Shrimp Scampi is an easy 10-minute weeknight-friendly meal made with shrimp in a simple garlic, white wine and butter sauce. Elegant, yet simple to make, serve this classic shrimp recipe with a hunk of bread, cooked pasta, or low-carb zucchini noodles.
What is Shrimp Scampi?
First and foremost, it’s important to know that “scampi” is the Italian word for langoustine, a type of crustacean that’s common in Europe. Considered a delicacy, scampi may also be called Dublin Bay prawns and Norway lobsters and are much larger than the shrimp we know here in the US.
“Shrimp scampi”, on the other hand, is the American name given to shrimp that are served in a garlic, butter, and white wine sauce.
The recipe here is shrimp scampi at its most basic level- juicy shrimp that have been cooked in olive oil, butter, dry white wine, minced garlic, and a little bit of fresh lemon juice. It’s delicious and so easy to make.
How to Make Shrimp Scampi
- Prepare ingredients for cooking. This recipe cooks quickly. It’s important to have all of the ingredients ready to go before starting to cook.
- Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic, and cook until fragrant – about 30 seconds. Stir continuously to prevent the garlic from burning.
- Add the shrimp to the skillet. You may have too many shrimp to cook in a single later – that’s ok. Simply spread them out as much as possible and allow them to cook for a minute or so before mixing and cooking for an additional minute.
- With the skillet still hot, add the white wine and sprinkle with crushed red pepper (if using). Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until all of the shrimp are fully cooked.
- Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining butter, lemon juice, and fresh parsley. Mix well to combine.
- Best served immediately.
The shrimp may also be cooked separately from the garlic butter sauce. Simply add the shrimp to a hot skillet with butter or oil and cook each side for approximately 1-2 minutes, or until just barely cooked. Remove the shrimp to a clean plate and prepare the sauce as instructed. Once the sauce is cooked, add the shrimp and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.
Shrimp Scampi Tips and Tricks
- Use fresh ingredients: There’s not a whole lot that goes into making this recipe, so it’s important to use fresh ingredients whenever possible. This is especially important for the garlic and the lemon juice.
- Thaw the shrimp before cooking: If cooked from frozen, the garlic butter sauce will be bland and watery.
- Purchase jumbo-sized shrimp: Shrimp shrink during cooking. Also, smaller shrimp are more likely to become overcooked and chewy.
- For more sauce: If you plan to serve this with cooked pasta, remember to reserve 1-2 cups of boiling salted pasta water to add to the sauce.
- Wine is optional: If you don’t have any wine available or you prefer not to cook with wine, substitute with chicken broth or seafood stock.
What to Serve with Shrimp Scampi
As an appetizer or light lunch, I recommend serving shrimp scampi with torn-off pieces of French bread. Garlic bread is another delicious option. The sauce is perfect for dipping and the shrimp makes a fabulous source of protein.
As the main course, you will often find shrimp scampi served with pasta. I recommend linguine or angel hair pasta. For a low-carb version, swap the pasta with zucchini noodles. In this case, I highly recommend serving with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Simply substitute the wine for low-sodium chicken broth or seafood stock.
Shrimp scampi is best served immediately as shrimp are typically not as tasty reheated. You may refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container and reheat in the microwave at 30-second intervals, but the shrimp will not have the same taste or texture as it did when it was originally served.
Broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc.
Shrimp scampi should take no more than 5-10 minutes to cook, start to finish.
No. I do not recommend freezing shrimp scampi. The shrimp will likely become tough and mealy upon thawing and reheating.
Have you tried making this Shrimp Scampi Recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
- Heat olive oil and two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic. Sauté the garlic, stirring continuously, until golden and fragrant (approximately 30 seconds).
- Add the shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper to season. Cook for 1 minute, or until just starting to turn pink, then flip and cook for one minute more.
- Pour in the white wine and sprinkle with crushed red pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes or until the shrimp are fully cooked.
- Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, and season with fresh chopped parsley. Best served immediately.
- If you prefer to cook the shrimp separately from the garlic butter sauce simply add the shrimp to a hot skillet with butter or oil and cook each side for approximately 2 minutes, or until fully cooked. Remove the shrimp to a clean plate and prepare the sauce as outlined in the notes.
- The crushed red pepper is optional. If you are sensitive to spicy foods, I recommend reducing the amount by at least half.
- If you choose not to cook with wine, you may omit from the recipe altogether or substitute with chicken stock or fish broth.
- Big jumbo shrimp or prawns work best in this recipe. Remember, they will shrink during cooking.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)