Combine simple ingredients to make a better meal than you can get at your favorite Italian restaurant. This Garlicky Shrimp Alfredo Bake Recipe gets rave reviews when I make it for special occasions.
My whole family loves Dutch oven camping recipes that feature creamy sauces in casserole and pasta recipes. It takes a little effort to create homemade alfredo, but, the rich taste and smooth texture is worth it.
How I’ve Made It Easy For Camping
A typical garlic alfredo shrimp bake requires you to cook the pasta in a large pot, sauté the shrimp in a large skillet, make the homemade alfredo sauce in a large saucepan, then combine everything in one large bowl and pour it in a large ovenproof skillet to bake.
Normally, this dish requires FIVE different pieces of equipment.
That’s way too much work for the campsite. Heck, that’s even too much work for home!
How I made it easy. You will not be cooking the pasta according to the package directions. There is no need to cook the pasta in boiling water and drain it! Instead, it is cooked right in the sauce! This really is one of my favorite one pot camping meals!
The entire recipe builds in the Dutch oven, just one simple step at a time.
A bit of flour is used to thicken the sauce. I make it easy on myself my measuring and mixing the flour, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper at home, then just transport the mixture to the campsite in a small food storage container.
I recommend using uncooked shrimp that is already peeled and deveined. If you purchase shrimp that is not cleaned, leave the tails on, peel and devein.
Mince the garlic and chop the tomatoes.
Cooking Methods & Equipment
If you are making this as one of our easy campfire recipes, you’ll need to get your fire going to produce coals for cooking. You can also use charcoal briquettes.
Step 1. Prepare your ingredients, heat source and equipment as directed.
Ingredients marked with * can be measured and mixed at home.
For baking at an oven temperature of 400 F degrees, you will need 29 total coals if you are using a 12-inch Dutch oven.
If you are using a different oven size, check our Dutch oven temperature chart to see how many coals you will need.
Step 2. Pre-heat oven, add oil and butter. Let the oven heat up before adding the olive oil and butter to it.
Step 3. Add shrimp and garlic. Once the butter is melted and the oil is hot, drop in the shrimp and garlic. Stir to brown all sides.
Step 4. Add flour mixture. Stir in the flour, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Step 5. Add pasta, some cheese and tomatoes. Stir in the uncooked pasta, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and the tomatoes to combine with shrimp mixture. Spread the ingredients into an even layer.
Step 6. Add the liquids. Pour the chicken broth, water and heavy cream over the top of the pasta mixture. All of the ingredients need to be submerged under the liquids.
Step 7. Bake at 400. Cover Dutch oven with its lid and place 10 hot coals below the bottom of the oven / arrange 19 hot coals on the top of the lid. You’ll be stirring the ingredients as well as turning the oven and lid in opposite directions every 15 minutes.
Step 8. Top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle cheeses over the top and continue cooking until cheese melts and becomes a light golden brown color.
Step 9. Let stand and serve hot. Any remaining liquid will thicken to produce a creamy garlic shrimp alfredo pasta that will satisfy the entire family!
I do not recommend substituting garlic powder for fresh garlic in this easy shrimp alfredo recipe. The fresh garlic is an important flavor that can’t be duplicated with powder.
You can substitute large shrimp for the raw medium size, but, don’t go any smaller because it will get lost in the casserole with all that pasta and melty cheese.
I prefer using uncooked shrimp because I can control the recipe better. I find pre-cooked shrimp is often overdone and has a rubbery texture after being baked. If you want to take a shortcut, get 1 pound shrimp that is already peeled and deveined.
Camp Cooking Tip: I like using frozen rather than fresh shrimp. It is much easier to defrost delicate food at the campsite rather than maintaining the perfect cold storage temperature for fresh shrimp … especially when making this great recipe on warmer-weather trips.
What To Serve With This Recipe
The best garlicky shrimp alfredo bake deserves a yummy slice of garlic bread on the side or a rustic Italian bread sliced and served with olive oil for dipping.
For an overall easy dinner, serve a simple side salad with a basic vinegar and oil dressing.
If you have wine drinkers in your crowd, a chilled dry white wine is a nice pairing.
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This 60 minute cheesy garlic shrimp alfredo serves 6. You can increase the number of servings if you have a large enough Dutch oven to handle the quantity. You may also need to increase the cooking time a bit.
This is one of my favorite recipes to make at home on Christmas Eve because leftovers can be frozen and reheated in a buttered, large oven-safe skillet in my RV or in a cast iron pot over a campfire for our New Year’s Eve trip. When I do this, I coat the bottom of the pot with about a tablespoon of butter and add a splash of milk to make sure there is enough liquid so the pasta doesn’t stick. Then heat at about 375 F degrees for about 20 minutes.
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Garlicky Shrimp Alfredo Bake Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp tails on peeled and deveined
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes*
- 1 teaspoon salt*
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper*
- 1 (10 oz) package penne pasta
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella divided
- 2 large tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1 (14 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth (or chicken stock) + 1 cup water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- Ingredients marked with * can be measured and mixed at home.
- Peel and devein shrimp, set aside.
- Pre-heat oven. Heat 12-inch cast iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter to the pot. Melt butter and let the olive oil heat up.
- Add shrimp and garlic to pot, stirring to slightly brown shrimp and saute garlic, approximately 3 minutes.
- Don’t remove the cooked juices or shrimp. As soon as the garlic begins to smell fragrant, add the flour, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the pot. Stir to combine all ingredients.
- Now, add the uncooked pasta, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. Stir well to combine, then, use a spoon to spread the ingredients into an even layer.
- Pour the chicken broth, water and heavy cream over the pasta mixture. Use a spoon to push down any part of the pasta mixture that isn’t submerged under the liquid.
- Cover with lid and arrange coals for baking at 400 F degrees (for standard-depth, 12-inch Dutch oven, you’ll need 29 total coals = place 10 below the bottom of the oven / arrange 19 on the top of the lid). Bake 40-50 minutes, stir the ingredients and turn the bottom of the oven and lid 1/4 turns in opposite directions every 15 minutes to ensure the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom of the Dutch oven and ensure even baking.
- Remove lid and test to see if the pasta is done. It should be al dente with a slight bite and not too mushy. NOTE: If the white sauce mixture has a lot of liquid but the pasta is done, keep the lid off and continue cooking until more (but not all) of the liquid is absorbed.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and the fresh parmesan cheese on top, replace the lid and move all of the coals to the top of the lid. You’ll be broiling at this point just until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
- Remove all coals from the oven and remove the lid. Let the dish stand about 10 minutes, serve hot.
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