Light Garlic Shrimp Baked Penne

{Light} Garlic Shrimp Baked PennePinitHomemade Garlic Alfredo Sauce.

Would you mind if I just stopped there? Sighh.

{Light} Garlic Shrimp Baked PenneThere’s more.


Garlic shrimp.

Fire roasted tomatoes.

Whole grain penne.

Parmesan? Extra? Sure.

And don’t you forget about that homemade garlic alfredo sauce. I know you didn’t.

Bake it, eat it, eat it again.

Make a mental note to double the recipe next time.

Make another mental note to stop at the store for some minty gum. Or tell Siri to make your mental notes for you. Or tell Siri to make a mental note for Bjork.

Train Siri to recognize “Bjork” instead of “New Yhork”.

Give up on Siri and eat more pasta.

{Light} Garlic Shrimp Baked Penne

4.6 from 8 reviews
{Light} Garlic Shrimp Baked Penne
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb. raw, deveined tail-off shrimp
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes with garlic
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 6 ounces 2% evaporated milk (about half of a can)
  • 1 ounce light cream cheese
  • ⅓ cup chicken broth
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese for topping
  1. In a skillet, melt ½ tablespoon butter and add 1 clove minced garlic. Saute for 1 minute or until garlic is soft and fragrant. Add shrimp and cook about 3 minutes on each side, until no longer pink.
  2. Cook pasta as directed until al dente. Drain and return to pan. Drain tomatoes and add to the pasta. Add cooked shrimp.
  3. In a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter and add 3 cloves minced garlic over medium-high heat. Saute for 1 minute. Add flour and stir until a soft, sticky mixture forms - about 1 minute. Add half of the evaporated milk and whisk until smooth. As it cooks, the mixture will start to thicken and bubble - when it does, add the rest of the evaporated milk. As the mixture thickens and bubbles again, add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. As the mixture thickens, add the chicken stock to thin out the sauce. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Pour sauce immediately over pasta and mix gently. Pour into a small baking dish. Top with Parmesan cheese; bake at 375 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
The sauce will start to really thicken within a few minutes of taking it off the heat. Make sure to mix it in with the pasta right away. When I made this, I used a 10x6 baking dish. You could also top this with seasoned breadcrumbs.


I think this big blue sky is the sign of a good week.

That, and Alfredo.

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  1. Ok that sky is just so beautiful! It reminds me of growing up in MN…where it can be so cold, but so pretty!

    • It feels a little weird not to have snow everywhere, but I can’t complain if it means better walking weather and a pretty view!

  2. Ha! Siri needs a tutor. I think it is hilarious that you mentioned to make a double batch next time, because I was JUST thinking that it looked like either a tiny dish, or a monstrous spoon – but delicious, of course. I thought, “Huh, that must be the portion she cooks for just she and New Yhork”. Ahhhh. Too funny. Thanks for the morning chuckle – and the scrumptious looking dinner! I just can’t decide which yummy new dish to make this week – there are too many!

  3. That pasta looks to die for. It’s made me hungry just reading your post. Yum.
    Also, loving the use of wholewheat penne – my favourite too.

  4. Light pasta dishes are the best – looks amazing!

  5. My head tells me that it’s lightened up but my eyes tell me that it’s fully delicious – the best kind of combination. It looks awesome, I could dive into a big plate of that right now!

    • It was seriously so surprisingly good for being “light”. I would have never guess it was light, except that I made it so I knew it was. :)

  6. Miranda @ Living One Bite at a Time says:

    Oh man, this looks delicious! Can’t wait to give it a try :)

  7. You just about made me forget what I was going to say with that last picture of the blue sky (and the blazing white beneath it). It’s been in the 50s here. Where is there snow? :)

    Yes, garlic alfredo sauce had my soul singing. Seeing the world {light} in front of it got the whole Hallelujah Chorus. It looks amazing.

  8. Yum!! I have a can of evaporated milk in the cabinet leftover from the holiday baking and I had no idea to do with it…. until now. Shrimp! Garlic! Light! Yeeeessssssss! This is making it onto the next menu with a quickness.

    • I’ve actually used evaporated milk in quite a few recipes lately… especially pasta. It makes for great creamy sauces.

  9. Soo @ Little Miss Fitness says:

    Love that blue sky!! And you know what else I’d love? To see your grocery list each week!! I am such a horrible grocery shopper–I need some advice on how to show well for a full week!!


    • I just downloaded this app called Grocery List and Bjork and I can both update to the list and then check the items off whenever we go to the store. I am generally a bad grocery shopper, too… I like to buy everything. But I really try to stick to budget and I usually make at least one super cheap thing each week. Frozen pizza, anyone? :)

  10. Soo @ Little Miss Fitness says:

    I meant shop. :)

  11. Haha, Siri could definitely use some work on name recognition. My husband’s name is Ulysses and she struggles with that one, every.time.
    I adore alfredo sauce and have never made my own. I love you for posting this. 😉

  12. going on the meal plan for wednesday night. i knew i procrastinated meal planning until this morning for a reason. :)

  13. This sounds wonderful Lindsay! I love shrimp and pasta. :)

  14. I. Want. That. Right. This. Second.

  15. Incredible 😀 I’m crazy for pasta right now, and with shrimp? And a creamy sauce?? Mmm :) Love seeing the nutrition info!

  16. This dish looks absolutely divine and a perfect winter meal. It doesn’t feel much like winter where I live, but since it gets dark at 5:00 it still feels ok to have those winter comfort dishes. My kids would love this dish as they are big shrimp fans.

  17. I am always in search of recipes for lightened cream sauces. A hint of cream cheese is such a good call!

  18. Hot damn, this dish sounds so fantastic! I’m always looking for Alfredo recipes that aren’t so high in fat and calories, and this one sounds totally spot on. I especially love that you paired it with shrimp. Kinda reminds me of Olive Garden but without the ensuing heart attack that typically happens occurs following a meal there. Way to be, girl, way to be.
    Hope you have a fabulous Monday!

  19. oh silly Siri!!! As for that pasta dish, there’s nothing silly about it – YUM!!!! I love garlic and shrimp and tomatoes together…over pasta, it’s one of my favorite pasta combos!

  20. Oh wow, I’m drooling. I love how low calorie it is too! (Assuming I don’t eat the whole dish…) Thanks for sharing this recipe :)

    • I know. When I made this, we got a little generous with our servings and ended up only getting 3 out of this instead of 4… but still. Light is light. :)

  21. oh yum! i made some shrimp pasta tonight, but this looks much more indulgent. :)

  22. How convenient that I have a bag of shrimp in the freezer…

  23. …and my day was just made better with this garlic alfredo sauce! What a beautiful dish!

  24. Ohhhh that penne looks so irresistable, I am so drooling now

  25. light baked penne?! count me in!

  26. hey lindsay! i made this recipe last night and my husband and i loved it! :) one thing, i didn’t see a temperature in your recipe at which to bake it. i just used 350* for ~15 minutes and it worked well. just wanted to let you know!

  27. Pasta + shrimp = perfect combo!

  28. This was incredibly scrumptious!! My boyfriend and I loved it. What a great recipe!

  29. Lauren @ Pass the Plate says:

    Just wanted to let you know, I made this last night for my family for a special Valentine’s Day Dinner, and it was AMAZING! Everyone couldn’t stop raving about the dish and it was one of the best pasta dishes I have ever tried. I used linguine instead of penne, but that was the only change. Thanks so much for this awesome recipe and I know I’ll be making it again!

  30. I’ve made this twice now, and it’s fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

  31. Pam Rodriguez says:

    I made this last night, my family could not tell it was a lightened up recipe! They loved it and are now fighting over who is having the leftovers for lunch! Thank you so much for posting this!

  32. Hi Lindsay,
    Looks like an awesome recipe! I want to make it tonight! Can you please tell me what size can of roasted tomaotoes you used? I see two different sizes here in the grocery store. I from Canada by the way! Love your site and recipes!

  33. This was delicious. I doubled the recipe and it turned out a bit soupy but the taste was great. Next time I will double the protein (I used 1 lb shrimp and 1 lb crawfish) and the pasta but keep the rest of the recipe intact. We all loved it and will enjoy leftovers tomorrow with lots of crusty bread to sop up the sauce.

  34. Do you think it’s ok to make it the night before and bake it the next day?

    • I think it would be better baked right away. It could still work being made ahead but just not as good/fresh, especially because of the shrimp. I like them better right after they’re cooked.

  35. Okay I have to tell you, this recipe is a keeper. My husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy and he always turns his nose up when he hears “whole wheat” or “light”. But he loved this one. He even took the leftovers for lunch the next day. I added a little extra garlic because we love it, but other than that, I followed the recipe exactly and it came out great! Thanks for sharing.

  36. The recipe says 6oz of pasta, is that right? Dose not seem like enough.

  37. Delicious Loved it…and easy. Instead of Chicken Broth, I thinned my sauce with the juice I drained from the tomatoes! Pinked up the Alfredo sauce a bit – yummy!

  38. Does the shrimp have to be thawed before cooking it? Because my plan was to make this tonight for dinner and I just put my shrimp in the fridge about an hour ago… :/ I blame it on pregnancy brain (so convenient!).

    • I often soak it in a bowl of cold water to help it thaw quickly – that is supposed to be the safest way to do it if you’re working with frozen shrimp. Luckily it doesn’t take long cause they’re so small. 😉

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