Shrimp and mussels pasta

Super-easy 30-minute recipe!

A large stainless steel pot full of shrimp and mussels pasta

Shrimp and mussels pasta is an incredibly delicious dish that can be made in around 25 minutes, making it a healthy and quick midweek dinner option.

It’s one of the easiest dishes to make and ingredients can be easily substituted to suit. This recipe makes a simple seafood pasta sauce with just a few ingredients. 

We love seafood pasta dishes, and while we’ve used shrimp and mussels in this recipe keeping it with a pescatarian vibe, it’s also incredible when made with mussels and chorizo!  You can also easily add clams, some fresh white fish, or any other seafood ingredients.

Serving:

Main 4-6 people

Ready in:

30 minutes

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Good on its own!

ingredients are laid out for shrimp snd mussels pasta on a white marble counter top

What you’ll need to make shrimp and mussels pasta

  • 12 large shrimp, shells and head removed, deveined (allow 3 per person)
  • 2.2 lb (1 kg) of fresh mussels (in shell), cleaned and debearded
  • 1 lb (400 grams) spaghetti (or tagliatelle pasta)
  • 2 fl. Oz. (60 ml) Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, grated and skin removed (canned diced tomatoes also work fine)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 lemon (lemon zest grated)
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of dried chili flakes
  • 3-4 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 fl. Oz. (60 ml) of dry sherry
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Water for cooking the pasta

    Equipment needed

    • 1 large 12-inch pot with deep sides (at least 6-8 inches) and a lid 
    • 1 large pot (for cooking spaghetti)

    The best shrimp and mussels pasta recipe

    Pasta is very popular throughout Spain, and it’s surprising how many restaurants offer seafood pasta recipes on their menus. This shrimp and mussels pasta recipe is inspired by my chef idol, José Pizarro, who makes his seafood pasta with chorizo

    I’ve experimented with his recipe many times, and have found substituting white wine with dry sherry and adding sweet paprika really sets this dish apart. I also love a little warmth, so I’ve added some dried chili flakes to add some subtle spice to this incredible seafood pasta dish.

    A stack of large uncooked prawns sit on top of a wooden chopping board.

    What is the best seafood to use for shrimp and mussels pasta?

    Shrimp and mussels are a great combination. You get the visual appeal of the mussel shells with their plump orange mussels nestled within along with the juicy and sweet taste of shrimp

    Of course, this recipe calls for shrimp and mussels, but why stop there? Throw in some small clams, some nice chunks of fresh white fish, or even substitute normal clams for razor clams (Navajas in Spanish).

    The world is your oyster!

    Sustainably sourced fish and seafood

    We always try to source seafood that is as fresh as possible. When choosing seafood, look for items that are full of color and fragrant. Speak to your local fishmonger and check if it has been delivered that day. 

    Always use seafood that has been sustainably sourced

    6 labels used to display sustainably caught seafood within the USA

    Seafood and Chorizo?

    Legendary chefs use the seafood and chorizo combination all the time, and for good reason. If you lightly fry the chorizo, it releases lovely oil that is a beautiful rich red color from the paprika used to make the chorizo. These flavors blend perfectly with mussels, prawns, and white fish

    In this recipe, I’ve skipped the chorizo for dietary considerations of guests and kept this dish pescatarian-friendly. Instead, I’ve introduced some sweet paprika to the recipe to bring back the sweet flavors of the seafood when combined with the paprika.

    a plate of shrimp and mussels pasta

    What is the best pasta to use for shrimp and mussels pasta?

    We’ve used normal spaghetti for this dish, as it is easy to source and is pretty cheap.

    Another option is tagliatelle pasta which also works really well. If you want to go really authentic and use Spanish pasta, then use a fideo pasta. The Gallo Fideo No. 1 is the most commonly used fideo pasta brand in Spain.

    More Spanish pasta recipes:

    Best sauce for shrimp and mussels pasta

    OK, time to talk sauces for your shrimp and mussels pasta recipe.

    For this recipe, we’ve made an easy tomato-based sauce that’s light and doesn’t overwhelm the delicious flavors of the seafood.

    Optionally, you can easily make a creamy sauce or a garlic sauce, or hey, even a creamy garlic sauce will work!

    Below are a few sauce options to experiment with and find your favorite!

    • Shrimp and mussels pasta in garlic butter Sauce
    • Shrimp and mussel pasta with white wine sauce
    • Creamy shrimp and mussels pasta sauce
    • Shrimp and mussel pasta with romesco sauce

    Cook and preparation time for shrimp and mussels pasta

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes
    • Cook time: 20 minutes.

    The total prep time for this recipe is noted as 10 minutes, however, allow a little more time if you need to clean and remove the beards from the mussels yourself.

    Another consideration that may add some time to your preparation time is the type of shrimp you buy. Opt for shelled and cleaned raw shrimp that are ready to cook to save yourself a little time.

    Optionally, peeled frozen shrimp are a good option when you’re short of time, just make sure you give them enough time to thaw and remove the excess water before cooking.

    How to cook shrimp and mussels

      Cooking seafood for the first time can feel a little daunting and there are certainly a few tips worth sharing to ensure your seafood is cooked thoroughly!

