – so glad you tried this and that you and your husband enjoyed it! Thanks for popping back to let me know.

  9. Marianne Wallace says:

    Your weekly recipes and commentary breathe new life into my cooking every week. Thanks for the healthy inspirations.

  10. This was delicious! I made my pesto with pine nuts, since I had just the right amount left over, and hazelnuts are hard to find around here. I served the pasta and shrimp with some garden fresh tomatoes with balsamic & olive oil. My husband went back for seconds! It was a perfect summer meal, light and very satisfying.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Julie – so glad you enjoyed this. I happened to have a giant bag of hazelnuts from Costco’s but pine nuts are more traditional in pesto. Great idea serving this with fresh tomatoes and a simple dressing – love it!

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