Bring a bit of the Mediterranean into your life with this Prawn and Chorizo Pasta. Ready in just over 15 minutes, it's a quick and easy weeknight meal that is still impressive enough to wow dinner guests with. Garlicky prawns and smokey chorizo in a simple spicy tomato sauce stirred through spaghetti. Comforting pasta perfection!
Prawns and chorizo are a classic combination that you will find on any good tapas menu. It's always one of the first things we order when we are in Spain (that and churros), as the simple flavour combination of the smoky chorizo and garlicky prawns is just something we crave when travelling. Together, they go perfectly in a pasta dish too.
We took that classic tapas combo and mixed it into a simple and spicy tomato sauce and then stirred some spaghetti into it for a more filling meal. Chorizo and prawn pasta is such a light and fresh spaghetti dish and an easy week night winner that is ready in just 15 minutes.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Pasta - We used spaghetti because it's a thin pasta and the prawn and chorizo are already quite chunky. But any pasta will work.
- Olive oil - Use a really good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Chorizo - This is the star flavour in the chorizo pasta, so you want it to be the best quality that you can get. If you are heading to Spain any time soon, or a Spanish deli, then pick up some authentic chorizo and dice it yourself rather than buying it diced from a supermarket. Because it has such a strong flavour, you don't need to use a lot of it. Just enough to get a taste, rather than being the main flavour.
- Red pepper - An easy way to add a little nutrient boost to the prawn chorizo pasta, as the diced red peppers are easily hidden in the tomato sauce.
- Red onion - You could use brown onion or shallots instead if you want.
- Garlic - Freshly crushed is best, however if you are short on time then you could use ready chopped garlic in a jar.
- Chilli flakes - This is optional, but we like our chorizo pasta spicy. You can use fresh chillies or dried red chillies.
- King prawns - If you are using frozen, then you will need to defrost them first. If you are using cooked, then you will need to recuce the cooking time.
- Passata - This is the main ingredient for the sauce of the prawn and chorizo pasta. If you wanted a chunkier sauce, you could use tinned tomatoes.
- Tomato puree - This helps to thicken the sauce and add a more intense tomato flavour.
- Tomatoes - We add some fresh chopped tomatoes as well, to give it a bit of texture.
- Lemon - Juice and zest helps to freshen up the whole dish.
- Rocket and parsley - We add this for serving. It adds a lovely pop of colour to the prawn and chorizo pasta.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make prawn and chorizo pasta - Step by step
One: Add the spaghetti to a pan of boiling water and simmer according to pack instructions, until al dente.
Two: Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onions and red pepper over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Three: Add the chorizo, garlic and chilli and gently cook for 2 minutes.
Four: Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes.
Five: Add the passata, tomato puree, lemon juice and lemon zest and salt and pepper (a), stir and gently cook for 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes (b) and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Six: Drain the pasta (reserving a small amount of the water) and add to the tomato sauce, with the reserved pasta water (a). Mix well (b).
Seven: Divide into bowls and top with rocket, parsley and some extra black pepper and chilli flakes.
Cheese - You wouldn't usually have fish and cheese together, so we haven't finished the pasta with a sprinkling of cheese (although you could). You could add chunks of Air Fryer Halloumi.
Creamy - If you want to add some creaminess to the dish, or you have found that you have added too many chilli flakes and need to cool the dish down, then stir in a big spoonful of creme fraiche before mixing the pasta in.
Pasta bake - Turn this into a pasta bake with a crispy topping by mixing some panko breadcrumbs with the Parmesan and cheddar and sprinkle it on top of the pasta in a baking dish. Some crumbled goat's cheese is nice on top, and it makes it even creamier.
Vegetables - Pretty much any vegetables in this prawn and chorizo recipe. But we would recommend keeping it to quick cook vegetables as this has a quick cooking time and root vegetables like carrots wouldn't cook in time.
Peas and sweetcorn are a great addition to this (and can be added frozen at the same time as the spaghetti). You could also add green beans, asparagus, mushrooms or cauliflower. You could add roasted red peppers for lots of flavour too.
