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Shrimp, spinach and garlic brown and cook quickly for a simple one-pot weeknight dinner. A fast pan sauce gets life from zesty lemon juice, warm crushed red pepper and herby parsley. Serve with a slice of whole-wheat baguette to swipe up every last drop of sauce.

EatingWell.com, December 2018; updated March 2023


Read the full recipe after the video.

How to Make One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach

Shrimp is a quick-cooking protein that blends well with any ingredient. Here we pair it with plenty of garlic and spinach and keep the prep quick by cooking it all in one pan. Here's how to make this easy weeknight shrimp dinner.

Start with the Spinach

Spinach will be at the base of this easy dish. First, we cook half the garlic in olive oil to develop the flavor. Then we add the spinach and cook it until it's just wilted. Mature or baby spinach works well here. Since it doesn't need to be stemmed and is often pre-washed, baby spinach is the better option if you want to keep things super quick. Mature spinach offers more texture once it's cooked, but its tough stems need to be removed before cooking, which adds to prep time. A squeeze of lemon juice is added after the spinach has wilted to add some tanginess. We add the lemon juice at the end to prevent the spinach from turning brown.

Cook the Shrimp

After the spinach leaves the pan, the next (and final!) step is cooking the shrimp. We add more garlic for flavor before adding the shrimp. You can buy shrimp already peeled and deveined, or buy shrimp with their shells on. Buying peeled and deveined shrimp allows you to skip the pesky step of peeling the shrimp yourself and saves time, but it is often more expensive than shrimp that you have to peel yourself. Either way, make sure the shrimp you're buying is free from sodium tripolyphosphate (STP), a preservative that can add a significant amount of sodium to your meal. For other tips on buying shrimp check out our guide on the best shrimp to buy.

What to Serve with One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach

You can enjoy this quick and tasty dinner over spaghetti, orzo or brown rice, or all on its own with a side of crusty bread to sop up any leftover sauce. You can top it with Parmesan cheese or chopped fresh herbs like basil or chives in addition to parsley to brighten things up, as well as extra lemon juice and zest to add an extra-tangy pop.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer 


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add half the garlic and cook until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach and 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Cook, stirring once or twice, until mostly wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.

  • Increase heat to medium-high and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pot. Add the remaining garlic and cook until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp, crushed red pepper and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until the shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more. Serve the shrimp over the spinach, sprinkled with lemon zest and parsley.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup
226 calories; protein 26.4g; carbohydrates 6.1g; dietary fiber 2.7g; sugars 0.7g; fat 11.6g; saturated fat 1.7g; cholesterol 182.6mg; vitamin a iu 10760.1IU; vitamin c 37mg; folate 222.5mcg; calcium 195.8mg; iron 3.8mg; magnesium 131.4mg; potassium 962.8mg; sodium 444mg.

3 lean protein, 2 fat, 1 vegetable