Easy Trader Joe’s Lemon Torchietti with Tomatoes and Shrimp

Imagine it’s been a long day, and all you want is something quick and satisfying to eat. Enter Trader Joe’s Lemon Torchietti pasta, just waiting to be whipped up into a delicious dinner. With its fun torch-like shape and a hint of lemon, this pasta promises to add a little zest to your meal without a lot of fuss. Let’s see if it can turn a simple dinner into something a bit more exciting!

For the past couple of years Trader Joe’s has released this special pasta in April. This is a limited release and it is around only for a couple of months but people look at it and try and figure out what in the hell are they going to make with a lemon flavored pasta. Well, look no further. I have the perfect recipe from all Trader Joe’s ingredients and it’s quick and easy to whip up on any night of the week!

Trader Joe's Grape Tomatoes
Trader Joe’s Grape Tomatoes

There are two things different with this pasta. First it’s in a shape called “Torchietti” (also known as Torchette or Torchetto) which is a pasta shape you don’t see every day. As you probably figured out, the word “Torchietti” has something to do with torches and means “little torches”. But the shape is unique and like many spiral shaped pastas, sauces have extra nooks to hold the sauce.

Trader Joe's Lemon Torchietti Pasta
Trader Joe’s Lemon Torchietti Pasta

The second thing that is different is the lemon flavor. You don’t see lemon flavored pasta every day so this is an interesting take on adding flavor to pasta. We’ve all had pasta with spinach (green) or beets (red) or maybe even squid ink (black) but I can’t remember ever having pasta with lemons infused into the pasta. The pasta has a lovely yellow color, not from the lemons, but from a small addition of Tumeric which is highly colorful but imparts very little flavor. When you open the bag inside the box, you are immediately hit by a nice pleasant lemon scent. I couldn’t wait to make a recipe with this pasta.

To test and review this pasta I picked one of my favorite quick weeknight recipes that is super healthy and can be on the table in about a half hour. The ingredients are pretty straight forward. This recipe will make at least four servings and is easy to cut in half if you want.

Trader Joe's Aglio Olio Seasoning Blend
Trader Joe’s Aglio Olio Seasoning Blend

Ingredients Notes:

  • Trader Joe’s Lemon Torchietti – This pasta gives the dish a subtle lemony flavor you don’t get from ordinary pasta. But you can easily use any other short pasta you like or even spaghetti. Whatever you have on hand.
  • Cherry Tomatoes – I used a box of Trader Joe’s grape tomatoes, but any cherry type tomato would work. While canned or large fresh tomatoes would work, we are going for the freshness of the cherries.
  • Trader Joe’s Aglio Olio seasoning – This has become one of my go-to seasonings I grab all the time now. I put it on so many things from pasta, to salads to pizza.
  • Raw Shrimp – Don’t use cooked shrimp! Cook raw shrimp per the directions. You can sub out shrimp for Langostino tails or the seafood medley if you want.
  • Olive Oil – Italian or Spanish olive oil will work here. Trader Joe’s has a plethora of them to choose from.
  • Garlic – Lots of garlic! I used four cubes of the frozen garlic, but you can just finely chop four cloves. Add as little or as much as you like.
  • Parsley – I used parsley. You can use basil if you want. Or a combination. Use a lot like a whole cup of chopped herbs.
  • Wine – To give the sauce an extra boost, I splashed about a 1/4 cup of a dry, unoaked white wine into the sauce when I was cooking the tomatoes. It gives an extra depth of flavor that tomatoes only don’t provide. Charles Shaw Pinot Gris is the perfect wine for cooking with.
  • Lemon zest – To kick the lemon flavor into orbit, I zested a whole lemon into the sauce. Double the lemon, double the fun!
  • Pepper Flakes – I just used plain hot pepper flakes, but add as little or as much as you like. I thought that even a teaspoon of chili crunch might give a nice flavor boost.
Trader Joe's Lemon Torchietti box
Trader Joe’s Lemon Torchietti box