      How to cook raw Shrimp

      Raw shrimp are slightly blue in color when uncooked and turn a bright orange and opaque white color once they are cooked.

      • For raw shrimp, cook in a frying pan with a little olive oil for 3 minutes on each side on medium-high heat.
      • When you turn the shrimp add some spices and season to taste.
      • Once done, check the shrimp are opaque white or slightly orange in color.

      How to cook frozen shrimp

      First, you’ll need to thaw your frozen shrimp. Avoid using a microwave for this as they will often thaw unevenly and may cook some of the shrimp unintentionally.

      • The best way to thaw frozen shrimp is to add them to a plastic bag and submerge them in some warm water for 10-15 minutes.
      • Once properly thawed, you’re ready to go, just cook them in the same way as mentioned above.

          How to cook mussels

          Mussels are fairly straightforward to cook. You’ll need a large pot with a lid.

          • First, check each mussel and discard any that have cracked or slightly open shells.
          • Once you’ve got your sauce of choice in the pot bubbling away, add the mussels and stir through the sauce.

          How long do mussels take to cook?

          • Simmer on medium heat for around 5 minutes with the lid on the pan. Stir once or twice.
          • Once cooked the mussels will have opened their shells. Discard any that do not open during the cooking process.
          a large pot of shrimp and mussels pasta with some parsley garnish

          Ingredients

          Method (step-by-step)

          (serves 4-6 people)

          • 12 large shrimp, shells and head removed, deveined (allow 3 per person)
          • 2.2 lb (1 kg) of fresh mussels (in shell), cleaned and debearded
          • 1 lb (400 grams) spaghetti (or tagliatelle pasta)
          • 2 fl. Oz. (60 ml) Extra virgin olive oil
          • 2 large tomatoes, grated and skin removed (canned diced tomatoes also work fine)
          • 1 large onion, finely diced
          • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
          • 1 lemon (lemon zest grated)
          • 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
          • ½ teaspoon of dried chili flakes
          • 3-4 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
          • 2 fl. Oz. (60 ml) of dry sherry
          • Salt and pepper for seasoning
          • Water for cooking the pasta

            Method (step-by-step)

            STEP 1 – Prepare the sauce

              • In a large pot on medium heat, heat half of the olive oil and add the diced onion. Cook for around 5-6 minutes till slightly golden. Add the garlic and stir through for 1-2 minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic). 
              • Lower the heat, add the grated tomatoes, chili flakes, and paprika, and stir through. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and shift ingredients to the edge of the pan.

            Step 2 – Prepare the pasta 

            • In a large saucepan, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add half a teaspoon of salt to the water and once water is boiling, and cook pasta for 10 minutes or until al punto.

            Step 3 – Cook the shrimp

            • Raise the heat to medium, add a little more olive oil and add the shrimp with a pinch of salt and pepper for seasoning. Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes on each side. Use a small amount of tomato and onion sauce to gel to the shrimp. 
            • Once the shrimp are cooked, remove them from the pan and set them aside for use later. Cover with some foil to keep warm.

            Step 4 – Add mussels, sherry, and seasoning

            • Add half the lemon juice, the lemon zest, half of the parsley, sherry, and a dash of water to the pan and stir through with the other ingredients. 
            • Cook for a minute or two and then add the mussels and cover for around 5-8 minutes or until the mussels open.

            Step 5 – Add the cooked pasta and shrimp

            • Once the mussels have opened, add the shrimp and pasta to the mixture and stir through. Make sure the sauce covers the pasta evenly. Add some more olive oil if the mixture is looking a little dry.

            Step 6 – to serve

            • To serve, add pasta, shrimp and mussels to a serving bowl. Add a generous wedge of lemon to the side and garnish with a sprinkle of parsley. 
            • Finally, drizzle of olive oil and season lightly with a little cracked pepper.
            A large stainless steel pot full of shrimp and mussels pasta

            Shrimp and mussels pasta

            Byron
            Our Shrimp and mussels pasta recipe uses just a few ingredients and is a perfect midweek dinner option. It’s super tasty, quick, and easy to make!
            Shrimp and mussels pasta is an incredibly delicious dish that can be made in around 25 minutes, making it a healthy and quick midweek dinner option. It’s one of the easiest dishes to make and ingredients can be easily substituted to suit. This recipe makes a simple seafood pasta sauce with just a few ingredients.
            5 from 11 votes
            Prep Time 10 mins
            Cook Time 20 mins
            Total Time 30 mins
            Course dinner, lunch, Main Course, seafood
            Cuisine carbs, healthy, mediteranean, pasta, Seafood, spanish
            Servings 4 people
            Calories 528 kcal

            Equipment

            • 1 large 12-inch pot with deep sides (at least 6-8 inches) and a lid
            • 1 large pot for cooking spaghetti

