Giada De Laurentiis' Lemon Spaghetti Recipe With Shrimp Is to Die For by Donna John

Pasta Dinner Seafood
a year ago

Giada De Laurentiis' Lemon Spaghetti Recipe With Shrimp Is to Die For

When my husband and I go to Las Vegas, we turn it into a celebrity chef tour. On one trip to Vegas, we ate at Giada's, the restaurant owned by Giada De Laurentiis in The Cromwell Hotel (Caesar's Palace). Giada's lemon spaghetti was featured on so many "must eat" lists, that what to order was not an issue for me (this time!).

The amazing Italian dish is pan-seared shrimp served with spaghetti in a creamy lemon sauce. The lemon sauce is made with olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice. Fresh basil leaves are stirred in right at the end of cooking. The spaghetti and shrimp are garnished with frizzled capers. 

Needless to say, I enjoyed every bite of the lemon pasta. Here's Giada's lemon spaghetti with shrimp recipe that proves simple is better.

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

Servings: 4



  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 pound (16 ounces) spaghetti
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons capers, fried quickly in a little olive oil (here's how to fry capers)

Here's how to make it: 

  1. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper. Add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer and cook until pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. 
  2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and reserve the pasta water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the olive oil, Parmesan, lemon zest and juice. Toss the drained pasta with the lemon sauce, the shrimp and some of the reserved pasta water (add 1/4 cup at a time as needed to moisten). Add the salt, pepper and basil. Toss. Garnish with the fried capers.

Photos courtesy of Donna John. A copy of the recipe with a signed picture of Giada was presented with the menu, which is available for purchase.

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Too pretty to eat... 😀
Donna John
Yes, but after the first bite you're OK tearing it up. :-)
Gwen Johnson
Amazing!! Love Giada's recipes. Never been to Vegas. On my list tho.
Elisa Schmitz
Yum! I want to go (and also make this at home). Thank you for sharing, Donna John !

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