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Shrimp in Tomato Sauce

An easy 20 minute recipe for Shrimp in Tomato Sauce - perfect for spooning over pasta or rice. Just a handful of ingredients and so much flavor!

shrimp in tomato sauce over pasta sprinkled with Parmesan

Go-to quick dinner recipe

This Shrimp with Tomato Sauce recipe is my go-to for weeknight dinner when I don't feel like cooking. I don't know why I never shared it with you - I always just took for it granted because it's so stupidly simple.

Every time I make this shrimp with tomatoes, I get the most enthusiastic nods from both my husband and my super picky toddler, and also get lots of oohs and ahhs from my husband's coworkers who see him bring the leftovers to lunch... so I figured it's worth sharing!

This recipe has just a handful of ingredients but a ton of flavor.  It's like a shrimp fra diavolo, minus the diavolo because it is not spicy.

The flavor comes from fresh garlic, onions, fresh basil and oregano. All of this in a simple tomato sauce and plump, tender shrimp. I'll show you how to not overcook the shrimp, which is key to taking a shrimp dish from "good" to "AMAZING." 

close up of shrimp in tomato sauce over pasta sprinkled with Parmesan

Related recipe: One-Pan Shrimp Oreganata

I recommend getting the biggest shrimp you can find for this recipe. It's just so good biting into a large piece of shrimp. The shrimp I used here are 16-20 pieces per pound, and they are a good size. Smaller is OK too. Bigger is better. *snickers*

Of course, you can spice things up with red pepper flakes (which is soo good too!), but I'm trying to get my picky toddler to eat this, so no spice for us for now. And you can add a splash of white wine into pan when cooking the tomatoes, but again, toddler. I'm trying to keep this shrimp recipe kid-friendly.

Related recipe: Chickpea Chorizo Stew

How to make shrimp in tomato sauce:

This recipe uses shrimp and diced tomatoes for the sauce.

  • Start with sauteing the finely diced onion and garlic. The smaller you can dice the onion, the better. I like it when the onion hides in the tomato sauce, but gives it flavor. And as I said, I'm cooking for a toddler who tends to spit out any unrecognizable chunks of food.
  • Then push the onion to one side of the skillet and add the seasoned shrimp. The shrimp itself is seasoned with paprika (smoked paprika if you have it, for more flavor!), fresh garlic, and salt. Simple, but good.
  • The trick to not overcooking the shrimp for this recipe is to not fully cook the shrimp before adding the tomatoes. Just cook the shrimp on one side so they get a nice sear, then let the shrimp finish cooking as it's simmering in tomato sauce in the next step.

shrimp cooking in a skillet with onions

  • When the shrimp is cooked on one side, add a can of diced tomatoes (fire-roasted diced tomatoes if you have those on hand), and fresh basil and oregano. Stir, allow to summer for about 2-3 minutes, and you're done. Remove the skillet from the heat so the shrimp doesn't overcook.

shrimp in tomato sauce in a skillet

  • I really recommend fresh herbs for this recipe to give the tomato sauce the most flavor. I love my herb cutting scissors because I can dice herbs without even getting a cutting board dirty. 

How to serve shrimp with tomato sauce

This shrimp recipe tastes equally good with pasta and with rice. Obviously, shrimp tomato pasta is a classic, you can't go wrong with that. You can top it with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or crumbed feta cheese.

But this shrimp recipe tastes REALLY good with rice too. This is because the rice absorbs some of the tomato sauce and becomes so tasty.4

More shrimp pasta recipes: Shrimp and Chicken Alfredo

How many servings does this make? / Doubling the recipe

This recipe below makes enough tomato sauce for half a box of pasta (8 oz uncooked pasta), which is about 4 modest sized portions. If I am being honest, we can polish off all this shrimp between the two of us in one sitting. We try not to (portion size, yadda yadda), but if you've got two hungry adults who also want leftovers, you might need to double this recipe. Your choice whether to double the sauce or not. One can of diced tomatoes makes enough sauce for even four large portions.

If you are a family of four and are planning to serve this with a side salad or some bread, then this recipe should be plenty for 4 servings.

Looking for other quick and easy pasta dinner ideas?

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later:

shrimp in tomato sauce pinterest graphic

shrimp in tomato sauce over pasta sprinkled with Parmesan
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4.69 from 16 votes

Shrimp with Tomatoes

An easy 20 minute dinner recipe for Shrimp in Tomato Sauce - perfect for spooning over pasta or rice. Just a handful of ingredients and so much flavor!

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 4
Author: Kate
Cost: $12


  • 1 lb shrimp - thawed if frozen, peeled and tails removed
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt & pepper - about ¼ teaspoon each, more or less to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves - finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion - finely diced
  • ¼ cup fresh herbs such as oregano, basil, or parsley - finely diced (see notes)
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

Special equipment

  • 12 inch skillet


  • In a medium bowl, combine the thawed cleaned shrimp with ½ teaspoon paprika, salt and pepper (about ¼ teaspoon each), and half the minced garlic. Mix well.
  • Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the finely diced onion and the rest of the minced garlic. Saute over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, or until the onion starts turning yellow. Don't let it burn. Use a spatula to move the onion to the edge of the skillet.
  • Add the shrimp to the center of the skillet, making sure each shrimp is touching the skillet. Cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp tails start to turn pink. Drizzle in an additional tablespoon of olive oil if the skillet seems dry.
  • Add the can of diced tomatoes (with the liquid) and fresh herbs. Stir. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp is fully cooked and the tomatoes are heated through and released juices to make a nice sauce.
    Garnish with fresh herbs and serve warm over pasta or rice.


I used a combination of fresh basil and oregano to cook the shrimp, and then garnished with sliced scallions. 
Try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes for some spice, or topping with feta cheese or freshly grated Parmesan.

Shop for this shrimp recipe:



Calories: 154kcal (8%) | Carbohydrates: 2g (1%) | Protein: 23g (46%) | Fat: 5g (8%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) | Cholesterol: 286mg (95%) | Sodium: 883mg (37%) | Potassium: 120mg (3%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 1g (1%) | Vitamin A: 123IU (2%) | Vitamin C: 6mg (7%) | Calcium: 172mg (17%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.


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Matt - Total Feasts

Sunday 8th of September 2019

I've never been the biggest fan of shrimp, but they look delicious in this dish. Great tip about cooking the shrimp so they don't dry out!

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