Savory Brown Butter Noodles with Shrimp (or chicken)

TL;DR Skip to Recipe

We all know that butter (and bacon, but that’s a different post!) makes everything better, right? But brown butter. Brown butter has a leg up on regular butter.

The extra layer of flavor added by browning butter is unbelievable.

For a long time I was terrified of browning butter. I didn’t want to be responsible for wasting liquid gold. It seems super tricky and I am not good at standing in one place for an extended period of time. So, any recipe that requires my undivided attention is usually destined for a doomed existence.

I’ve discovered browning butter really isn’t that bad. I’m not sure if I do it technically right, the way you would learn in culinary school or at a restaurant, but the way I do it is still delicious. My taste buds are all that matter.

You just heat it over medium heat, stir it occasionally, and once it starts to foam, watch it closely and pull it off immediately when you see a color just slightly lighter than you’re going for. Light to dark brown all taste great.

I adapted this recipe from Kelli Foster’s recipe on Kitchn.

Boil a large pot of salted water for your noodles. Egg noodles, spaghetti or angel hair will work the best, I used thin spaghetti. Cook and drain pasta according to the directions on the package, and return it to the pot you boiled it in, off of the heat. If you think it might get sticky, add a touch of olive oil and toss with tongs.

While the pasta boils: In a medium skillet, add 1 Tbsp unsalted butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally, until it’s foamy and just starting to brown.

Add 1/4 c. breadcrumbs (I prefer panko, but any kind will work) to the butter and stir constantly until they are brown and toasty. Pour onto a dish and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet. Add your shrimp or 1″cubed chicken. I used jumbo shrimp that I marinated in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic (I buy it in a jar, pre-minced, because mincing garlic is way too tedious IMO), sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for about 4 hours.

If you haven’t marinated your meat, be sure to add some oil or butter to the skillet, and use salt and pepper.

Flip the shrimp over when you can tell that the white color is getting to the middle like this:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_3185.jpg

Shrimp should cook for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side, until it’s white and opaque all the way through. Chicken should cook until it is white and opaque all the way through and has reached 160° F (it will coast up to 165° F after being pulled off the heat).

Pull the shrimp/chicken off, place on a dish and set aside.

Wipe or clean out skillet as needed. Add 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter to the skillet. Once it’s foamy and starting to get a bit brown, pull off the heat, add 1 Tbsp. minced garlic and 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes. Let the garlic and pepper flakes chill in the butter for about a minute, then add the shrimp and stir or toss.

Using tongs, toss your noodles with a hefty squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, 1 tsp. Cantanzaro herbs (or Italian spice mix), salt and pepper to taste, and all but 1 Tbsp. of your toasted breadcrumbs.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_3174-1.jpg

Add your butter and shrimp or chicken and 1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese. Toss again.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_3198-1.jpg

Plate the pasta, and if you want it to look pretty, top with reserved breadcrumbs and a sprinkling of parmesan and parsley. Serve with a fresh green salad so you don’t go into a carb coma. Dig in!

Tim told me this is better than what he gets at Italian restaurants, so I have that going for me.

Enjoy!

Savory Brown Butter Noodles and Shrimp (or chicken)

8 oz. pasta or egg noodles of your choice
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
1/2 lb. peeled, de-veined shrimp, or chicken, diced into 1″ pieces
1 Tbsp. (about 4 medium sized cloves) minced garlic
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 large squeeze of fresh lemon juice or 1 tsp. bottled lemon juice
1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 tsp. Cantanzaro herbs (or Italian spice mix)

Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook and drain pasta according to the directions on the package, and return it to the pot you boiled it in, off of the heat. If you think it might get sticky, add a touch of olive oil and toss with tongs.

While the pasta boils: In a skillet or wok, add 1 Tbsp unsalted butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally, until it’s foamy and just starting to brown (this will happen quickly). Add breadcrumbs to the butter and stir constantly until they are brown and toasty. Pour onto a dish and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet. Add your shrimp or chicken. If you haven’t marinated your meat, add some oil or butter to the skillet, and salt and pepper it.
Flip the shrimp over when you can tell that the white color is getting to the middle.
Cook the shrimp for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side, until it’s white and opaque all the way through. Chicken should cook until it is white and opaque all the way through and has reached 160° F (it will coast up to 165° F after being pulled off the heat).

Pull the shrimp/chicken off, place on a dish and set aside.

Wipe or clean out skillet as needed. Add 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter to the skillet. Heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Once it’s foamy and starting to get brown, pull off the heat, add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Let the garlic and pepper flakes sit in the butter for about a minute, then add the shrimp.

Using tongs, toss your noodles with a hefty squeeze of fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, Cantanzaro herbs (or Italian spice mix), salt and pepper to taste, and all but 1 Tbsp. of toasted breadcrumbs.

Add your butter and shrimp or chicken and 1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese. Toss again.

Plate the pasta and top with reserved breadcrumbs and a sprinkling of parmesan and parsley. Serve with a fresh green salad.

Serves 2-3.

Published by Noelle

Noelle lives in Denver, CO with her husband Tim and their tuxedo cat Betty. She's worked in customer service for 20 years and is an expert manager. She's sarcastic and has a dry sense of humor. She loves cooking, all things geeky, self-improvement, charity work, learning about God, and creating community.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: