Creamy Gochujang Pasta with Shrimp

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Jump to RecipeClose-up of a creamy gochujang pasta with shrimp on top.

This creamy gochujang shrimp pasta recipe is really quick but packed with flavor. Using gochujang in a pasta sauce was new for me. I was skeptical at first, but turns out, it works great! It is spicy and rich in flavor and it pairs so nicely with a creamy sauce. I add shrimp to this recipe to add a little protein and texture but you can easily skip that or swap it out if you prefer.

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a versatile Korean fermented chili paste that is spicy, savory, and slightly sweet. It is made from a blend of chili powder, glutinous rice, soybeans, and salt.

One of the unique features of gochujang is its fermentation process, which gives it a complex flavor profile and depth. This process also makes gochujang a probiotic-rich food, which is beneficial for gut health.

Gochujang can range in spiciness depending on the type of chili used and the fermentation time, but it typically has a moderate level of heat. The sweetness of gochujang also balances out the spiciness a little bit too. There are so many ways to use gochujang. I also love it in a veggie bowl like this Gochujang Tofu Bowl with Roasted Veggies.

My preferred one is the Mother-in-Law’s Gochujang. I buy their original flavor but they also have a spicy one if you prefer extra heat. You can find it at a local grocery store, Asian markets, or online. It will be in a jar or a tub near the soy sauce.

Bowl of gochujang pasta.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Pasta: Many types of pasta go great with this. I love to use fettuccine but something like penne or rigatoni would work as well. Dry pasta works great, but you can even use fresh pasta if you want. Here is a fresh fettuccine pasta recipe I've used with this recipe before.
  • Gochujang: The main flavor in this pasta is the Gochujang. It gives it that spice and umami flavor. If you want a more mild flavor just use 2 tablespoons of gochujang instead of 3.
  • Heavy Cream: The cream is what makes the sauce nice and silky. It also balances the spicy flavor to make the perfect creamy gochujang pasta sauce. If you don't want to use cream you could try using coconut milk or coconut cream but I haven't given that a try.
  • Green Onion: To add a little green and a crunch to the top of the pasta, I love to add some sliced green onion. You could also use some chopped fresh herbs like basil or chives.
  • Shrimp: I like to add shrimp here to add some protein to the meal. You can use fresh or frozen shrimp just make sure your shrimp is defrosted before cooking. If you don't want to use shrimp you can use tofu instead. This crispy tofu recipe is really easy.

If you want to add more greens to the dish, add in a couple of handfuls of baby spinach when the sauce is done and cook it in until wilted.

Big bowl of pasta with shrimp on top.

How to Make Gochujang Shrimp Pasta?

This creamy gochujang sauce is a surprisingly easy recipe. it just takes a few steps:

  1. Saute garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes.
  2. Add in gochujang and toast for a minute.
  3. Add in cream, and stir until incorporated.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

Other Creamy Pasta Recipes You Might Enjoy

Creamy Gochujang Pasta with Shrimp

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  • 1 lb dry pasta (I like to use fettuccine)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • parmesan cheese, for topping


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook your pasta according to package instructions. Before draining the pasta, remember to save about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. You will add this back in at the end.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp in one layer, and sprinkle with salt. Cook for about 2 minutes and then flip and cook an additional 2 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  3. Clean out the saute pan. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and heat over medium-low heat. Add in the minced garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the gochujang and cook for 1 more minute. Add in the cream and stir until the gochujang is fully incorporated into the cream. Let the sauce simmer on low for 2 minutes. Taste and add salt or pepper if needed. (I usually add a few pinches of salt and some freshly ground pepper.)
  5. Add the shrimp and cooked pasta to the sauce. Toss together and add in some of the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce as needed.
  6. Serve topped with sliced green onion and parmesan.


If you want extra spice, add in some red pepper flakes at the end.

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