This shrimp fra diavolo recipe is an Italian-American dish with succulent shrimp and linguine tossed with a fiery tomato sauce. It's pasta for spicy food lovers!
We're cooking up some spicy pasta in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen today, my friends. Earlier I made a flavorful Fra Diavolo Sauce recipe with spicy red chili flakes, so now we're using it to make an Italian-inspired dish called Shrimp Fra Diavolo.
You will love this one, my spicy food loving friends! "Fra Diavolo" translates to "brother devil", so that gives you an idea of what to expect.
Shrimp Fra Diavolo is one of my favorite pasta dishes, with linguine or other pasta noodles tossed in a fiery tomato-based sauce and shrimp. It's the perfect weekend meal, but really anytime as it is incredibly quick and easy to make.
The sauce cooks up quickly, as does the shrimp, and you can prepare your noodles while the sauce is simmering. Toss it all together and boom! Huge flavor. Spicy pasta in the house.
Italian food isn't always known for being very spicy, but this particular dish is sure to deliver. The origins of "fra diavolo" are uncertain, with some claiming it was invented in the Italian neighborhoods of New York rather than Italy. While it may seem classic Italian, it is more of an American dish.
I've learned from some Italians that it isn't even served in Italy. Regardless of where it is from, it is delicious and spicy and just right for those with a spicy food crave like me. I absolutely love it. So let's get cooking!
Let's talk about how to make shrimp fra diavolo, shall we?
Shrimp Fra Diavolo Ingredients
- Shrimp. Use 1 pound for this recipe, peeled and deveined. Any size shrimp will do. I usually go with medium sized.
- Oil for Cooking. 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Onion and Garlic. Use 1 small onion and 4 cloves garlic (or more to your personal tastes).
- Peppers. Use 1 spicy red pepper, chopped. You have many options here. Italian peppers are not typically spicy, so use a cayenne pepper or a red serrano for a higher level of heat. A red jalapeno pepper or Fresno pepper will give you a bit of kick. For spicy Italian peppers, use Calabrian peppers or Calabrian chili paste.
- Tomatoes. I use a 14 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, though you can use diced tomatoes or even the equivalent amount of fresh chopped tomatoes. Try using fire roasted tomatoes for an extra flavor bonus.
- Chili Flakes. I use several teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes, to my preference, but start with 1-2 teaspoons for the sauce and adjust from there, and some for seasoning the shrimp. This is what more traditionally brings the heat to this dish.
- White Wine. Use 1/2 cup dry white wine.
- Dried Oregano. Use 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano.
- Salt and Pepper. To taste.
- Fresh Herbs. Use 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and 6-7 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
- Pasta. I use linguine noodles for my recipe, but you can realistically use any pasta noodles. Use your favorites!
How to Make Shrimp Fra Diavolo - the Recipe Method
Prepare the Shrimp. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon chili flakes. Heat the oil in a large skillet to medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook them for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are pink and cooked through. Set them aside for now.
Onion, Peppers and Garlic. Add the onion and red pepper to the hot pan. Cook them down for 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until you can smell that gorgeous garlic. You can also use a large pot if making a big batch sauce.
Tomatoes and Seasonings. Add the tomatoes with their juices, red chili flakes, white wine, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer the Pasta Sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes (or longer) to let the flavor develop, stirring occasionally. You can cook the pasta while the sauce simmers. You can stir some of the pasta water into the sauce to thicken it. The cooking water has starches that can build some body into the sauce.
Stir in the Shrimp. Return the shrimp to the pan and toss to coat or stir them into the sauce. Cook, stirring, and heat them through about a minute or so.
Fresh Herbs. Stir in the parsley and basil leaves. Taste and adjust for salt.
Toss with Pasta Noodles. Toss the sauce and shrimp with your prepared linguine or other pasta noodles cooked in salted water. Garnish with extra spicy red chili flakes and fresh herbs.
Boom! Done! Looks wonderful, doesn't it? This is pasta for spicy food lovers for sure. Add in some extra spicy chili flakes for me, please. I just love this recipe.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Heat Level. Medium. You can really spice this up with lots of spicy chili flakes and your choice of hot pepper. For a milder version, skip the fresh pepper and use only 1 teaspoon chili flakes.
- Other Seafood. Fra diavolo sauce is often served with shrimp, but you can serve it up with any seafood. Try this recipe out with white fish, crab, lobster or mussels. So good!
- The Pasta. I love to serve mine with linguine noodles, but realistically, this recipe will work with any pasta noodles. Use your favorites, cooked al dente, or to your preference. Just boil them in water with a teaspoon of salt or so to get extra flavor.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this shrimp fra diavolo recipe. Extra spicy for me, please. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear if it was a hit.
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Spicy Penne Arrabbiata
- Arrabbiata Sauce
- Bucatini all Amatriciana
- Rasta Pasta
- Spicy Italian Meatballs
- Italian Stuffed Peppers
- Italian Giardiniera
- Sausage and Peppers
- Pepper and Egg Sandwich
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Shrimp Fra Diavolo Recipe
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 spicy red pepper chopped optional, for extra spicy
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes or use diced or fire roasted
- 2 teaspoons spicy red pepper flakes + 1 teaspoon or to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 6-7 fresh basil leaves chopped
- 8 ounces prepared linguine noodles for serving
- FOR GARNISH: Extra red chili flakes fresh chopped parsley
- Heat the oil in a large pan to medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon chili flakes, then cook them for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are pink and cooked through. Set them aside.
- Add the onion and red pepper to the same pan. Cook them down for 5 minutes to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until you can smell that gorgeous garlic.
- Add the crushed tomatoes with their juices, red chili flakes, white wine, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for 10 minutes (or longer) to let the flavor develop. You can prepare your pasta noodles while the fra diavolo sauce is simmering.
- Stir in the reserved shrimp and heat them through about a minute.
- Stir in the parsley and basil leaves. Taste and adjust for salt.
- Toss with prepared linguine noodles. Garnish and serve!
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 9/24/21 to include new information and video. It was originally posted on 9/16/20.