This Shrimp and Broccoli Alfredo dish combines all the best things about al dente pasta, creamy, cheesy alfredo sauce, delicious, buttery shrimp, and hearty broccoli all in one pot, for an easy weekday meal that’s done in just 30 minutes!
Isn’t shrimp just the best, most easiest seafood protein to make and put into just about anything and everything? I do not tire of coming up with ways to use shrimp in my recipes. They are easy to purchase, thaw quickly, and cook up fast. Plus they taste just so darn good, I cannot stay away!
When I was thinking about what kind of pasta dishes I could make with shrimp, broccoli alfredo immediately came to mind. What’s not to love about all of the cheese and creamy goodness of alfredo sauce, plus a bit of broccoli for color and nutrition, then of course the shrimp because I feel like it’s a bit unexpected, yet goes so well together with the other ingredients…I can’t even believe I haven’t made this dish yet!
WHAT IS ALFREDO SAUCE?
Alfredo sauce is named after an Italian restaurant owner named Alfredo (which is just another reason to love it so, so much), who created this dish in 1920s in Rome. He concocted a beautiful sauce made from butter, cream, and Parmesan, added it atop a bed of piping hot fettuccini, and finished it off with a hefty sprinkling of pepper. (Thank you so much, Alfredo!)
I like to add garlic to mine as well as flour to the butter to make a roux so that the sauce stays nice and creamy.
HOW DO I MAKE SHRIMP AND BROCCOLI ALFREDO WITH JAR SAUCE?
So, I realize that sometimes you have to save some time in your meal making or sometimes you’re missing ingredients and you’d just rather use a pantry staple. There’s no shame in that at all! If you want to use jarred alfredo sauce, then go ahead and cook the pasta, broccoli, and shrimp as directed. Add butter to the pot or skillet, over medium heat to melt it, then add the pasta. Give it a toss in the butter. Then add the jarred alfredo (how much you want is up to you, but remember a little goes a long way!) and give the pasta another stir. From there, add back in the broccoli and shrimp, top with some more Parm, and serve.
WHAT SIDE DISHES DO I SERVE WITH SHRIMP AND BROCCOLI ALFREDO?
This dish can suffice as a full meal in my opinion, but sides work great with this too!
Garlic bread or a crusty loaf of French bread always goes great alongside pasta dishes. Especially ones with sauce you can sop up!
Salads are the perfect companion to pasta dishes. A Simple, Tossed Green Salad, a Quick Cucumber Salad, an iceberg wedge salad, or even a Romaine Finger Salad all go great with this Italian dish and will add even more nutrition to your meal.
I’ve always loved a good tomato side as well, like a Caprese salad with mozzarella pearls, or combine halved cherry tomatoes with basil, kalamata olives, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper for a fresh-tasting, tangy side dish.
Roasted root vegetables are delicious — try using whole, peeled carrots and parsnips, and sweet potatoes cut into large wedges. Sprinkle them with olive oil, rub it all over, and top with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 for about 45 minutes.
Fruit salad goes great with pasta, too. I like to save mine for dessert! What could be more yummy and nutritious?
HOW DO YOU MAKE HEALTHY ALFREDO SAUCE?
If you are watching your fat or calorie intake and think that alfredo sauce is a bit much for your diet but you still want to make this recipe, I have great news for you! You can substitute out some of the unhealthy ingredients by making this Greek Yogurt Alfredo Sauce instead. It uses less butter, no heavy cream (you can even use water!) and less Parmesan cheese and still enjoy all the creamy, flavorful goodness of regular alfredo sauce.
Plus, you’ll get all the good protein and probiotics from the Greek yogurt, and, if you use the 0% fat kind of plain Greek yogurt, you’ll be eliminating even more fat and calories. Plus, I think the 0% fat variety is thicker and creamier and works better in this sauce.
Shrimp and Broccoli Alfredo
- 1 pound medium or large shrimp - peeled and deveined, tails removed if desired
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- ¼ cup water
- 8 ounces medium pasta shells - boiled until tender and drained
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups whole milk or half n half - for a richer sauce, sub one cup of heavy cream
- ⅔ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1-2 teaspoons salt - to taste
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper - or ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- additional grated parmesan cheese for topping
- Drizzle oil in a large (2-inch deep) skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and saute for 4-6 minutes until opaque and cooked through. Transfer to a dish and cover to keep warm.
- Add broccoli and water to the pan, cover and cook 4-6 minutes until broccoli is fork-tender. Drain any remaining liquid and set broccoli aside with the shrimp.
- Add butter to the pan (still over medium heat). Once melted, stir in garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Sprinkle flour over melted butter and stir to combine.
- Gradually whisk in milk until incorporated and smooth.
- Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper until cheese is completely melted and incorporated. Taste, add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Stir in cooked pasta shells, shrimp, and broccoli. Top with additional parmesan cheese and serve.