This creamy, garlicky Baked Shrimp Alfredo is loaded with shrimp and cheese and will become your next favourite comfort food dish that will feed a crowd!
We can never say no to hearty comfort food, especially if it involves pasta! This irresistible Baked Shrimp Alfredo joins my other comfort dishes such as this Cannelloni Bolognese, and this Baked Goat Cheese Pasta.
This shrimp alfredo bake is creamy, cheesy, and loaded with seafood flavor. This dish will not only feed a crowd, but will most certainly become a seafood lover's next favourite comfort food! This shrimp alfredo pasta bake is also an easy weeknight dinner idea that the whole family would love!
What is Alfredo Sauce?
Alfredo sauce is a creamy white sauce that is usually mixed in pasta. It is typically made using butter, heavy cream, and cheese (such as parmesan cheese). Alfredo sauce is readily available as a store-bought option but can also be easily made at home using a few basic fresh ingredients.
This easy Shrimp Alfredo recipe is made with a base of homemade creamy Alfredo sauce, which is mixed with garlic-sauteed shrimp, tossed with boiled pasta, and baked to perfection!
Ingredients and Variations
Pasta - Use a hollow "rigate" type pasta such as penne, rigatoni, or ziti. These types of pasta contain ridges that hold well to creamy sauces such as this alfredo. You'll need to boil the pasta until al-dente before baking.
Milk - This is needed for the Alfredo sauce. Whole milk works best for this recipe but semi-skimmed milk is fine too.
Heavy Cream - Needed for the Alfredo sauce.
Cheese - You will need two types of cheese: Parmesan cheese and shredded Mozzarella cheese. Ideally, use fresh Parmesan cheese for the Alfredo sauce. You can substitute Parmesan cheese with Grana Padano. Mozzarella will be used for the Alfredo sauce and as pasta topping before baking.
Butter - Butter is used for the base of the sauce and for sauteeing the shrimp. Use unsalted room-temperature butter if possible.
Flour - You'll need a couple of tablespoons for the Alfredo sauce base (as a thickening agent). All-purpose flour works best here.
Shrimp - You can use fresh or frozen raw shrimp as long as the tails, shells and heads are removed and the shrimp are deveined. You can also use prawns but shrimp works better since they're smaller.
Garlic - A few cloves of minced garlic are needed to saute the shrimp into garlicky goodness! If fresh garlic is not available, you can substitute with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
Paprika - One of the best flavor pairings for shrimp! Use smoked paprika if possible. If paprika is not available, you can add a pinch of red pepper flakes (for a spicy kick!).
White Wine - This is optional but a few tablespoons of white wine can be used to saute the shrimp and deglaze the pan.
Parsley - Chopped fresh parsley for garnishing this dish.
How to Make Baked Shrimp Alfredo
- Cook the pasta
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package instructions until al dente.
Drain pasta and set aside.
- Saute the shrimp
Heat butter in a large skillet. Add deveined and cleaned shrimp, paprika, and minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
If using, add white wine and deglaze the pan.
Transfer shrimp to a glass bowl and set aside.
- Make homemade Alfredo sauce
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan.
Add flour (use a whisk to avoid any lumps).
Add milk and cream and bring to a slow simmer (medium heat), whisking frequently.
Sauce will thicken as it simmers.
Once sauce has thickened, add parmesan cheese and half the mozzarella.
- Toss and bake
Place pasta, Alfredo sauce, and shrimp in a large saucepan or bowl and toss well to coat pasta with sauce.
Transfer pasta mixture to a large baking dish (9"x13") and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (356F) for 28 to 35 minutes until the surface is slightly golden brown.
Serve with chopped fresh parsley.
Tips for the Best Garlicky Shrimp Alfredo Bake
- Do not overcook the pasta. It will continue cooking once it's in the oven.
- Avoid overheating or simmering your Alfredo sauce for too long, or it will become too thick. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of milk to thin it.
- Ideally, use freshly-grated Parmesan (or Grana Padano) cheese. Pre-grated cheese will not melt as smoothly as freshly-grated cheese since it contains a lot of additives.
Yes, you can prepare this meal a day in advance and bake the pasta in sauce right before serving.
Store pasta tossed in sauce in an airtight container in a refrigerator.
Alternatively, you can make the Alfredo sauce up to 2 days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You may need to add some milk to the sauce before using to thin it.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring out to room temperature and reheat in a microwave before serving.
Use a hollow "rigate" type pasta such as penne, rigatoni, or ziti. These types of pasta contain ridges that hold well to creamy sauces such as this Alfredo sauce.
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Baked Shrimp Alfredo
- 350 g dry pasta e.g., penne, ziti, or rigatoni (12.3 oz)
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter divided
- 350 g fresh or frozen shrimp or prawns. shells, heads and tails removed and deveined (12.3 oz)
- 4 cloves garlic minced (see notes)
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika (see notes)
- 4 tbsp. white wine optional
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 500 mL milk semi-skimmed or whole (2 cups)
- 250 mL heavy cream (1 cup)
- 50 g parmesan freshly grated (½ cup) (see notes)
- 112 g shredded mozzarella divided (1 cup)
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 180°C (356F) and prepare a 9"x13" baking dish.
- Boil pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente (9-10 minutes). Drain and set aside.
- Remove heads, tails and skin and devein shrimp.
- Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet. Add shrimp, minced garlic and paprika. Saute on high heat for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add wine (if using) and deglaze the pan. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place 2 tbsp. butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Whisk in flour (to avoid lumps from forming) and add milk and cream. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Bubbles should start forming at the side and the mixture should just start to thicken. Turn off heat and stir in parmesan cheese and half of the shredded mozzarella
- Transfer Alfredo sauce, cooked shrimp, and pasta in a large saucepan or bowl. Toss to coat pasta thoroughly with sauce.
- Transfer mixture to baking dish and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake for 28-35 minutes until surface is slightly golden brown.
- Allow to cool sightly, then garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve.