Cheese Shrimp Penne Pasta & Spinach

Indulge in the savory goodness of Cheese Shrimp Penne Pasta & Spinach, a dish that combines pasta, tender shrimp, fresh greens, and gooey cheese for a satisfying meal. Perfect for a weeknight dinner or a special gathering, this recipe is sure to please everyone at the table.


  • 1 box Penne Pasta
  • 1 lb Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 3 cups Fresh Chopped Spinach, Kale, or Arugula (do not use frozen)
  • 1 cup Mozzarella or Swiss Cheese
  • 3 Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tsp Salt, Pepper & Garlic Salt
  • 8 cups Water
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Oil


  1. Cook Pasta and Shrimp: Prepare the pasta according to package instructions. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the shrimp to the boiling pasta water. Cook until shrimp are no longer pink. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water for later use. Keep pasta and shrimp warm.
  2. Prepare the Sauce: In a large pan, heat oil and butter over medium heat until butter melts. Add minced garlic and sauté briefly until fragrant. Add the cooked pasta to the pan, tossing to coat with the garlic-infused oil. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add Spinach and Cheese: Stir in the fresh chopped spinach and cook for about 1 minute until wilted. If needed, add ⅓ cup of reserved pasta water to steam the spinach. Finally, add the cooked shrimp and mozzarella or Swiss cheese. Gently stir until the cheese melts and everything is well combined. Be careful not to overcook.
  4. Final Touches and Serving: Adjust seasoning to taste and garnish with dried cilantro for an extra burst of flavor. Serve immediately and enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness of this delightful pasta dish.

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Fresh Garnishes: Before serving, garnish with freshly chopped parsley or basil for a burst of freshness and color.
  2. Pairing Suggestions: Serve alongside garlic bread, a crusty baguette, or a simple side salad dressed with vinaigrette to complement the flavors.
  3. Presentation: For a restaurant-style presentation, arrange the pasta neatly on plates or in pasta bowls, ensuring each serving includes a generous portion of shrimp and spinach.
  4. Family Style: Alternatively, serve the pasta in a large serving bowl at the center of the table, allowing everyone to help themselves family-style.
  5. Drinks: Pair with a chilled white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, or for non-alcoholic options, try sparkling water with a splash of lemon or lime.

Storage Tips:

    1. Refrigeration: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Ensure the pasta is cooled to room temperature before refrigerating.
    2. Reheating: To reheat, gently warm portions in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add a splash of water or broth to prevent drying out and to revive the flavors.
    3. Freezing: While pasta dishes with seafood may not freeze well due to texture changes, you can freeze cooked shrimp separately. Thaw and reheat them before adding to freshly cooked pasta and spinach.
    4. Meal Prep: Prepare components like cooking the pasta and shrimp ahead of time. Combine and reheat gently before serving to save time on busy days.
    5. Enhancing Flavor: If reheating leftovers, consider adding a touch of cream or a drizzle of olive oil to rejuvenate the flavors and prevent the dish from becoming dry.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that every serving of Cheese Shrimp Penne Pasta & Spinach remains delicious and enjoyable, whether freshly prepared or reheated. Embrace the convenience without compromising on taste!


Here are some delightful variations to customize your Cheese Shrimp Penne Pasta & Spinach recipe:

  1. Creamy Alfredo Style: Substitute the mozzarella or Swiss cheese with Alfredo sauce for a richer, creamier pasta dish. Garnish with parsley and cracked black pepper.
  2. Spicy Cajun Twist: Add Cajun seasoning to the shrimp while cooking and toss in some diced bell peppers and onions for a spicy kick. Finish with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  3. Lemon Garlic Butter: Replace the oil with lemon-infused olive oil and add extra minced garlic to enhance the garlic flavor. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the finished dish for brightness.
  4. Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil: Stir in chopped sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil leaves after adding the spinach. Top with shaved Parmesan for a Mediterranean-inspired twist.
  5. Pesto Perfection: Mix in a few tablespoons of basil pesto to the pasta before adding the shrimp and spinach. Toss well and sprinkle with pine nuts or toasted almonds.
  6. Mushroom Medley: Sauté sliced mushrooms with the garlic until tender and add them along with the spinach. Use a mix of cremini, shiitake, and button mushrooms for depth of flavor.
  7. Protein Swap: Substitute shrimp with grilled chicken breast or diced Italian sausage for a heartier variation. Adjust cooking times accordingly to ensure proteins are fully cooked.
  8. Greek-Inspired: Toss in crumbled feta cheese, diced tomatoes, and Kalamata olives after cooking. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of dried oregano.
  9. Asian Fusion: Replace mozzarella or Swiss cheese with a blend of soy sauce, sesame oil, and a dash of sriracha. Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.
  10. Vegetarian Option: Omit the shrimp and double the amount of spinach or add other veggies like cherry tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, or artichoke hearts for a satisfying meat-free version.

These variations offer diverse flavors and textures to elevate your Cheese Shrimp Penne Pasta & Spinach recipe, catering to different tastes and preferences. Enjoy experimenting and creating your favorite version of this delicious dish!


  1. Can I use frozen shrimp instead of fresh?
    • Yes, you can use frozen shrimp for convenience. Thaw them thoroughly before cooking according to the recipe.
  2. What can I substitute for Penne pasta?
    • You can substitute Penne with any other pasta shape like fusilli, rigatoni, or even spaghetti. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
  3. Can I use a different type of cheese?
    • Absolutely! Experiment with cheeses like Parmesan, Gouda, or a blend of Italian cheeses to suit your taste preferences.
  4. How do I know when the shrimp is fully cooked?
    • Shrimp is cooked when it turns opaque and pink. Be careful not to overcook, as it can become tough.
  5. Can I make this dish ahead of time?
    • While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare components like cooking the pasta and shrimp ahead of time. Combine and reheat gently before serving.
  6. Is this recipe suitable for a lactose-free diet?
    • You can use lactose-free cheese and omit or replace the butter with a suitable alternative to make it lactose-free.
  7. What can I serve with this dish?
    • Serve with garlic bread, a side salad, or steamed vegetables for a balanced meal.
  8. Can I adjust the spice level of this recipe?
    • Yes, you can increase or decrease the amount of garlic, pepper, or chili flakes to suit your spice preference.
  9. How should I store leftovers?
    • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  10. What should I do if the sauce becomes too thick?
    • Add a splash of pasta water or broth while reheating to loosen the sauce and maintain its creamy texture.

These FAQs should provide helpful information to anyone looking to prepare and enjoy Cheese Shrimp Penne Pasta & Spinach with confidence.

Whether you’re cooking for family, friends, or yourself, this Cheese Shrimp Penne Pasta & Spinach recipe promises to deliver a mouthwatering experience with every bite. Experiment with different greens or cheeses to personalize this dish to your liking and savor the delicious results!