  • Different Seafood – This recipe uses raw shrimp. Trader Joe’s has a couple of different types of raw shrimp but my favorite is the Argentinian Red Shrimp. You could use the Langostino tails too. The Trader Joe’s Seafood Blend would work but cook it quickly. If you want, you could try chicken but the shrimp works beautifully in this dish.
  • Make it creamy! – If you want a creamier dish, add half a cup of heavy cream.
  • Make it spicy – I went light on the hot pepper flakes but there is no reason you can up the heat with more pepper flakes or even a teaspoon of chili crunch might be a nice addition.
  • Make it vegan – If meat isn’t your thing. Leave out the shrimp or toss some baked tofu into the pasta.

Preparation Notes:

This dish comes together in about a 1/2 hour. Most of that time is spent reducing the cherry tomatoes to a nice thick sauce. The highlights of this dish are clearly the shrimp and the pasta but his unique technique to making a tomato sauce also stands out. Sure you could just open a can of tomatoes but it just doesn’t have the same brightness as cooking these cherry tomatoes. To make this stand out even more, I used some lemon zest and a splash of wine to brighten it up. Remember to use generous amounts of garlic and herbs. I didn’t use basil here but that would be perfectly appropriate. Make sure you have at least one Trader Joe’s Basil Plant on standby for these dishes!

Trader Joe’s Lemon Torchietti with Shrimp and Tomatoes

Using Trader Joe's wonderful lemon Torchietti and combined it fresh cherry tomatoes and the flavorful Argentinian Red Shrimp and lots of garlic and herbs. This comes together in about a half hour
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 1 box Trader Joe's Lemon Torchietti
  • 8 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Peeled and deveined Shrimp Thaw it ahead of time
  • Salt
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, large and chopped
  • 1 tsp Trader Joe's Aglio Olio Seasoning
  • 1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 lbs Cherry Tomatoes
  • ¼ cup Dry white wine
  • 1 cup Chopped Parsley or Basil or both
  • Zest from one lemon
  • Black Pepper to taste


  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsps of olive oil over medium. Add the thawed shrimp, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring a few times, until just pink all through. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and set aside. Clean out pan.
  • The the rest of the olive oil, 6 tablespoons, and the garlic to the large skillet. Cook on medium low until just starting to turn golden and fragrant. Do not burn. About four minutes. Add the Aglio Olio and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook until all is fragrant. Turn up the heat to medium and add the cherry tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the wine.
  • Cook the cherry tomatoes, stirring every few minutes, until they breakdown and make sauce, 25 to 30 minutes. While the tomatoes cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Add the pasta and cook until, about 10 minutes
  • Put the shrimp with any juices to the tomatoes to reheat for a couple of minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning. Add lemon zest.
  • Put the pasta pot next to the saucepan and transfer the pasta to the tomatoes and shrimp with tongs or pasta fork. Remove the pan from the heat, add the herbs and toss well. Season with black pepper to taste and serve.


You can use almost any pasta shape you like but the Lemon Torchietti really pairs well with the tomatoes and shrimp in this dish. If you don’t have the Aglio Olio seasoning, just use some Italian Seasoning.
Keyword Argentinian Red Shrimp, pasta, tomatoes


  1. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight with all the Trader Joe’s ingredients—followed the recipe exactly. My hubby and I enjoyed it. The sauce was worth the wait and was a nice, light compliment to the lemon-infused pasta. The amount of herbs (1 cup) seemed excessive, but it really added an additional note to the dish that made it stand out. I had both fresh basil and parsley, so I mixed the recommended herbs. I’ve made a few of your recipes now (satay, white chicken chili, gnocchi) and we have enjoyed them all. Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to shop. Thanks for providing inspirational dishes for their unusual products. The red curry chicken and TJ pizza are on my list to try next!

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