Potted Shrimp Pasta

Close up of brown shrimp and asparagus pasta on a white plate.

This Potted Shrimp Pasta recipe is the ultimate shortcut dinner: all you need is some sort of long, ribbon or string-like pasta, a lemon, some seasonal veg and a pot of potted shrimps for an elegant solo supper.

It all started when I was trying to make a recipe I had bookmarked for linguini with pistachios and brown shrimp. I say trying, because peeled brown shrimps, rather than potted brown shrimps have become pretty tricky to source: fishmongers just don’t seem to be selling them, even though they’re in season.

My parents have been experiencing a similar issue, trying to make a similar recipe (from the same cookery writer, actually) and in conversation with her fishmonger my mother established why this is: the price of brown shrimp (and the labour for peeling them) has become so high they don’t make much sense for retail anymore.

Open tub of potted shrimp on a white marble worktop.

Resigning myself to shelving the recipe for now, I realised I actually had some brown shrimp in the fridge (gifted to me by the wonderful team at Seafood and Eat It), but the aforementioned potted shrimps, semi-preserved in a slightly spiced butter. And then the light bulb moment came. A flavour-infused butter, made silky with the pasta cooking water is usually the perfect base for a seafood pasta. So what would happen if I simply melted the pot of potted shrimps in a saucepan and tossed in some linguini?

And thus, my Potted Shrimp Pasta was born. Ready in just 15 minutes seasonal veg adds some colour (start with English asparagus, and switch to sliced courgette as the spring / summer progresses), some lemon adds some zest, and the potted shrimp will do the rest of the work! And with Seafood and Eat It’s Potted Brown Shrimp coming in at only £3.50 on Ocado, it’s one of the most affordable shrimp pastas you can make at the moment!

Close up of potted shrimp pasta.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will this recipe work with other brands of potted shrimp?

Of course! You’ll want 50g of potted shrimp – if your local fishmonger does a good one, even better! Or, if you can only get brown shrimp set in butter without spices, a pinch of nutmeg and a small pinch of mace added to the pan should help give your pasta that great potted shrimp flavour.

Is there a way I can make this pasta saucier?

I find using linguini there is enough butter in the potted shrimp to make enough sauce with a b it of the pasta cooking water, but if you want more just add a knob of butter to the pan with the potted shrimp.

Plate of linguini with potted shrimp, asparagus and lemon zest.

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Plate of linguini with potted shrimp, asparagus and lemon zest.

Potted Shrimp Pasta

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 1
  • Category: Dinner


This 15-minute Potted Shrimp Pasta recipe uses a tub of potted shrimp as the ultimate dinner hack to make an elegant solo pasta in record time, amped up with fresh lemon and some seasonal veg!


  • 90g linguini
  • sea salt
  • 4 spears of asparagus
  • light oil or knob of unsalted butter
  • 1 x 50g tub potted shrimp
  • fresh lemon juice and zest
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water, as per the packets instructions.
  2. When the pasta has about 5 minutes left, heat a medium to large, non-stick frying pan over a medium high heat. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and cut into short lengths, setting the tips aside. Add a splash of oil or knob of butter to the pan and cook the asparagus until only just tender. Stir in the tips.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the potted shrimp. You want the shrimp to warm through but not cook (or else they’ll go tough and dry) and for the butter to melt.
  4. Using tongs or a pasta ladle, transfer the linguini to the pan: by using this method and not draining it you get a good amount of pasta water to make the sauce also added to the pan.
  5. Season with a few good rasps of lemon zest, a good squeeze of the lemon juice, a little more salt and a good amount of black pepper. Swirl everything in the pan until the pasta is coated in a luscious, buttery sauce.
  6. Check to see if you want to add any more lemon, salt or pepper, then serve immediately in a warm bowl.


If your potted shrimp does not come with enough butter to make a good sauce, feel free to add a little extra to the pan.