Buttery garlic Shrimp Scampi is a flavor-packed classic recipe that’s ready in 15 minutes! Served over pasta, rice, mashed potatoes or with crusty bread for a delicious easy dinner recipe anytime!
This easy Shrimp Scampi is a secret weapon recipe that’s ready in a flash.
It’s made with just a few simple ingredients including plenty of butter.
It’s easy to make restaurant quality classic scampi at home. Easy for a weeknight meal or a special dinner.
An easy no stress dinner recipe everyone will love.
What is Shrimp Scampi?
The word ‘scampi‘ is an Italian word for a crustacean similar to a type of small edible lobster also called Dublin Bay prawns or Norway lobsters.
‘Shrimp Scampi‘ refers to the shrimp dish which can use different types of shrimp varying by region.
It’s a shrimp recipe made with a garlic butter sauce that’s fast and easy to make.
It’s usually served over pasta for a complete and satisfying main dish recipe.
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
Prepared pasta. One pound of pasta: Angel hair, fettuccini or spaghetti are all great choices. Regular or gluten-free pasta can be used. Cook al dente.
Zucchini noodles can also be used.
Olive oil. Mixed with the butter for sautéing.
Unsalted butter. Melted for sautéing. Gives the classic flavor to the shrimp scampi sauce.
Garlic cloves. Four cloves peeled and minced.
Uncooked Shrimp. Choose large shrimp or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined. Make sure to use raw shrimp. It can be fresh or previously frozen and thawed.
NOTE: you can buy it peeled and deveined to save prep time.
Dry white wine or Chicken Broth. Garlic butter shrimp scampi traditionally cooked with wine. We’ve listed suggested types below.
It can also be cooked with chicken broth if preferred.
Lemon Juice. The juice of one lemon, freshly squeezed is used. We use a handheld juicer for this. Fresh lemon juice does make a difference in the recipe.
Red pepper flakes. Just a pinch adds some zing to the garlicky sauce.
Italian Parsley. Some fresh parsley chopped and sprinkled on at the end is the finishing touch. Use fresh herbs not dried.
Salt & black pepper. To season as needed.
What Kind of Wine to Use
A signature ingredient of Shrimp Scampi is the wine.
It makes the sauce delicious with a wonderful depth of flavor!
Use a Dry White Wine. ‘Dry’ means it is not a sweet white wine.
Any of these types of wine will be delicious:
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Pinot Grigio
- Pinot Gris
- Pinot Blanc
- Even dry sparkling wines will work
Making Shrimp Scampi without Wine
Chicken Stock or Broth, or Vegetable Stock can be substituted for the wine if preferred.
Most of the alcohol does cook off during making of the sauce, but not all of it.
All ingredients should be prepared and ready before cooking starts.
This is a fast recipe. There won’t be time to prep ingredients while you cook.
Don’t Over Cook the Shrimp!
Shrimp cooks very quickly and can dry out or become rubbery in texture.
How to tell shrimp is cooked:
When shrimp is raw it will be gray and transparent.
As it cooks it turns pink and opaque (can’t see through it).
How to Make Shrimp Scampi – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Sauté the garlic and shrimp
Combine the olive oil and butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter melts, sauté garlic and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add the shrimp and sauté 1-2 minutes on each side until the shrimp turn pink (photo 1). Transfer shrimp to a plate (tent with foil to keep warm).
STEP 2. Make the sauce
Pour the wine, lemon juice and red pepper flakes into the pan. Simmer on medium heat until it reduces by half.
STEP 3. Finish the scampi
Return the shrimp and parsley to the pan (photo 2-3). Stir together (photo 4) and serve over the prepared pasta.
NOTE: extra butter can be stirred in at the end for an extra rich sauce (photo 3).
How to Thicken the Sauce
The sauce is thin design. However if you love a light creamy gravy texture you CAN thicken the sauce.
- Remove some of the liquid from the pan when beginning to reduce the sauce.
- Stir 1 tablespoon cornstarch into the removed liquid to dissolve it.
- Return to the skillet, stir in and proceed with reducing the the sauce.
- The cornstarch will aid in some thickening.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When rewarming be careful not to over cook the shrimp.
More recipes you’ll love!
- 1 pound Prepared pasta (Angel Hair, Linguine, Spaghetti) regular or gluten-free: cooked al dente according to package directions
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 pound large or jumbo uncooked Shrimp peeled and deveined, tails on or off
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or Chicken Broth
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Combine the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Allow the butter to melt.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.
- Add shrimp. Cook 1-2 minutes per side (until shrimp is pinkDon’t overcook shrimp. Transfer shrimp to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Pour the white wine (or broth), lemon juice and red pepper flakes into the skillet. Cook until the sauce has reduced by half (should take just a few minutes).
- Return the shrimp to the skillet along with the parsley. Stir to combine. Spoon over the prepared pasta and serve!NOTE: for extra richness an addition 2 tablespoons of butter can be stirred into the sauce at the end before removing the shrimp from the skillet.
- Garnish with some lemon slices or lemon zest if desired.
Originally published: March 15, 2020