Indulge in the ultimate tasty comfort food with this prawn and chorizo pasta recipe. Succulent prawns and crispy chorizo blend with al dente penne pasta, coated in a luscious tomato sauce infused with smoky paprika and zesty lemon juice, resulting in a delicious weeknight dairy free meal idea.
As the weather cools down there is nothing more cosy than a big pot of saucy pasta, particularly one with a bit of spice! If you agree, you might also want to check out my popular one pot spicy sausage pasta recipe or this Cajun chicken pasta.
This pasta recipe is so flavourful and makes a perfect tasty mid week meal that packs a bit of a punch thanks to the smoky flavours of the chorizo and paprika, balanced with the sweet and tender prawns and the freshness of the lemon and parsley.
The key to the flavour of this pasta is the crispy fried pieces of chorizo. This spanish-style sausage is sliced and then fried in the pan before anything else releasing a smokey, spicy oil that we’ll use as the base of the recipe.
I love this easy pasta recipe because it is perfect for busy nights when you need an easy dinner idea but still want something super tasty, filling and satisfying. Plus you can’t go wrong with the combination of prawns and chorizo!
You can serve this prawn and chorizo pasta on its own in the centre of the table or with a green salad or garlic bread (bonus points if you use the bread to mop up all the extra pasta sauce!).
This pasta with prawns and chorizo is using a few key ingredients that are essential to the flavour, however it is a fairly adaptable recipe so you can adjust it easily based on your taste preferences and what you have available.
- Pasta – I like to use penne but you can use any style of pasta you like, just adjust the cooking time according to packet instructions.
- Chorizo – use a good quality chorizo from the deli or from the supermarket in the salami aisle, not those you find with the sausages. Check your ingredients to ensure it doesn’t contain any allergens such as gluten or lactose if required as some brands can use these as fillers. You could also substitute the chorizo with any salami but note that the flavour of your dish may vary.
- Onion and Garlic – we’re using a red onion and a decent amount of garlic for maximum flavour here.
- Spices – we’re using a combination of red chilli flakes, dried oregano and smoked paprika to give the sauce a bold, spicy flavour. You can of course adjust the quantities or omit the chilli altogether.
- Prawns – frozen peeled raw prawns will work best for this recipe. You can defrost them in a bowl filled with water for 10-15 minutes.
- Passata – this tomato puree makes an easy sauce, but you could substitute with a can of diced tomatoes if that’s all you have available.
- Lemon – while not an essential ingredient, the lemon juice really enhances the flavour and gives the overall dish a delicious freshness that works to balance the richness of the tomato sauce.
To prepare the prawn and chorizo pasta, you’ll need a couple of large pots and a wooden spoon.
Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until it reaches the desired al dente texture. Remember to reserve about ¼ cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta. Set the cooked pasta aside.
In a large heavy-based pot or frying pan, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced chorizo and cook it until it turns crispy, stirring occasionally. Once the chorizo is crispy, remove it from the pan and set it aside, leaving behind the oil.
In the same pan, add the diced red onion and cook it, stirring regularly, until it becomes softened and translucent. To enhance the flavours, add garlic, red chilli flakes, dried oregano, and smoked paprika. Stir everything well to combine and let the spices release their flavours.
Now, it’s time to cook the prawns. Add the peeled prawns to the pan and cook them for about 2-3 minutes until they turn pink and opaque. Be very careful not to overcook the prawns!
Pour in the passata and season the sauce with salt and pepper according to your taste. Return the cooked crispy chorizo to the sauce. Stir everything well and let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes, allowing the flavours to blend together.
Add the cooked penne pasta to the pan, along with the reserved pasta water, a little at a time. Toss the pasta gently to coat it evenly with the sauce. Squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice and stir it through to brighten up the flavours.
Serve the prawn and chorizo pasta hot, garnished with freshly chopped parsley and some extra lemon and enjoy!
Extra Tips For Making The Pasta
- Add extra veggies – you could add extra vegetables to this recipe to increase the nutritional value. Try some capsicum or mushrooms added with the onion, or throw in some spinach at the end and stir through.
- Do not overcook the prawns – when adding the prawns make sure to watch them carefully so that they only just turn pink as they will continue cooking in the sauce until it’s taken off the heat. Overcooked prawns are rubbery, tough and not very enjoyable.
- Use chicken instead – if you’re not a big fan of seafood, you can swap out the prawns for chicken. Use either chicken breast or thigh for best results.
Absolutely! While penne pasta works wonderfully in this dish, feel free to experiment with other pasta shapes like fusilli, rigatoni, or even spaghetti or linguine.
It’s generally not recommended to freeze dishes with cooked prawns as they can become rubbery upon thawing. However, if you have leftovers without prawns, you can freeze them in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months. When reheating, add fresh prawns separately.
Yes, you can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free penne pasta or any other gluten-free pasta alternative available. Ensure that the chorizo you use is also gluten-free, as some brands may contain gluten-based fillers or additives.
More dairy free comfort food:
Prawn and Chorizo Pasta
- 300 grams penne pasta
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 250 grams chorizo sliced
- 1 red onion finely diced
- 4-5 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 250 grams raw prawns peeled
- 2 cups passata
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh parsley chopped (for serving)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve about ¼ cup of cooking water before draining. Set aside.
- In a large heavy based pot or large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced chorizo and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove the chorizo from the pan and set aside, leaving behind the oil.
- In the same pan, add the diced red onion and cook, stirring regularly until softened and translucent.
- To the pan add the garlic, red chilli flakes, dried oregano, and smoked paprika. Stir well to combine and allow the spices to release their flavours.
- Add the peeled prawns to the pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes until they turn pink and opaque. Be careful not to overcook the prawns.
- Pour in the passata and season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the cooked chorizo to the sauce. Stir well and let simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the cooked penne pasta to the pan with the reserved pasta water, a little at a time and toss to coat it evenly with the sauce. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice and stir through.
- Remove from heat and garnish with freshly chopped parsley. Serve the prawn and chorizo pasta hot and enjoy!
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.