Balsamic Shrimp and Pepper Pasta


As you read this, I am flying back to the wilds of Illinois after a lovely long weekend in Colorado. As least, I assume it was lovely. I’m writing this post a week ahead of time, since Colorado is the land of no-Internet.


I made this dish a few days before I left for Colorado in hopes that the leftovers would fuel Peter for a few days while I was gone. It was a good plan. Sadly, my execution leaves much to be desired. Within two days, I had eaten all the leftovers myself. Nice job, Jessie.


Since this post is going up while I’m gone, Peter can gaze upon the dish that was almost his, but instead became mine. The recipe for this balsamic and pepper shrimp is adapted from a recipe in a recent Penzey’s catalog. It calls for white balsamic vinegar, which is a vinegar I’ve heard of but never seen (the Yeti of vinegars, if you will). While there are slight taste differences between white and regular balsamic vinegar, white balsamic vinegar appears in recipes mostly for aesthetic reasons.

I said “Pshaw!” to that and went ahead with regular balsamic vinegar. And proceeded to see why the recipe developers chose white vinegar. While the taste of this dish is delectable when made with regular balsamic, its appearance is, well … not attractive.


It reminds me a little of the balsamic chicken that brought about the fruit fly adventure: delicious, but seriously weird-looking.  So!  If you don’t mind your meal looking like the pictures above, by all means use balsamic vinegar. If you want to serve a dish with class, use white balsamic.

Balsamic Shrimp and Pepper Pasta

  Prep Time: 5 minutes

  Cook Time: 20 minutes

  Keywords: saute entree shrimp

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 20 jumbo shrimp, raw, with or without tails
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (regular or white)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced


Clean and devein shrimp if needed. Dry thoroughly. Refrigerate until needed.

Heat oil in medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and pepper and cook until onions are slightly caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and cayenne pepper. Raise heat to medium-high and cook until sauce reduces to a syrupy consistency, about 3 minutes.

Add shrimp and mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove shrimp to plate and continue cooking the sauce until syrupy again. Pour over the shrimp and serve immediately over brown rice or whole grain pasta.

Powered by Recipage

Q: Have you ever made a dish that tastes delicious but looks plain ugly?


  1. WOWswer!
    This looks yummy! It is so wonderful to read your site and the healthy flavourful recipes you and Peter eat!

  2. Sounds delicious! I don’t mind “weird-looking” food, but I bet the kid would seriously question whether it was edible… 🙂 And, yes, I make my fair share of ugly food… 🙂

    I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  3. I would definitely eat the leftovers myself 😉

  4. Simply Life says:

    oh this dish looks fabulous!

  5. YUM! Looks delicious!
    I love that you ate the leftovers! Ha! I have totally been there! Not only that but if I go to bring leftovers home for Tony from my parents sometimes I will eat them first. I have learned to bring extras. 😉

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! 😉

  6. I’m totally making this! Probably minus the cayenne pepper. And no, I don’t mind the looks one bit!

  7. half WHAT? balsamic??? 1/4 WHAT cayenne!!!

    1. Fixed! Thanks for pointing out the omissions 🙂

  8. Can I substitute mushrooms for something else? Suggestions?

    1. Hi Catie, you can definitely substitute the mushrooms with something else. If you’re looking for texture, you can try sliced zucchini, or summer squash, or eggplant. Hope that helps!

  9. Thank you and when you take the shrimp out would you take the mushrooms (eggplant in my case) out too?

    1. You should be able to leave them in — enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *