Thai basil pesto pasta with Asian shrimp has incredible flavors in one dish. The sautéed shrimp in oyster sauce and garlic adds Asian flavors to the Thai basil pesto sauce. It’s a quick, easy dinner ready to serve in 30 minutes!
I used my easy Thai pesto with pine nuts for this pasta recipe, which is perfect together. Easy Thai basil pesto pasta recipe. This fresh pesto sauce can be used for many pasta recipes too. It's quite versatile.
Making your basil pesto sauce is incredibly fulfilling, and the fresh taste is tasty!
Introducing Thai flavors into Western food is one of my favorite things in my kitchen. It's like painting on a canvas using the ingredients available and seeing what recipes I can come up with. It started with my Easy Thai basil pesto with pine nuts, then this pasta recipe. There will be a few more. Stay tuned!
Why this Recipe Works
- Thai basil pesto pasta adds such a bold, delicious flavor.
- The added sautéed shrimp with oyster sauce adds an extra depth of flavor to Thai pesto sauce.
- You can add more of your favorite vegetables to make it even healthier.
- You can use your favorite pasta for this recipe.
- Use any seafood of choice as a substitute. Scallops, crab meat, and lobster are excellent seafood options.
- Shrimp. Use large shrimp for the extra meaty taste.
- Garlic. Use fresh garlic cloves and not garlic powder only for seasoning towards the end.
- Oil. Use vegetable, coconut, canola, or avocado oil for the sautéing part. Use olive oil for drained pasta to keep the noodles from sticking.
- Oyster sauce. For sauteeing the shrimp. It adds such incredible umami flavor to the shrimp!
- Pasta. Cook the pasta to the package directions but air on the al dente side. Where the pasta is a little hard but not too soft.
- Pesto sauce. I use my easy Thai pesto with pine nuts. Use good quality pesto sauce and adjust the salt and lime juice with the store-bought version as needed.
- Spinach. It adds a beautiful green color and is a good way to add more greens to your pasta.
- Pine nuts. Adds a nutty, crunchy, and creamy taste to your bites.
- Fresh tomatoes. Use sweet cherry tomatoes and cut them in halves.
- Parmesan cheese. Use as much or as little to garnish. (:
- Thai basil. Be generous with fresh basil. It adds an amazing flavor and smell to your pasta dish. Use Italian sweet basil leaves as a substitute.
- Bell pepper. You can use banana pepper or jalapenos peppers for an added kick of heat.
- Salt. Use good quality salt like Himalayan or Kosher salt.
- Ground Black or white pepper. Ground white pepper is spicier than black pepper. Use sparingly if you are sensitive to spicy food.
Step 1. In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the noodles from the pasta water. Lightly add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the hot pasta and set aside until ready.
Step 2. Heat a large non-stick pan at medium heat, and add oil. Once hot, add minced garlic and fry until fragrant. 15-20 seconds. Add the shrimp and sauté until pink, 1 minute. Do not overcook the shrimp.
Step 3. Add the oyster sauce to the shrimp and stir well until the shrimp starts to curl up lightly. One minute only. Shrimp cooks fast, don't overcook, or they will taste rubbery.
Step 4. Add the tomatoes and bell peppers, and cook for 2 minutes until the vegetables are slightly tender.
Step 5. Add the flavorful pesto sauce and stir. Cook for 1 minute until the pesto coats everything in the pan well.
Step 6. Add the pasta and mix well. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add 1-2 tablespoon of water if the noodles get too dry.
Step 7. Add the spinach, and basil, stir lightly, and cook for only 1 minute.
Step 8. Season the pasta with a pinch of salt and ground pepper. Add the pine nuts last and stir one last time. Turn the heat off and serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled over each serving plate. Enjoy!
Garnish with: sliced Thai basil, shredded parmesan cheese, and ground black pepper. To kick up the heat, Thai style, add chili powder or red pepper flakes.
Kitchen Notes and Helpful Tips
- Marinade the shrimp with the oyster sauce in a small mixing bowl before cooking for an extra flavor
- You can also cook the shrimp separately and set them aside until the very end. Add the cooked shrimp back on top of the finished pasta. You’ll get more of the umami flavors of the sautéed shrimp this way.
- The thicker the pasta, the more pesto sauce and seasoning you may need. Adjust and season accordingly.
- Choose any protein of choice to use. Chicken breasts, pork loin, or stir-frying beef are all great options.
- Make it vegetarian by using tofu and tempeh, or add only vegetables.
- Great pastas to use for this recipe are: Linguini, bow tie, fusili, bucatini. If using Gnocchi and Angel hair pasta, add extra noodles to get the balance and flavors right.
Having a large frying pan is super handy for this recipe. A wok works great too. If you use carbon steel woks, turn the heat down a bit, as the wok will conduct heat quicker and higher than a saute pan.
Yes, you can. Add extra sweet Italian basil to make up for the stronger flavors of Thai basil when substituting.
When looking for Thai basil, the easiest way to identify them is the purple stems of the basil. Look for large dark green leaves of the basil too.
Use pasta that you can cook al dente.
More Recipes You'll Love
- Easy Thai basil pesto with pine nuts
- Thai basil chicken Pad Krapao, using holy basil
- Recipes for Thai rice noodles
- Eggplants stir fry with chicken and Thai basil
- Thai pork belly with yellow curry
- Easy Tom Yum soup with chicken
- Thai curry with chicken and kabocha squash