Try out this Pesto King Prawn Pasta for a quick and easy midweek meal.
This seafood pasta dish starts by cooking raw king prawns, with garlic, chilli and cherry tomatoes.
Fusilli Lunghi / spaghetti or linguine pasta is added with your choice of homemade pesto sauce or a shop brought basil pesto.
Finished off with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, for a delicious tasting prawn pasta recipe, ready in only 20 minutes.
How to make pesto prawn pasta?
See our step by step slide show on how we made our pesto king prawn pasta recipe at home.
The full ingredients and instructions can be found on the recipe card below in UK grams and US ounces.
We will go into more details below and offer substitutes.
What pasta to use?
The first step is to boil your pasta in a large pan of salted water.
This time we tried out a new pasta shape, Fusilli Lunghi, a long corkscrew spiral-shaped pasta. We think it made this dish look amazing! We usually cook this as a pesto prawn linguine pasta.
However you can use spaghetti, bucatini, fettuccine, tagliatelle or capellini pasta shapes.
Experiment with whatever shape you like; simply cook for the time stated on the packet's instruction over high heat and drain the pasta when cooked.
While the pasta is cooking, cook the raw king prawns in olive oil over medium heat using a large frying pan.
Garlic & Chilli
Add crushed garlic and minced chilli; you can use fresh or cheat like we did, using Gia Puree's to help make this dish even quicker.
We use one teaspoon of chilli puree, equivalent to 1 medium spiced chilli.
Feel free to omit the chilli completely or add extra? Make your prawn pasta as spicy as you like.
Add the halved cherry tomatoes to the garlic and chilli prawns, season with salt & pepper.
Cook the king prawns and tomatoes for 5-8 minutes. Cooking time varies depending on the size of prawns used.
Using cooked prawns
If using pre-cooked king prawns, it is best to fry the tomatoes with garlic and chilli before adding them; the cooked prawns only need warming up, not cooking.
The pasta will be ready to drain and added straight to the pan.
Finally, add the green basil pesto to the prawn linguine. Buy a jar in the supermarket or make homemade pesto.
We have a nut-free version, Parmesan & Basil Pesto, which we used in these photos.
Stir the basil pesto sauce into the prawn pasta over low heat until warmed through.
Prawn pasta serving suggestions
Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper and add some fresh basil leaves.
This prawn pesto pasta, also makes a great summer lunch served cold with a fresh caprese salad.
The Fusilli Lunghi pasta gives a great look to this dish. The kids loved slurping up the curly strands!
Or serve as prawn linguine pasta which is easier to find.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Pesto King Prawn Pasta
- 250 grams Pasta Linguine, Spaghetti, Fusilli Lunghi
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Puree or 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon Chilli Puree 1 finely chopped/ crushed chilli pepper
- 160 grams Raw King Prawns
- 10 Cherry Tomatoes Halved
- 190 gram Basil Pesto
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Parmesan Grated to serve
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Basil Leaves Optional
- Bring a large pan of salted water to boil over high heat, cook pasta to time on packet instructions.250 grams Pasta
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil, garlic and chilli in a large frying pan over medium heat.1 teaspoon Olive Oil, 1 teaspoon Garlic Puree, 1 teaspoon Chilli Puree
- Add king prawns, stir them through the oil.160 grams Raw King Prawns
- Then add cherry tomatoes and season with salt & pepper.Cook on medium heat for 5-8 mins. Stirring occasionally.10 Cherry Tomatoes, Salt and Pepper
- Drain the pasta and transfer to the pan.
- Add basil pesto stir in on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until warmed through.190 gram Basil Pesto
- Serve prawn pasta with a generous scattering of parmesan, salt and pepper and some fresh basil leaves.Enjoy!!Salt and Pepper, Parmesan, 1 tablespoon Fresh Basil Leaves
Can I use cooked prawns?Yes, you can, just add them after the tomatoes have had 5 minutes and warm them through with the oil for 3 minutes.
This post was originally published on 12/02/2020 and has been modified on 27/01/2022, with an updated recipe card and a new video for how to make prawn pesto pasta.
More Pasta Recipes
If you liked this King Prawn Pasta with Pesto, you would also like our salmon pesto pasta bake.
More Prawn Recipes
We have a few more prawn recipe ideas; try our king prawn masala, Prawn Cocktail, prawn poke bowl, prawn and pork jambalaya or add some spice with our pad thai noodles, king prawn salad or prawn tacos.
When you make this easy prawn pasta recipe, don’t forget to comment; let us know how you get on?