Shrimp Scampi! It’s deliciously saucy, perfectly rich and buttery and amazingly flavorful! This easy shrimp recipe can be made in under 30 minutes with no hassle or stress. Try it and step into garlicky lemon pasta dinner heaven.
This shrimp scampi is perfect for a weeknight dinner yet exciting enough for entertaining guests on the weekend. It’s a simple dish made with a handful of flavorful ingredients that all come together and compliment each other perfectly. Plus, clean up is a breeze.
Here you get fresh pieces of protein rich shrimp sauteed to tender perfection and tossed in a garlic butter white wine sauce which is compliment with a bright a hint of lemon, and it’s served over a bed of hearty linguine noodles.
After one bite it will seem as though you stepped right into your favorite Italian restaurant. It’s a tempting restaurant quality dinner!
Enjoy all of the amazing flavors of this classic dish from the comfort of your home any time you want!
What Is Shrimp Scampi?
The origin of shrimp scampi is actually a pretty interesting one. Scampi and shrimp are actually two different types of crustaceans. The dish that we all now refer to as shrimp scampi used to be just a dish made with scampi in Italy. When the dish came to America, cooks started replacing the scampi with shrimp, but somehow kept both names.
The traditional shrimp scampi we all know and love is traditionally made with shrimp that are cooked in a garlic butter sauce and served over pasta noodles such as linguine or angel hair. Another great way to serve it is with crusty bread for dipping in the sauce instead of the pasta.
In my opinion it’s just one of those staple recipes everyone needs in their recipe collection. It’s simple, super satisfying, and set to impress! What’s not to love?
Ingredients You’ll Need For Shrimp Scampi
- Linguine – feel free to use any type of pasta, linguine is just what I prefer for the recipe. Spaghetti, angel hair of fettuccine are other great options.
- Extra large shrimp – just like the pasta, you can swap out a different size shrimp if you want something smaller that doesn’t need to be cut up.
- Olive oil – preferably stick with good quality extra virgin olive oil here, no substitutes.
- Unsalted butter – this is vital for making the amazing garlic butter sauce we all love.
- Garlic – stick with fresh garlic for best results. It’s a key flavor here and to build up the best final flavor use the best ingredients.
- Dry white wine – I prefer this with white wine for that traditional flavor but low-sodium chicken is another tasty option.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper – a must bringing out the flavors of the dish.
- Red pepper flakes – these are optional if you like a kick, but use sparingly. A little goes a long way with red pepper flakes.
- Fresh lemon juice – only use fresh lemon juice, not bottled. It makes a world of difference.
- Chopped fresh parsley – this garnish provides a dash of color and mild flavor to round out the dish.
How Do You Make Shrimp Scampi?
- Prepare pasta: cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Saute garlic with butter: meanwhile, melt butter with olive oil in a 12-inch skillet just over medium heat. Add garlic and saute.
- Simmer sauce: add wine or broth and simmer until reduced by half.
- Cook shrimp right in the sauce: add in shrimp in an even layer season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
- Cook until shrimp turn pink.
- Brighten with lemon and parsley: stir in lemon juice and parsley then toss shrimp and sauce with pasta.
- Serve immediately.
What Kind of Shrimp Should I Get?
For this recipe I recommend using extra large shrimp. While that sounds like it might be huge, it’s actually a mid-range size of shrimp, falling below the bigger sizes such as jumbo and colossal. Large is a great option too. Ideally use something in the range of 21 – 30 count per pound.
If you feel that size of shrimp is too large and would prefer something more bite-sized, try medium shrimp. If you replace the shrimp size just be sure to buy the same weight, instead of the number of shrimp.
For this recipe I recommend using frozen and thawed shrimp. The stuff you buy at the meat/seafood counter is almost always previously frozen, unless you live right off the coast then some places you might be buying actual fresh caught shrimp (and of course that would be best).
They usually just grab some of the bags from the freezer to stock the supply at the meat/seafood counter. So, what I recommend is buying frozen shrimp and thawing completely and using right away for best results. That way you know if hasn’t been sitting there for a few days thawed.
How Long Does Shrimp Scampi Keep?
Like I mentioned above, shrimp, whether cooked or uncooked doesn’t keep very well. While you don’t have to immediately toss any leftovers, this isn’t a dish you can go back and snack on for the rest of the week.
If stored properly in the refrigerator in an airtight container, it will keep up to two days. To lengthen the shelf life of the leftovers you can also store them in the freezer (sans pasta). Frozen shrimp scampi will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Tips For The Best Scrimp Scampi
- Dry wine is best for shrimp scampi, stay away from sweet wines as it will take away from the overall savory flavor of the dish. I suggest sticking to a chardonnay or pinot grigio.
- Be sure your shrimp is peeled and deveined before you begin cooking. You can also remove the tails during this step if you prefer no tails.
- Have pasta ready to toss with warm shrimp and sauce. If it finishes cooking before the shrimp is done toss with a little olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking, don’t rinse with water or sauce won’t cling to pasta!
- Careful not to overcook the shrimp or it will ruin their tender texture. It will become rubbery and bouncy.
More Amazing Shrimp Recipes You’ll Love:
- Baked Shrimp (with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce)
- Creamy Parmesan and Spinach Shrimp
- Easy Gnocchi Shrimp and Asparagus with Lemon-Pesto
- Shrimp and Asparagus Foil Packs
More Classic Italian Recipes to Try:
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Perfect shrimp scampi! It's deliciously saucy, perfectly rich and buttery and amazingly flavorful! This easy shrimp recipe can be made in under 30 minutes with no hassle or stress. Try it and step into garlicky lemon pasta dinner heaven.
- 12 oz. linguine
- 1 1/2 lbs extra large shrimp, peeled and deviened
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (4 tsp)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine*
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Cook linguine according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, melt butter with olive oil in a 12-inch skillet just over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 1 - 2 minutes until just lightly golden (don't brown or it can taste bitter).
Add wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 - 3 minutes.
Add in shrimp in an even layer season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and cook until shrimp turn pink, about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes per side.
Stir in lemon juice and a parsley then toss shrimp and sauce with pasta. Serve immediately.
- *Low-sodium chicken broth may be substituted.
- Shrimp can be also be served with crusty fresh bread for dipping in sauce instead of pasta.