This is a pretty filling meal by itself. However, if we are trying to make it go a little further, then we love serving up some garlic bread with it. Either buy some ready made, or make your own easy garlic bread by cutting up some French stick and spreading it with a mix of butter, crushed garlic and dried herbs. Then pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. Why not try our Cheesy Garlic Bread or Air Fryer Garlic Bread recipe.
As well as garlic bread, you can bulk the meal out with a big green salad. The key to an epic green salad is to use a variety of greens, like romaine, spinach, kale and rocket. You want leafy greens, but crunch too. Then you need the perfect dressing. Why not try our Lemon Vinaigrette, Honey and Mustard Dressing or Tomato and Basil Vinaigrette? You could also try our Grilled Little Gem Salad, Watercress Salad or Rocket Salad.
If you want to add a big side of vegetables, then we recommend our Garlic Spring Greens, Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli, Garlic Green Beans, Air Fryer Carrots, Microwave Broccoli or Roasted Lemon Asparagus.
Store: This is a dish that is best cooked just before you plan to eat it. The prawns should be cooked fresh and spaghetti is never really the same when reheated. This dish takes about 15 minutes to cook, so even cooking it from scratch makes it an easy weeknight meal. However, you can safely store leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Freeze: We wouldn't recommend freezing this chorizo pasta because of the prawns in it.
If you want to lower the carbs in this dish, then swap half the pasta for some courgette (zucchini) ribbons. I wouldn't suggest making a total swap, as pasta is a main part, and a delicious part, of the dish.
You could even by some lower carb pasta alternatives like a bean pasta, but it might make the whole dish a little more mushy.
The prawns and chorizo really are the stars of this dish, but that doesn't mean you can't make some vegetarian swaps. You can get some great vegetarian style chorizo now, so that's a simple swap and then choose a meaty vegetable like mushrooms to swap with the prawns, or tofu to keep the protein up. Cooking time will pretty much be the same too.
Speaking of vegetables - give this dish a green vegetable boost by stirring in some spinach or chopped kale a few minutes before the sauce it ready. It will add some extra colour to it too.
As long as you make sure you are using pasta and there is no cross contamination, then it can be gluten free.
Adding starchy pasta water (just 100ml is enough) gives a really silky smooth sauce and helps it cling to the pasta. Make sure you scoop out the water just before draining, as this ensures that it is nice and starchy.
More prawn recipes
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Prawn and Chorizo Pasta
- 140 g (5 oz) Spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 50 g (0.5 cups) Chorizo - diced
- 1 Red bell pepper - diced
- 0.5 Red onion - peeled and diced
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 0.5 teaspoon Red chilli flakes - or more to taste
- 140 g (5 oz) Raw king prawns
- 200 g (1.33 cups) Passata
- 2 tablespoon Tomato puree
- 3 Tomatoes - chopped
- 0.5 Lemon - (juice and zest only)
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- Rocket and parsley - for serving
- Add 140 g Spaghetti to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until al dente.
- Heat 1 tablespoon Olive oil in a frying pan and cook 0.5 Red onion and 1 Red bell pepper for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 Garlic clove 50 g Chorizo and 0.5 teaspoon Red chilli flakes and gently cook for 2 minutes.
- Add 140 g Raw king prawns and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add 200 g Passata, 2 tablespoon Tomato puree, juice and zest of 0.5 Lemon and 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper, stir and gently cook for 2 minutes.
- Add 3 Tomatoes and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Drain the pasta (reserving a tiny bit of the water and stir into the tomato sauce (with the reserved pasta water).
- Mix well.
- Divide into bowls and top with Rocket and parsley and some extra black pepper and chilli flakes.
- You wouldn't usually serve cheese and fish together, but if you want some creaminess in this, then stir a little creme fraiche in to the sauce before serving.
- This dish has a little kick of spice to it, but it's not overpowering. Feel free to increase the amount of chilli flakes used.
- Increase your greens by stirring some spinach or kale in to the sauce a few minutes before it is cooked.
- Chorizo has such a strong flavour that you don't need to use a lot of it.
- For some extra smoky flavour, you can add a pinch of smoked paprika.
- A splash of red wine would add lots of extra flavour to the sauce too.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.