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Date Night In Cilantro Pistachio Pesto Shrimp Pasta

Delicious pesto shrimp pasta with a crazy good fresh cilantro pistachio pesto! This flavorful shrimp pesto pasta recipe is easy to make but will make you feel like you’re at a fancy restaurant. Serve with garlic bread or a side salad for a great ‘date night in’ meal.

Course Dinner, Gluten Free, Seafood
Cuisine Italian
Keyword date night, pesto shrimp pasta, shrimp pesto pasta
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 448 kcal
Author Monique Volz of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • For the pesto:
  • 3/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup shelled roasted pistachios
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons water, to thin pesto
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the shrimp:
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, deveined and tails off
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
  • For the pasta:
  • 10 oz spaghetti, gluten free if desired
  • To garnish:
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • Extra cilantro
  • Chopped roasted pistachios


  1. Make the pesto by adding the following to the bowl of a food processor: cilantro, pistachios, jalapeño, garlic cloves, lime juice, olive oil, water and salt and pepper. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides and processing again, if necessary.
  2. Next cook the shrimp: add olive oil to a large skillet or pan and place over medium high heat. Add in shrimp, garlic powder and salt and pepper; cook until shrimp is no longer pink. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to the directions on the package. Drain pasta, then add back to pot. Stir in the pesto and shrimp until well coated. Add pasta to bowls and garnish with goat cheese, a few cilantro leaves and a sprinkle of crushed pistachios. Serve immediately. Makes about 4 servings.

Recipe Notes

Feel free to use chicken instead of shrimp.

To make vegetarian: simply use 1 can of chickpeas in place of the shrimp.

To make dairy free: omit the goat cheese.

To store: any leftover pesto shrimp pasta can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Nutrition Facts
Date Night In Cilantro Pistachio Pesto Shrimp Pasta
Amount Per Serving (1 serving (based on 4))
Calories 448 Calories from Fat 166
% Daily Value*
Fat 18.4g28%
Saturated Fat 3.2g20%
Carbohydrates 54.6g18%
Fiber 3.9g16%
Sugar 1.3g1%
Protein 17.4g35%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.