            Ingredients

            • 12 large shrimp shells and head removed, devined (allow 3 per person)
            • 2.2 lb 1 kg of fresh mussels (in shell), cleaned and debearded
            • 1 lb 400 grams spaghetti (or tagliatelle pasta)
            • 2 fl. Oz. 60 ml Extra virgin olive oil
            • 2 large tomatoes grated and skin removed (canned diced tomatoes also work fine)
            • 1 large onion finely diced
            • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
            • 1 lemon lemon zest grated
            • 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
            • ½ teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
            • 3-4 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
            • 2 fl. Oz. 60 ml of dry sherry
            • Salt and pepper for seasoning
            • Water for cooking the pasta

            Instructions
             

            STEP 1 - Prepare the sauce

            • In a large pot on medium heat, heat half of the olive oil and add the diced onion. Cook for around 5-6 minutes till slightly golden. Add the garlic and stir through for 1-2 minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic).
              2 fl. Oz., 1 large onion, 3 cloves of garlic crushed
              a large pot cooks some onion and garlic beside some tomato salsa
            • Lower the heat, add the grated tomatoes, chili flakes, and paprika and stir through. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and shift ingredients to the edge of the pan.
              2 large tomatoes, ½ teaspoon of dried chilli flakes, 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
              a ramikin sits on a counter filled with bright red ground paprika

            Step 2 - Prepare the pasta

            • In a large saucepan, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add half a teaspoon of salt to the water and once water is boiling, and cook pasta for 10 minutes or until al punto.
              1 lb 400 grams spaghetti (or tagliatelle pasta), Water for cooking the pasta
              spaghetti in a saucepan

            Step 3 - Cook the shrimp

            • Raise the heat to medium, add a little more olive oil and add the shrimp with a pinch of salt and pepper for seasoning. Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes each side. Use a small amount of the tomato and onion sauce to gel to the shrimp.
              12 large shrimp
              a small stack of peeled raw shrimp
            • Once the shrimp are cooked, remove from the pan and set aside for use later. Cover with some foil to keep warm.
              shrimp galric and onions in a frying pan

            Step 4 - Add mussels, sherry and seasoning

            • Add half the lemon juice, the lemon zest, half of the parsley, sherry and a dash of water to the pan and stir through with the other ingredients.
              1 lemon, 3-4 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley, 2 fl. Oz.
              A bunch of lemons hang from a tree
            • Cook for a minute or two and then add the mussels and cover for around 5 minutes or until the mussels open.
              2.2 lb 1 kg of fresh mussels (in shell), cleaned and debearded
              A large pot is filled with Shrimp and Mussels pasta and sits beside a small bowl topped with pasta cooked mussels shrimp and cilantro

            Step 5 - Add the cooked pasta and shrip

            • Once the mussels have opened, add the shrimp and pasta to the mixture and stir through. Make sure the sauce covers the pasta evenly. Add some more olive oil if the mixture is looking a little dry.
              2 fl. Oz., Salt and pepper for seasoning
              A large pot is filled with shrimp and mussels pasta and is being served onto a white plate in the background

            Step 6 - to serve

            • To serve, add pasta, shrimp and mussels to a serving bowl. Add a generous wedge of lemon to the side and garnish with a sprinkle of parsley.
              A large pot is filled with Shrimp and Mussels pasta and sits beside a small bowl topped with pasta cooked mussels shrimp and cilantro
            • Finally, drizzle of olive oil and season lightly with a little cracked pepper.
              a large jug of olive oil sits on a rustic benchtop with a few fresh olive branches beside the jug

            Video

            Notes

            Storage:
            As this dish contains seafood, it is best to consume it immediately. If stored in the fridge overnight, use an airtight container and ensure to reheat properly. 

            Nutrition

            Serving: 200gramsCalories: 528kcalCarbohydrates: 53.6gProtein: 39.3gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2.6gCholesterol: 194mgSodium: 608mgPotassium: 924mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 3gCalcium: 112mgIron: 10mg
            Keyword easy to make, healthy, high carb, high protein, pasta, pasta mussels shrimp, seafood, spaghetti, spanish, Spanish seafood

            FAQ – Shrimp and mussels pasta

            Is shrimp and mussels pasta easy to make?

            • Yes, this recipe is easy to make with our step-by-step recipe guide.

            How long does shrimp and mussels pasta take to make?

            • Preparation time: 10 minutes (with raw peeled shrimp)
            • Cook time: 20 minutes.

            How to prepare mussels?

            • To remove any barnacles or grit on the mussel shell use a soft wire scrubbing brush. Gently scrub the shells while rinsing under a little clean fresh water.
            • Remove the beards by grabbing them and giving them a little yank towards the pointy end of the mussel.
            • Wash in clean fresh water once again.
            • Discard any mussels with cracked or open shells before cooking.

            How long do mussels take to cook?

            • Cook mussels in a deep saucepan with a lid and some sauce simmering inside.
            • Simmer on medium heat with the lid on for 5-6 minutes.
            • The mussels are cooked once the shells open.

            How long does shrimp take to cook?

            • Raw shelled shrimp take around 3 minutes on each side to cook in a frying pan with some oil on medium heat.
            • Once cooked, the prawns will be an opaque white color with some orange-colored areas.

            What side dishes go with mussels?

            • Some fresh bread is perfect.

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