I don’t know if it’s the New Mexican in me, but I am a chile girl. Stick a menu in front of me, and it’s like I have a radar that points right to the Tex-Mex/Mexican/any-sort-of-chile foods. I can’t help it, it’s in my blood!!
I’m a huge pasta fan, too, so it’s only natural that I would be drawn to a pasta dish that is covered in a creamy sauce made from chiles, right??
This Shrimp Pasta with Creamy Poblano Sauce hits all the right notes. The sauce is not only simple, but it is flavorful without being spicy, so it’s even great for the kids.
If you are looking for a way to Tex-Mex up your pasta dinner, this is it!!
- Pasta: I like to use linguine or fettuccine. Spaghetti noodles would also be great.
- Butter: Make sure you divide the butter – part is used for cooking the vegetables, and the rest is for the shrimp.
- Poblano Pepper: Poblano peppers are usually pretty easy to find. I can usually get them at any of my local grocery stores. If you need a substitution, I would look for an anaheim pepper. (You can also pick up some extra peppers to make these Stuffed Poblano Peppers!)
- Onion & Garlic: These are both for flavor.
- Flour: The flour will help to thicken the sauce slightly.
- Chicken Broth: This is a a great trick to save on some calories and richness – use chicken broth for the majority of the sauce. You could also use vegetable broth, but the chicken broth will bring in more flavor.
- Mexican Crema: If you have never had Mexican crema, it is almost a mixture of sour cream and heavy cream. It is available at most grocery stores in the refrigerated section near the Mexican cheeses. If you can’t find it, I would use sour cream thinned out with some milk.
- Shrimp: If using frozen shrimp, make sure it is completely thawed and dried. You do want shrimp that is deveined, peeled, and with the tails removed.
How to Make Shrimp Pasta with Poblano Cream Sauce
Start by cooking your pasta in boiling water. While the pasta cooks, chop your chile, onion, and garlic.
Add part of the butter to a skillet, then add the pepper and onion and cook until they are softened. Stir in the garlic.
Add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes.
Stir in the chicken broth. Let this mixture cook until the sauce has started to thicken.
Stir in the Mexican crema, then transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor.
Blend until the sauce is smooth.
Cook the shrimp in the remaining butter.
Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce and the shrimp and stir to combine.
Tips and Tricks
The poblano pepper is not a spicy pepper. If you want to add some heat, add in a jalapeno at the same time as the pepper.
For some extra flavor, try roasting your pepper and onions. If you roast the pepper, I would suggest removing the skin after it is roasted.
You want to warm the crema before adding it to the sauce so that it won’t separate.
If you want to save some time, you can make the poblano cream sauce ahead of time and then reheat it when you want to make the meal.
Don’t forget to save some of the pasta water! The starchy water is the perfect way to loosen up the sauce if it gets too thick or dry.
Store any leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Like most pastas with a cream sauce, this will start to dry out the longer it sits. So I like to keep some of the pasta water and add it in as I am reheating leftovers. If you don’t keep any of the pasta water, you can add in more chicken broth.
The best way to reheat the pasta is very gently on the stove or in the microwave.
Remember that shrimp that is reheated is often tough and rubbery, so this is best served right after it is made. But I do still love the leftovers!
More Shrimp Favorites
Looking for more free recipes?
This delicious, easy to make Shrimp Pasta with Poblano Cream Sauce is the perfect weeknight meal. A creamy sauce made with a poblano pepper is combined with pasta and shrimp in this Tex-Mex pasta dinner.
- 1 pound linguine
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 medium poblano pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup Mexican crema
- 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined, and tails removed
- Fresh thyme and parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously, then add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Before draining, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, chop the poblano pepper and the onion. Mince the garlic.
- Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet. Add the pepper and onion and cook until they are starting to soften, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Sprinkle the flour over and stir to combine. Let this cook for another minute or two. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it has slightly thickened.
- While the sauce is thickening, warm the crema. You can do this in a small pot on the stove or in the microwave. Once the sauce is slightly thickened, turn off the heat and stir in the warmed crema. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
- Wipe the skillet out and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. When melted, add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are pink. This will only take a couple of minutes. Pour the poblano sauce over the shrimp and stir to combine.
- Add the pasta and stir to combine. (I think this is easiest to combine everything in the pasta pot – it’s bigger and easier to stir everything together without making a mess.) If needed, add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with fresh thyme and grated parmesan.
adapted from Every Day With Rachael Ray March 2012
Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts. Any nutritional information should be used as a general guide.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
- Calories: 533
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 531 mg
- Fat: 20 g
- Saturated Fat: 12 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 63 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 22 g
- Cholesterol: 129 mg
Keywords: Poblano cream sauce, shrimp pasta