Grilled Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

It was one of those almost-stormy evenings. I was in the mood for grilling, but as a backup, I needed to pick something I could cook inside in case the skies opened up. Well, they didn’t, so i was able to grill the fantastic shrimp for this grilled creamy shrimp and mushroom pasta. If it had stormed, I would’ve roasted the shrimp in the oven and still enjoyed a great dinner. But grilled shrimp, well, that’s just better.

The cream sauce and mushrooms are fantastic. The entire dish is incredibly easy to put together. If you don’t want to fret with the shrimp just used pre-cooked frozen shrimp from your grocery store. Just defrost them ahead and of time and you’ll be good-to-go.
Creamy Grilled Shrimp and Mushroom PastaDon’t be surprised when you start making the sauce that the cream cheese doesn’t melt and get creamy. Once you add the hot water from making the pasta the cream cheese will dissolve and make a fantastic sauce.

When grilling the shrimp, the butter and oil in the marinade may cause flare-ups on your grill. Be prepared to move the skewered shrimp to another place on the grill until the fire dies down. And by all means, don’t burn yourself!

Also try my creamy Cajun sausage ravioli.

Grilled Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

Note: I throw the shrimp onto the grill while the mushrooms are sauteeing.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the grilled shrimp

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound large shrimp 20-24 count, peeled and deveined

For the mushrooms and pasta

  • 8 ounces pasta fettuccine, linguine or angel hair
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 ounces cream cheese cubed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped, plus a bit more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup water from the cooked pasta you may not need the entire cup

Instructions

For the grilled shrimp

  • Combine all but the shrimp in a medium bowl.
  • Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Remove from fridge and let set at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Fire up your grill.
  • Thread shrimp onto skewers and place on grill.
  • Brush with remaining marinade (caution: flare-ups can occur) and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Flip, brush with more marinade and cook another 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are done.
  • Remove from grill.

For the mushrooms and pasta

  • Cook the pasta per package instructions, reserving 1 cup of the water from the pot.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet.
  • Add the mushrooms and saute for 10 minutes or until golden brown and soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the mushrooms and reserve.
  • Add remaining butter to the skillet and melt.
  • Add the garlic, cream cheese cubes, parsley and basil. Whisk to combine. Note: The sauce will not be creamy.
  • Add 2/3 cup of the reserved pasta water and whisk. The sauce will come together and get creamy.
  • Add the mushrooms, grilled shrimp, and pasta. Stir to combine. If too thick add a bit more of the pasta water and stir.
  • Serve garnished with freshly chopped parsley.

Creamy Pasta Salad

Whenever Anita and I go antiquing we like to pack a light lunch for the trip. Taking our lunch instead of eating out means that way we maximize our antiquing time. But just because lunch is hauled in a cooler doesn’t mean that it’s going to be boring. I made a few fantastic Italian cold-cut wraps and this absolutely delicious creamy pasta salad for our last trip. We both could’ve eaten the salad all afternoon long, but that would’ve meant little time for looking for antiques! Perfectly creamy, with a little crunch from the onion, peas and pickles. Oh, and cheese.
Creamy Pasta SaladFor a great twist on this creamy pasta salad substitute chopped green or black olives for the diced pickles. Another great change is to use smoked cheddar cheese instead of extra sharp cheddar.

This salad is even better (I wouldn’t have thought it could be any better!) the next day.

Creamy Pasta Salad

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 7 ounce block of extra sharp cheddar cheese, diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickles diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion diced
  • 1 4 ounce jar pimentos, drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta per package instructions. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to cool.
  • Add the peas, cheese, pickles, onion and pimento and fold to combine.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, cream, mustard and sugar. Fold into the pasta mixture.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Caribbean Shrimp Pasta

I love Louisiana gulf shrimp. Nothing tastes better, in my opinion, and it’s night-and-day different than the ‘other’ shrimp you get in your grocer’s freezer. It’s probably sacrilege then to have used a bottled salsa in this dish, but time was of the essence the night I made it. And I was very happy with the end result. This Caribbean shrimp pasta tastes and feels light despite having a bit of cream added in. The cilantro, avocado and peach mango salsa give it that fresh, tropical feel.
Caribbean Shrimp PastaYou could easily make this a completely different dish just by using a different fruit salsa, such as citrus pineapple, or mango and habanero.

Also try my Caribbean jerk chicken pasta.

Caribbean Shrimp Pasta

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 -5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds 20-24 count wild caught Louisiana shrimp peeled, deveined, tails removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth 1 small can
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • I 16 ounce jar Pace Peach Mango salsa
  • 1/2 pound your favorite dried pasta angel hair, linguini, etc
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 avocado diced

Instructions

  • Place the shrimp into a large bowl. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle some of the flour over the shrimp and toss to coat. Continue adding flour and tossing the shrimp until they are coated and are no longer sticky.
  • Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shrimp but do not overlap them. If you have to, work in batches.
  • Cook the shrimp about 2 minutes per side until they are pink and the coating has started to crust. Flip and cook the other side until pink and the coating crusts. Remove to a plate.
  • Add the broth to the skillet then stir in the cream, salsa and pasta.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through.
  • Add the shrimp and remove from heat. Stir and serve topped with avocado and cilantro.

Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup

I thought this slow cooker tortellini soup was absolutely fantastic. The sauce was perfect. Nice and tomato-y. But the big hit for me was the tortellini. It absorbed some of the great sauce and became great little scrumptious bites. I used fresh tortellini, but frozen would work just as well. So would ravioli.

Sprinkled with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan, this soup was the ideal dish on a cool day.
Slow Cooker Tortellini SoupFennel can be a little too strong (that licorice flavor can drown out everything!), so use as much or as little as you like. Or not. And don’t be afraid to add a few splashes of hot sauce or a good amount of dried red pepper flake for some kick.

Also try my slow cooker spicy kielbasa cabbage soup. Perfect on a cool day.

Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup

Course Main
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef or substitute ground Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can 14.5 ounces petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 can 10.75 ounces tomato condensed soup
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds optional
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt adjust to preference
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 package 16 ounces or 1 pound frozen cheese filled tortellini
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley optional
  • Toppings: freshly grated Parmesan cheese large spoonful of ricotta cheese

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, crumble and brown the ground beef until cooked through. Add the onion and garlic in the last few minutes of the cooking. They don't need to cook or get all the way tender, I just like them to have a little bit of that "skillet-cooked" flavor.
  • While the beef is cooking, pour the crushed tomatoes, petite diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato condensed soup in the slow cooker. No need to drain any of the cans!
  • Add in the sugar and seasonings - the dried basil, fennel, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • I loved the amount of seasoning in this soup, but definitely adjust these seasonings to your personal preference. You can always start with less seasoning and add more.
  • Stir in the cooked ground beef with onions and garlic. Add in the beef broth (I dissolved beef bouillon cubes into boiling water).
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-7 hours.
  • About 15-20 minutes before you are ready to serve, pour the frozen tortellini's into the soup. Turn the slow cooker up to high (or leave it if it was already on high) and let the tortellini cook.
  • Serve in bowls with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a large spoonful of ricotta cheese (I love stirring these cheeses in - SO good), any extra seasonings you want, and some freshly chopped parsley.

Spicy Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomato Penne Rigate

I have been a diehard fan of Chile Pepper magazine for years. Despite what the name might suggest to you, it’s not a magazine about over-the-top way-too-hot peppers and foods and sauces. Instead, it has a variety of recipes and articles, catering not only to chile heads, but also people that just want a little kick to their foods. Everything I have made from the magazine has turned out absolutely fantastic. They aren’t playing around. Grab yourself a copy off the news-stand or order a subscription online. Or do what I did and have a subscription for years. And years. And make some of their great recipes like this spicy sausage and sun-dried tomato penne rigate.

Spicy Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomato Penne RigateThis sausage and pasta dish is creamy, with just a little heat, thanks to spicy sausage, red pepper flake and hot cheese. The original recipe used sliced chicken breast, but I went with chicken sausage for a little more spice. Any chicken would work in this dish, though.

The sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach add a great twist to what would be a great meal by itself. This doesn’t take long to make and will wow your guests with great flavors.

Also try my easy-to-make but still awesome spicy sausage and pasta.

Spicy Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomato Penne Rigate

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 8.5 ounce jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 4 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 pound spicy chicken sausage sliced thin
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups Habanero Jack shredded cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried red pepper flakes
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

  • Cook pasta per package instructions. When done, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain and reserve the pasta.
  • Drain the sun-dried tomatoes but save the oil. Chop or slice the tomatoes.
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the sun-dried tomato oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, and mushrooms and cook until they start to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  • Add the sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. Cook, stirring often, until the spinach wilts. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add another tablespoon of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil to the skillet. Add the sausage and cook until done and lightly browned. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add the cream and shredded cheese. Bring to a gentle boil then reduce heat to simmer. Stir until the cheese is melted.
  • Add the cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir.
  • Add the red pepper flakes, cooked vegetables and sausage. Stir.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes. If mixture is too thick add a bit more of the reserved pasta water and stir.
  • Serve garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Mardis Gras Pasta Salad

Well, this Mardis Gras pasta salad sure came out pretty. And good tasting, too. All of the colors are Mardis Gras are there. Gold (er… yellow). Green. Purple. This salad is almost like a slaw, except for the pasta.

Mardis Gras Pasta SaladI wouldn’t be afraid to add more mustard. I use Zatarain’s Creole mustard although Dijon could be substituted (in a pinch). I shredded the cabbage pretty fine. I didn’t want big pieces of cabbage like I would normally do for a slaw, so I used a box grater. But you can thin shred your cabbage if you prefer.

Also try my crab pasta salad.

Mardis Gras Pasta Salad

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried pasta elbow, fusilli, whatever you want to use
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn thawed
  • 5 green onions chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard or substitute Dijon
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4-1 cup mayonnaise

Instructions

  • Cook pasta per package instructions. Rinse and drain well then let cool slightly. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients (start with just 3/4 cup of the mayo) and stir to combine.
  • If mixture is too dry add more mayonnaise, one tablespoon at a time, stirring, until the salad is the desired thickness.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature.

