Spicy Shrimp Linguine with Kale Pesto is succulent lemon garlic shrimp sautéed with red pepper flakes, tossed with whole wheat linguine and kale pesto.  It’s fresh, delicious, and comes together in just 30 minutes!

Shrimp linguine twirled around a fork

I’m making it my mission to make more shrimp for dinner.  Not only does everyone love it, but it cooks up in a flash.  You could call it a flash in a pan?  It literally cooks up in under 5 minutes, which is even quicker than burgers and quesadillas!  And you can do so much with it. 🙂

Shrimp linguine in a bowl

Shrimp is great in tacos, skewered, or tossed in pasta like it is here.  I simply tossed the shrimp with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and marinate it for about 20 minutes while I worked on the pasta and pesto.

While the shrimp marinates, get your pasta water on and prep your kale pesto ingredients.  The pesto takes all of 10 minutes to make, and if you’re really ahead of the game, you can make it ahead and store it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to use it.  I had some left over from my Sweet Potato Polenta Crostini with Ricotta, Kale Pesto and Bacon, so this meal was ready in 20 minutes.  Now that’s fast. 🙂

Shrimp linguine twirled around a fork in a bowl

For whatever reason, I had my doubts that my kale pesto would work in this dish.  Shrimp is so light, and I wondered if the bitterness and heartiness of the kale would be too much for it.  I worried for nothing, because these ingredients worked so well together, and the dish had a really nice fresh lemon flavor that brightened everything right up.

The whole wheat linguine and kale make this dish nice and hearty, but it was the red pepper flakes that made the whole dish come together for me.  We all know that the red pepper flakes are perfect with hearty greens like kale, and shrimp is just made to be spicy too!

Throwing this dish together was a breeze, and it was a very pleasant surprise.  It’s plenty quick, with lots of flavor, and very satisfying.  Take that to the bank!  Or to the table rather.  You’ll be glad you did. 🙂

Shrimp linguine in a bowl with pesto sauce


If you really like shrimp, I think you’ll like these recipes, too!

Bahama Breeze Skillet Simmered Jerk Shrimp by Inspiration Kitchen

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp & Grits by Grandbaby Cakes

Spicy Beer Shrimp by Chocolate Moosey

Spicy Lime Grilled Shrimp by Flavor the Moments


Yield: 6 servings

Spicy Shrimp Linguine with Kale Pesto

Shrimp linguine twirled around a fork

Spicy Shrimp Linguine with Kale Pesto is a healthy, flavorful dish that comes together in 30 minutes!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


For the shrimp:

  • 1 pound raw peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed*
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto:

  • 1 bunch lacinto kale, tough stems removed, roughly chopped, washed, and drained slightly
  • 3 tablespoons toasted walnuts, roughly chopped*
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon agave syrup*
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the pasta:

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat linguine


    Prepare the shrimp:

    1. Place the shrimp in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the shrimp and toss, coating the shrimp completely. Let stand at room temperature to marinate 20 minutes while you prepare the pesto and the pasta.

    Prepare the pesto:

    1. Place the kale in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the lemon juice, garlic, agave syrup, and parmesan cheese, and pulse to combine. With the machine on, add the olive oil through the feed tube in a steady stream and process until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste, and process once more. Set aside.
    2. Prepare the pasta according to package instructions and drain. Place back in the pot and toss with about 1/2 cup of the pesto and cook on very low heat just to warm while the shrimp cooks.
    3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp and sauté 3-5 minutes, or until pink. Toss the shrimp with the pasta mixture and place in a serving bowl. Serve immediately and enjoy!


    • *Be sure and purchase peeled and deveined shrimp in order to make this a 30 minute meal!
    • *Add 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes to make this dish less spicy, or 2 teaspoons for more spice!
    • Kale pesto can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge or frozen until ready to use.
    • I like less pasta and more fixin's. If you like more pasta, cook up the entire pound of pasta and add more pesto, and you'll be guaranteed to have leftovers.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 163mgSodium: 1023mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 6gSugar: 1gProtein: 27g

    Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.


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