shrimp and pasta in skillet after being tossed with cheese sauce

Shrimp Broccoli Cavatappi is a pasta and vegetable dish coated with light Alfredo sauce and topped with grilled seasoned shrimp. It is then topped off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. This is an Applebee’s Copycat recipe for those of you who love this lighter menu option and would like to try to make it at home!

Grumpy and I don’t eat out often, but when we do, one restaurant we like to go to is Applebees. This didn’t used to be the case because a one point he thought he hated the place!  I like to go because they do offer some flavorful meals that are 500 calories or less. One night I convinced him to meet me there after work and he decided he didn’t dislike it so much after all.

Shrimp Broccoli Cavatappi

Grumpy decided to try the Shrimp Broccoli Cavatappi – which also happens to be on the lighter menu. It turned out that he enjoyed the meal enough that when I mentioned eating out again he actually suggested going to Applebees!

Shrimp Broccoli Cavatappi #SundaySupper

I decided to try my hand at the Applebee’s Shrimp Broccoli Cavatappi. A search on the internet brought up nothing except photos of Applebee’s dish with the description. That was when I decided I didn’t really need someone else’s take on the recipe, I could just recreate it on my own.

Shrimp Broccoli Cavatappi #SundaySupper

While I like to be able to make my version of favorite restaurant recipes at home I do not really like giving my night out up too often. Lets face it, we all need to get out at times and let someone else do the cooking for us.

Some of us aren’t fortunate enough to have a partner or spouse who will or can cook! I decided that even though I will still probably go to Applebee’s for this meal that it wouldn’t hurt to have a recipe around for those times when we are craving a certain meal and need to save our pennies.

Shrimp Broccoli Cavatappi #SundaySupper

More recipes that are better than take-out

[mv_create key=”253″ type=”list” title=”Better than take-out recipes” thumbnail=”” layout=”circles”]

Shrimp Broccoli Cavatappi

A copycat recipe for Applebee's Shrimp Broccoli Cavatappi. A light creamy Alfredo sauce coats pasta that is tossed with broccoli and topped with grilled shrimp, Parmesan cheese and lemon zest.
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Broccoli, Pasta, shrimp, Shrimp Broccoli Cavatappi
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 206kcal


  • 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups dried cavatappi pasta
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-1/3 cups low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1-1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Cook shrimp on hot grill 2-3 minutes on each side until pink. Alternatively, saute shrimp in saucepan over medium heat in a non-stick frying pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Remove pasta from water by scooping out with a slotted spoon into colander. Return pasta water to stove and blanch broccoli (about 5 minutes). Strain and rinse with cold water to stop broccoli from cooking.
  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in flour and gradually add milk, stirring all the while with a whisk. Cook 6 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly.
  • Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and salt, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt.
  • Toss sauce with hot pasta and broccoli.
  • Top with shrimp and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and lemon zest.
  • Garnish with black pepper, if desired.
  • Serve immediately.


Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 198mg | Sodium: 791mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 278IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 203mg | Iron: 2mg

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.


  1. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  2. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  3. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  4. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  5. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  6. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  7. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  8. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  9. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  10. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  11. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  12. Liz July 26, 2015 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Boy, does your pasta look irresistible! Those shrimp are grilled to perfection!!!

  13. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  14. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  15. Chris Baccus July 26, 2015 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    The last photo looks amazing (the others look good too.) Will have to try it soon.

  16. I don’t patronize Applebee’s very often but now I don’t have to with this pasta dish! It looks delicious!

  17. Sarah E. July 26, 2015 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    I like the challenge that restaurants give with only giving pictures and descriptions – it’s so much fun to come up with the recipes and try and get them close to the real thing 🙂 This looks amazing, Shelby! My kids love shrimp and would probably devour this in no time!

  18. Valerie Cathell Clark July 26, 2015 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    This looks like perfect #comfortfood to me! I may have to make this dish for my parents this week!

  19. Teri@The Freshman Cook July 27, 2015 at 7:57 am - Reply

    This looks really good and tasty! I have not had this at Applebee’s, but now I want to try yours! Great recipe!

  20. Nora July 28, 2015 at 10:21 am - Reply

    This looks so delicious Shelby!

  21. Constance Smith July 28, 2015 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Looks delicious!!

  22. Marion@LifeTastesGood July 31, 2015 at 10:03 am - Reply

    This looks sooo good, Shelby! I love everything in it, and I’m sure making it at home with the freshest of ingredients is so much better than going out. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Stephanie August 7, 2015 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    I love this recipe. It is simple, I have everything on hand, I would love to try this recipe this weekend!

  24. Michelle W September 18, 2015 at 11:20 am - Reply

    This is one of my favorite dishes at Applebee’s. I can’t wait to try your recipe!! And your shrimp look divine!!

    • mreeanne October 13, 2016 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      We just made this tonight and it was great! One thing though, how much flour do you put in it?

      • Shelby October 14, 2016 at 10:10 pm - Reply

        Sorry about that! I updated the recipe, I would use about 2 tablespoons of flour, enough to thicken the sauce. Glad you enjoyed it!

  25. […] Applebee’s Shrimp and Cavatappi by Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  26. Miriah October 18, 2019 at 7:51 am - Reply


Leave A Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

Latest Cookbook Available Now For Preorder

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Pescatarian Cookbook Preorder Now Image

One Pot Paleo Cookbook by Shelby Law Ruttan