November 4, 2022

Old Bay Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Old Bay, meet pasta…

Now I’ve made some pretty interesting flavor combos over pasta before, but this Old Bay garlic shrimp pasta might just be the most interesting one yet. Yes, I am aware there is nothing weird about shrimp and Old Bay, but have you had it over a plate of pasta before. Before you turn away, this dish doesn’t scream Old Bay like a seafood boil does. Instead it leans on the great spice mixture to make a savory and delicate garlic and herb sauce. Take one bite and you will see, this dish just works, and might I mention it is done in under 20 minutes.

close up old bay garlic shrimp


I grew up with Old Bay in my pantry. We never used it, the yellow tin (did you know it is not a tin anymore) just sat in the back untouched. If you aren’t familiar with Old Bay it is a savory spice blend which is comprised of 18 different spices. While this spice blend leans more towards seafood it can be used in a variety of different ways… including this pasta dish. Wondering what is really in Old Bay? Below are just a few of the major players:

  • Celery Salt – Once you know this you will never not taste it.
  • Paprika
  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper – it does have a little kick.
  • Dried Mustard
  • + some warmer spices and so much more


  • Pasta – Players choice, however i do recommend a long noodle. The pasta used in this particular dish is Maldafine, which works great for more delicate sauces. This shape can be found in most supermarkets however don’t expect to find it in the blue box. Look for the smaller lesser known brands such as ANA.
  • Shrimp– Feel free to use whatever type of shrimp you have on hand. I love little shrimp for this dish specifically Key West Pink Shrimp. Frozen is absolutely okay here, in fact if you see them behind the fresh counter chances are they were previously frozen. Defrost fully and pat dry before cooking.
  • Garlic– A lot of it, as always fresh only!
  • Old Bay Seasoning – Did you know there are 3-4 other flavors, while they are great, make sure you use the original seasoning.
  • Butter
  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated.
  • Optional Lemon Zest – If you are looking to brighten this dish up add some fresh lemon zest.
plate of old bay garlic shrimp pasta


This is one of those PERFECT weeknight meals, only a few ingredients, and very few steps/instructions.

Saute Aromatics + Bloom Spices– In a pan over medium-low heat add the butter. Once melted add the garlic, cook until soft and fragrant. This should take 2-3 min. If the garlic begins the brown the heat is too high. Add the Old Bay and bloom the spice in the oil for another 2-3 minutes.

Make the Sauce + Finish – Add the pasta water (make sure you reserved some) and simmer for approx. 3-4 minutes. Cook the itty bitty shrimp in the sauce. Don’t annihilate the shrimp. If opting for key west size shrimp this should only take a minute or two. Add the cooked pasta, parsley, and chives. Toss to combine. Add cheese and toss. Serve immediately.


As with most pasta and seafood dishes this is best eaten immediately. In the event that you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container for 1-2 days in the fridge. When it comes to re-heating my recommendation is to have a freezer stash of pasta water in small ice cubes ready to go. To reheat in this method, place leftovers in a pan with (depending on the size of cubes) a tbsp or two worth of pasta water. Heat until warm. If you don’t want to reheat in this method then the microwave is your friend.

Looking for other out of the box pasta dishes? Check out the below!

Miso Chipotle Pasta
Za’atar Lamb Pasta

November 4, 2022

Old Bay Garlic Shrimp

Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Pull the Old Bay out of the pantry to make this savory and delicate garlic and herb sauce.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword 20 Minute Meal, Pasta, Seafood, Shrimp, Weeknight Dinner
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 people


  • 1/2 lb pasta
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 10 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Old Bay
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 12-16 oz Key West Pink Shrimp lightly salted
  • 1/2 cup parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp chives chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


  • Cook pasta as per instructions in salty water. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, drain and place on the side.
  • In a pan over medium-low heat add the butter. Once melted add the garlic, cook until soft and fragrant approx 2-3 minutes. Do not let it brown or burn.
  • Add the Old Bay and cook for another 2-3 minutes, mixing to ensure the spices do not burn.
  • Add the pasta water and simmer for 3-4 minutes before adding the shrimp. Cook the shrimp in the sauce (if opting for small key west pink shrimp 3-4 minutes or until done).
  • Add the cooked pasta, parsley, and chives. Toss to combine.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese, toss and serve immediately.

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