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Cilantro Lime Pasta with Shrimp

4.95 from 20 votes
This Cilantro Lime Pasta with Shrimp is what happens when two amazing food cultures collide!! This dish has the hearty, rich flavors of Italian cooking and the fresh, vibrant flavors of Thai food! Quick, easy and bursting with flavor, you can have the best of both worlds all on one plate!
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes
Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: Italian, thai
Keyword: cilantro, pasta, pesto, shrimp
Servings: 4
Calories: 419kcal


For the Cilantro Pesto

  • 4 cups fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice about 2 limes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For the pasta

  • 1 lb. spaghetti or your favorite pasta
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined I like using 21-30 count shrimp
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp full fat coconut milk or 1 tbsp pasta cooking liquid optional, as needed
  • crushed peanuts, lime wedges, red pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper (optional, for serving)


  • In a large pot, boil up your pasta according to al dente package directions (for example if it says boil for 10-12 minutes, boil pasta on the lower end of the range for 10 minutes). Reserve 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water.
  • While pasta is boiling, cook up your shrimp. Season raw shrimp with 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. In a medium or large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook shrimp 1-2 minutes on each side or until cooked through (with vary based on the size of your shrimp). Transfer to a plate, cover and set aside.
  • Make the pesto: In a food processor or blender, add cilantro, basil, lime juice, garlic, salt and Parmesan cheese. Blend for about 10 seconds. Then add in olive oil. Blend 10 seconds more until everything is incorporated. Taste and season with a bit more salt, if necessary.
  • Drain pasta (don't forget to reserve a little pasta water!) and return pasta back to the hot pot, set over LOW heat.
  • Add shrimp (and all juices from the shrimp that are on the plate) and cilantro pesto to the pasta and carefully toss with tongs until all pasta is covered with the pesto. If you feel it's too thick add about a tablespoon of coconut milk or reserved pasta water. **only add if you think the pasta needs it!
  • Plate up your pasta and top with crushed peanuts, red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese, fresh black pepper and more lime juice and chopped cilantro, if you like!!


Nutrition information is only an estimate. Info is based on the Very Well Fit Nutrition Calculator.


Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 45.1g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 13.5g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Cholesterol: 221mg | Sodium: 646mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 0.4g | Calcium: 182mg | Iron: 3mg