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Prawn and Pea Pasta Under 20 Minutes

Prawn and pea pasta, a true store cupboard and freezer dinner that manages to feel like a treat, despite cooking in under 20 minutes!

A bit of smoky chilli flavour from chipotle chilli flakes, garlic and just a hint of lemon juice round out the simplest of dishes.

Prawn and pea pasta with pappardelle and shredded basil.

Quick Shrimp and Pea Pasta

The ingredients in this glorious prawn and pea pasta recipe are pretty much a staple in our house.

Prawns and peas live in the freezer, and this recipe unashamedly screams about the magic of what I think are the two best freezer ingredients.

We always have pasta, garlic, lemon juice and chilli peppers knocking around and that is all this recipe needs aside from a little salt and pepper and basil… if you have it.

For all its utility it still tastes and looks like a special meal as far as I am concerned!

A bag of frozen peas may not scream pasta at you but I put the two together ALL of the time.

Whether it be in my salmon and pea pasta recipe, gammon and pea pasta or my pea pesto pasta I love the sweet fresh summery flavour they add to pasta dishes. It’s almost like summer all year around.

As for prawns with pasta… well, it’s simply a classic! I have other examples like my fennel and squid ink spaghetti with prawns, prawn pesto pasta, chilli prawn linguine and prawn and chorizo pasta stand out as particularly good.

If seafood pasta is your mojo, you will love my classic spaghetti vongole recipe.

Overhead prawn and pea pasta with pappardelle served in a textured bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the 20 minutes timing include defrosting prawns and peas?

Absolutely, I never bother defrosting either prawns or peas in advance. The best way to defrost prawns and indeed peas is to drop them in a colander and run cold water over them, it will take around 5 minutes.

You need to do this with running water though! You cannot just place them in cold water because it will turn into a big fishy ice cube.

Do I have to use chipotle chilli flakes?

No, not at all. This recipe works really well with regular dried chilli flakes, or without them if you are averse to chilli spice.

However, chipotle chilli flakes add a wonderful smokiness to the dish as well as a bit of heat. I even use it in some of my Chinese fakeaway dishes, most notably my Szechuan beef stir fry.

Can I use a different pasta?

Yup… I would stick with something long and if it has a bit of width even better.

Fettuccine or tagliatelle would be my first choice, but you can also use linguine or even spaghetti. Large conchiglie are also a bit of fun.

What size prawns should I use?

Generally speaking, I think bigger is better for prawns, but for this recipe, I prefer a little smaller because it makes the dish easier to eat. I usually opt for size 20-30 in this instance.

Close up prawn and peas pasta with pappardelle and shredded basil.

Serving Suggestions

Like many a pasta dish this pasta with prawns and peas recipe stands well all on its own. Other than a glass of wine of course!

However, you will get a beautiful layer of dressing or sauce in the base of your bowl when you have finished.

You absolutely must mop this up with some bread. This is called “fare la scarpetta” in Italian which translates to “make the little shoe”.

My favourite bread for doing this, no matter the pasta, is ciabatta, which amusingly enough can be translated as slipper.

Prawn and pea pasta with pappardelle, chipotle chilli flakes and garlic.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 20cm or 8″ saucepan.
  • 30cm or 12″ frying pan.
  • Colanders or sieves.
  • Stirring and serving spoons or kitchen tongs.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
Prawn and pea pasta with pappardelle and chipotle chilli flakes served in a textured bowl.
Yield: 2 Servings

Prawn and Pea Pasta Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

We all need fast easy dinners every now and then and this quick and easy prawn and pea pasta is a spicy favourite in our house!


  • 250g (9oz) Prawns
  • 200g (1 Cup) Frozen Peas
  • 175g (6oz) Pappardelle Pasta
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • ½-1 Tsp Chipotle Chilli Flakes
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ¼ Tsp Coarse Sea Salt (Plus extra for pasta water)
  • ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
  • 12-16 Large Basil Leaves
  • Lemon Juice to Taste


  1. Defrost your shrimp under running cold water, this should take no longer than 10 minutes.
  2. Do the same with the peas, I stack the colanders on top of each other with the peas in the top colander.
  3. Slice the garlic cloves as finely as you can.
  4. Roll the basil leaves into a cigar-like tube and shred as finely as you can.
  5. Cook your pasta as per the instructions on your packet in well-salted water. I use a 20cm or 8" saucepan with 1½ teaspoons of salt.
  6. Heat a 30cm or 12" frying pan over a medium high heat.
  7. 6 minutes before your pasta is ready add the olive oil to the pan.
  8. When the oil is hot add the garlic, salt, pepper and chilli flakes then cook for 30-60 seconds.
  9. Throw in the prawns and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Add the peas and toss for 30 seconds.
  11. Drain the pasta reserving around 75ml (⅓ cup) of the cooking water.
  12. Add the pasta to the peas and prawns and toss to coat adding enough cooking liquid to form a silky emulsion.
  13. Add the shredded basil and lemon juice to taste and give it one final toss before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 731Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 264mgSodium: 1552mgCarbohydrates: 82gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 45g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Byron Thomas

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

Looks amazing, Brian. Even with the shrimp. :) What could I use as a substitute?

Brian Jones

Thursday 14th of April 2016

Yowsers that is a tough question seafood is so distinctive that is hard work to find something as a substitute and make the same dish. You could change it a lot and use some diced chicken which would be great although very different to my dish. Actually thinking about it I reckon some roasted radish with pea would be an interesting experiment, you could then add a load of Parmesan cheese. Bugger something else to stick into my rotation :D

Paige @ Where Latin Meets Lagniappe

Saturday 9th of April 2016

I love everything about this recipe Brian! I love all the ingredients AND I totally love how easy it is to make! This is going in my weeknight rotation :)

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of April 2016

Even I have to have quick dishes occasionally despite being hooked on slow cooked food ;)

Dini @ The Flavor Bender

Tuesday 5th of April 2016

I love shrimps and pasta together! Beautiful dish! Simple but with great flavors.

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of April 2016

Thanks Dini, me too!


Tuesday 5th of April 2016

I love how quick and easy this is --- I'm going to stock my freezer this week!

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of April 2016

Thanks Sue, possibly one of the quickest and simplest things I cook and it tastes great :D

Mary Ellen

Tuesday 5th of April 2016

Shrimp makes such a great, quick meal and my 5 year old devours anything with shrimp! Great recipe.

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of April 2016

I am sure that I would have pulled a funny face if my Mum had of tried to feed me shrimp as a kid... ONe of my favourite things now though :)

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