Easy Shrimp Scampi

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Shrimp scampi is a classic Italian-American dish that features succulent shrimp cooked in a garlic butter sauce and served over pasta.

The dish is typically made with large, juicy shrimp that are cooked with garlic, lemon juice, white wine, and butter, resulting in a deliciously rich and flavorful sauce.

shrimp pasta with linguine, red pepper flakes, herbs, and lemon slices in a bowl with a fork in it
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a hand touching a bowl with shrimp pasta with linguine, red pepper flakes, herbs, and lemon slices

Garlic Lemon Shrimp Pasta

Shrimp Scampi is a dish that is both simple to make and elegant to serve, making it a perfect option for a special dinner or a quick weeknight meal. Shrimp scampi is often garnished with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, and can be served with a variety of side dishes, including pasta, rice, or crusty bread.

shrimp pasta with linguine, red pepper flakes, herbs, and lemon slices in a bowl

How to Make Shrimp Scampi

To make this recipe, we will need the following ingredients:

  • Pasta: Provides the base for the dish and adds a chewy texture that complements the tender shrimp and creamy sauce.
  • Olive oil: Adds a rich, fruity flavor to the dish and helps to sauté the shrimp.
  • Shrimp: Brings a sweet, tender flavor and meaty texture to the dish. It is the star ingredient of the dish.
  • Butter: Adds richness and creaminess to the dish, and helps to thicken the sauce.
  • Garlic: Provides a pungent, savory flavor that complements the sweetness of the shrimp and the acidity of the lemon juice.
  • White wine: Adds a bright, acidic flavor that balances the richness of the butter and the sweetness of the shrimp.
  • Lemon juice and zest: Adds a tart, tangy flavor that complements the shrimp and adds a bright freshness to the dish.
  • Kosher salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients and helps to balance the dish.
  • Red pepper flakes: Adds a subtle heat that balances the sweetness of the shrimp and adds complexity to the dish.
  • Fresh parsley: Adds a fresh, herbaceous flavor that complements the shrimp and brightens up the dish. It is also used as a garnish to add a pop of color to the plate.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:

  • Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of starchy pasta water before draining the pasta. 
  • Cook shrimp: In a large high sided skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel and sprinkle them lightly with kosher salt. Add the shrimp to the olive oil and sear it for 2 minutes on the first side, or until lightly browned. Flip the shrimp and cook it for an additional minute on the second side. 
  • Make sauce: To the pan, add the butter and garlic and stir until the butter has melted. Add the white wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and red pepper flakes. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then add the pasta. Stir to combine. If the sauce is too dry, add a splash of reserved pasta water and toss to combine. 
  • Serve: Remove the scampi from the heat and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy immediately. 
shrimp pasta with linguine, red pepper flakes, herbs, and lemon slices in a bowl

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Shrimp Scampi

Cook the pasta al dente: Make sure to cook the pasta just right to have a perfect texture.

Use fresh and high-quality ingredients: Always try to use fresh ingredients and high-quality shrimp for better taste and texture.

Don’t overcook the shrimp: Shrimp cook quickly and overcooking them can make them tough and rubbery.

Use a large skillet: A large skillet can help cook the shrimp evenly without overcrowding the pan.

Add more garlic and butter: If you love garlic and butter, feel free to add more to your liking to make the dish even more flavorful.

Add lemon zest and parsley at the end: Lemon zest and parsley can bring fresh flavor and color to the dish. Add them right before serving for the best taste and presentation.

Serve with crusty bread or garlic bread: Shrimp scampi is a delicious dish that can be served with crusty bread or garlic bread to soak up the flavorful sauce.

FAQs

What is the best type of pasta for shrimp scampi?

Spaghetti, linguine, and angel hair pasta are the most commonly used pastas for shrimp scampi. They all have a thin and delicate texture that complements the lightness of the dish.

Can I use frozen shrimp for shrimp scampi?

Yes, you can use frozen shrimp, but it is important to properly thaw them before cooking. Thaw the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight or under cold running water.

Can I make shrimp scampi without the wine?

Yes, you can substitute white wine with chicken or vegetable broth or even lemon juice. However, white wine adds a nice depth of flavor to the dish.

How do I devein shrimp?

To devein shrimp, use a sharp paring knife or kitchen shears to make a shallow cut along the back of the shrimp. Remove the dark vein with the tip of the knife or your fingers.

How long does it take to cook shrimp scampi?

Shrimp cook very quickly, so shrimp scampi can be ready in under 10 minutes. Cook the shrimp until they turn pink and opaque, which usually takes about 2-3 minutes per side.

What can I serve with shrimp scampi?

Shrimp scampi pairs well with crusty bread, pasta, or rice, and a simple green salad on the side.

a hand holding a fork twirling shrimp pasta with linguine, red pepper flakes, herbs, and lemon slices in a bowl

What to Serve With Shrimp Scampi

Garlic bread: A classic Garlic Knots Recipe or Garlic Butter Texas Toast pair well with the buttery garlic flavors of shrimp scampi.

Rice or pasta: To soak up the delicious sauce, you can serve shrimp scampi over Easy Rice Pilaf or pasta.

Easy vegetables: For a healthier option, serve shrimp scampi with a side of roasted vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, or zucchini.

Caesar salad: A crisp and refreshing Caesar salad makes a great accompaniment to the rich flavors of shrimp scampi.

Grilled vegetables: Another great option is to grill vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms and serve them alongside the shrimp scampi.

Caprese salad: A simple Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil can add a burst of freshness to your shrimp scampi meal.

Wine: A glass of white wine, such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, pairs well with the light and flavorful shrimp scampi dish.

Try these delicious recipes next:

shrimp pasta with linguine, red pepper flakes, herbs, and lemon slices in a bowl

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shrimp pasta with linguine, red pepper flakes, herbs, and lemon slices in a bowl

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shrimp and pasta in a bowl with slices of lemon, herbs, and red pepper flakes
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Shrimp Scampi

This shrimp scampi is a classic Italian American dish with succulent shrimp in a rich, garlicky butter sauce – yum!
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword lemon, main dish, pasta, seafood, shrimp
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 295kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell
Cost $8

Ingredients

  • 1 box 16 ounces pasta (spaghetti, linguine, or angel hair)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ? cup white wine
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley plus more for garnish

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of starchy pasta water before draining the pasta. 
  • In a large high sided skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. 
  • Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel and sprinkle them lightly with kosher salt. Add the shrimp to the olive oil and sear it for 2 minutes on the first side, or until lightly browned. Flip the shrimp and cook it for an additional minute on the second side. 
  • To the pan, add the butter and garlic and stir until the butter has melted.
  • Add the white wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and red pepper flakes. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then add the pasta. Stir to combine. 
  • If the sauce is too dry, add a splash of reserved pasta water and toss to combine. 
  • Remove the scampi from the heat and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy immediately. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 262mg | Sodium: 1302mg | Sugar: 1g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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