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Sometimes, I’m all about making a quick and easy dinner. But that doesn’t mean I will sacrifice flavor. This recipe for spicy sausage pasta uses ingredients I almost always have on hand. The end result was nice and creamy, with a good bit of heat. It ain’t fancy, but it didn’t have to be fancy. Just good.

Spicy Sausage PastaYou can tone down the heat in this dish, but honestly, it’s not that spicy. For nice little change, substitute andouille (cooked thoroughly) for the smoked sausage.

Although I used fresh, dried pasta works just as well. Just cook per the package instructions and enjoy!

Also try my spicy sausage and sun-dried tomato penne pasta.

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pasta preferably fresh. I used fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound smoked sausage cut into rounds
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 10 ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles (I used hot, but mild will work just fine also)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Italian cheese blend shredded, divided
  • Green onions sliced or fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Cook pasta per package instructions.
  • Heat oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. (I used a 12" cast-iron skillet)
  • Add the sausage and onion and cook until both are lightly browned.
  • Add the garlic, stir, and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add broth, tomatoes, cream, and salt and pepper (to taste) and stir.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the pasta.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
  • Place skillet under the broiler until the top is starting to brown and the sauce is bubbly hot.
  • Serve garnished with green onions or parsley if desired.

Garlic-Stuffed Olive Pasta Salad

I found the original recipe for this amazing garlic-stuffed olive pasta salad in the December 2000 edition of Chile Pepper magazine. If you like spicy, good food, then you should subscribe to Chile Pepper. The recipes, articles and photos are great!

Garlic-StuffedOlivePastaSaladNow, to make the kicked-up version of this salad, like the one in the magazine, you’ll want to use habanero-stuffed olives. I figured that’d be a little much for Anita, so I substituted garlic-stuffed olives instead. You can also use jalapeno-stuffed olives if you still want a nice kick.

The end result is a fantastic olive salad. The saltiness of the olives is balanced perfectly by the balsamic vinegar and the spices and herbs.

Also try my BBQ pasta salad.

Garlic-Stuffed Olive Pasta Salad

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound medium shell pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brine from the olives
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup stuffed olives habanero-, jalapeno-, or garlic-stuffed
  • 1 clove garlic minced (add only if not using garlic-stuffed olives)
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley chopped
  • Pinch each of oregano and thyme

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta and drain well.
  • Pour the olive oil into a large bowl. Whisk in the olive brine and balsamic vinegar along with a pinch of salt.
  • Add the pasta and toss to coat.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • This salad is best served at room temperature.
  • If the salad is a little dry the next day, just stir in a bit more olive oil.

BBQ Pasta Salad

This is the perfect BBQ pasta salad side for a cookout. It’s a nice twist on your standard traditional macaroni salad (it has BBQ sauce in it!). Great with burgers, hot dogs, ribs, chicken… anything!

BBQ Pasta SaladUse a spicier BBQ sauce for more kick. You can use homemade, but I was in a bit of a rush so I grabbed some of Weber’s Sweet-n-Spicy sauce. I also think cubed pepper jack cheese would go great in this salad, so I’ll add some next time I make it (which will be soon!). Roasted red pepper (or chopped pimentos) also adds a fantastic flavor.

Also try my easy pasta salad.

BBQ Pasta Salad

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10 -12

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried elbow pasta
  • 1 large red bell pepper seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery finely chopped
  • 6 green onions sliced thin
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce I used Weber Original
  • 1/2 teaspoon I actually used about a tablespoon hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • A few handfuls of fresh cilantro chopped

Instructions

  • Cook pasta per package instructions. Drain well and let cool.
  • Place bell pepper, celery, green and red onions in a large bowl and mix.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, BBQ sauce and hot sauce.
  • Add in the vinegar, sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper, and garlic powder and mix well.
  • Add sauce to the bowl of vegetables and stir.
  • Add in the pasta and cilantro and stir gently until combined.
  • Chill until ready to serve.

Three Bean Macaroni Salad

I’m always on the lookout for a new salad, specially if it has macaroni in it. This three bean macaroni salad is somewhat similar to our popular peas and pasta salad in that it has a nice creamy dressing and a nice crunch thanks to onion and bell pepper. The addition of dill really makes the dressing even better.

Three Bean Macaroni SaladI can see adding cubed pepper jack cheese to this to really take it over the top, so I included it in the recipe (though I didn’t make it with the cheese).

Also try my regular-ole-macaroni salad. Classic flavor in every bite.

Three Bean Macaroni Salad

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 -8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked macaroni pasta
  • 1 can 15 1/2 ounces cut green beans, drained
  • 1 can 15 1/2 ounces kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 can 15 1/2 ounces Great Northern beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 3/4 cup red onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 8 ounces Pepper Jack cheese cubed

Instructions

  • Cook pasta per package instructions. Drain well and let cool.
  • Place all of the beans, the bell pepper and onion in a large bowl and mix.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and Italian dressing.
  • Pour dressing over vegetables and stir to combine.
  • Add in the pasta and the dill and stir until the pasta is well coated.
  • Add cheese and stir gently.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature.