Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi is a classic Italian-American dish that has become a staple in many households. This simple yet flavorful dish consists of succulent shrimp sautéed with garlic, butter, white wine, and lemon juice. It’s a quick and easy recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights or special occasions.

A sizzling skillet of shrimp scampi, with plump shrimp, garlic, butter, and herbs, surrounded by a bed of linguine and garnished with fresh parsley

To make Shrimp Scampi, start by sautéing minced garlic in butter until fragrant. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and slightly curled. Then, deglaze the pan with white wine and lemon juice, and let the sauce simmer until it thickens slightly. Finally, toss the shrimp with chopped parsley and serve over pasta or with crusty bread to soak up all the delicious sauce.

Whether you’re a seafood lover or just looking for a new recipe to add to your repertoire, Shrimp Scampi is sure to impress. The combination of garlic, butter, and white wine creates a rich and flavorful sauce that perfectly complements the sweetness of the shrimp. So, grab a bottle of white wine and give this classic dish a try!

History of Shrimp Scampi

A sizzling skillet of shrimp in garlic butter sauce, with a sprinkle of parsley and a side of linguine, served on a white plate

Shrimp scampi is a classic Italian-American dish that has been enjoyed by many for decades. The dish originated in Italy, where it was made with langoustines, a type of small lobster. However, when Italian immigrants brought the recipe to the United States, they substituted the more readily available shrimp.

The word “scampi” actually refers to the langoustines, not the dish itself. In Italy, scampi are typically prepared with garlic, butter, and white wine, which is the same way shrimp scampi is prepared in the United States.

Shrimp scampi has become a popular dish in many Italian-American restaurants and is often served over pasta or with crusty bread for dipping in the flavorful sauce. The dish is known for its simple yet delicious flavor, with the garlic and butter complementing the sweetness of the shrimp.

Overall, shrimp scampi is a beloved dish that has stood the test of time. Its history may be rooted in Italy, but its popularity in the United States has made it a staple in many households and restaurants.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A sizzling skillet of shrimp, garlic, butter, and lemon. A bowl of linguine on the side. A bottle of white wine and a sprig of fresh parsley

Choosing the Right Shrimp

When it comes to making a delicious shrimp scampi, choosing the right shrimp is crucial. I recommend using large or jumbo shrimp for this recipe. They have a firm texture and a sweet flavor that pairs well with the garlic and lemon in the dish. If you’re buying frozen shrimp, make sure to thaw them properly before cooking. You can thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or place them in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes.

If you’re unable to find fresh or frozen shrimp, you can also use other types of seafood, such as scallops or clams. However, keep in mind that the cooking time may vary depending on the type of seafood you use.

Herbs and Spices Variations

While the classic shrimp scampi recipe calls for garlic, lemon, and parsley, you can also experiment with different herbs and spices to add more flavor to the dish. For example, you can add some red pepper flakes for a spicy kick or use fresh thyme or oregano for a more earthy flavor.

If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, you can also use dried herbs. Just keep in mind that dried herbs are more potent than fresh herbs, so you’ll need to use less of them.

Wine Selection

Wine is an important ingredient in shrimp scampi, as it adds a depth of flavor to the dish. I recommend using a dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. These wines have a crisp, acidic flavor that pairs well with the buttery sauce and the seafood.

If you don’t have white wine on hand, you can also use chicken or vegetable broth instead. However, keep in mind that the flavor of the dish will be different without the wine.

Cooking Techniques

Shrimp sizzle in a hot skillet with garlic and butter. Lemon slices and parsley garnish the dish

Sautéing Shrimp

To sauté shrimp, it is important to use a large skillet to ensure that the shrimp cook evenly. Heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until they turn pink and are slightly firm to the touch. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp, as they can become tough and rubbery.

Creating the Sauce

The key to a delicious shrimp scampi sauce is to use fresh ingredients. Mince garlic and shallots and sauté them in the same skillet used to cook the shrimp until they are fragrant and slightly browned. Add white wine and lemon juice to the skillet and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in cold butter until it is melted and the sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pasta Pairing

Shrimp scampi is traditionally served with linguine, but it can also be paired with other types of pasta such as spaghetti or fettuccine. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions and toss it with the shrimp scampi sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese for added flavor.

Remember to serve the dish immediately after cooking to ensure that the pasta stays warm and the shrimp remains tender.

Serving and Presentation

A sizzling skillet of shrimp scampi, garnished with fresh parsley and lemon wedges, is placed on a white linen tablecloth

When it comes to serving and presenting shrimp scampi, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First and foremost, this dish is all about the shrimp, so you want to make sure that they are the star of the show.

One way to do this is to serve the shrimp scampi in individual bowls or plates, with each serving containing several plump, juicy shrimp. You can also garnish the dish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives, to add a pop of color and flavor.

Another important aspect of serving shrimp scampi is the pasta. Ideally, you want to use a long, thin pasta such as spaghetti or linguine, as this will help to showcase the flavors of the shrimp and sauce. Be sure to cook the pasta until it is al dente, or just tender, so that it has a nice texture and doesn’t become mushy.

When it comes to presentation, simplicity is key. You don’t want to overwhelm the dish with too many garnishes or decorations, as this can detract from the natural beauty of the shrimp and sauce. Instead, focus on arranging the pasta and shrimp in an attractive manner, and let the flavors speak for themselves.

Overall, serving and presenting shrimp scampi is all about highlighting the natural beauty and flavors of the dish. By keeping things simple and focusing on the shrimp and pasta, you can create a stunning and delicious meal that is sure to impress.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the essential ingredients for a classic shrimp scampi?

To prepare a classic shrimp scampi, you will need butter, garlic, lemon juice, white wine, and of course, shrimp. Salt and pepper are also essential to add flavor to the dish. Parsley is often used as a garnish, but it is not a must-have ingredient.

How can I make a shrimp scampi sauce without using wine?

If you prefer not to use wine in your shrimp scampi sauce, you can substitute it with chicken or vegetable broth. Simply replace the wine with an equal amount of broth, and you will still get a delicious sauce.

What are some simple steps to prepare shrimp scampi?

To prepare shrimp scampi, start by cooking the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Then, in a separate pan, melt butter, add minced garlic, and cook for a minute or two. Add the shrimp and cook until pink. Add white wine, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and cook until the sauce thickens. Toss the pasta with the sauce and shrimp, and serve hot.

Which pasta pairs best with shrimp scampi for an ideal meal?

Shrimp scampi goes well with various pasta types, but linguine is the classic choice. The long, thin noodles provide a perfect balance to the rich, flavorful sauce. However, you can also use spaghetti, fettuccine, or angel hair pasta.

Can a creamy variation of shrimp scampi be made, and if so, how?

Yes, a creamy variation of shrimp scampi can be made by adding heavy cream to the sauce. After cooking the shrimp, remove them from the pan and set them aside. Add heavy cream to the pan, and cook until it thickens. Then, add the shrimp back to the pan, and toss with the sauce and pasta.

What are some healthy side dishes to serve with shrimp scampi?

To balance the richness of shrimp scampi, you can serve it with a light salad or steamed vegetables, such as broccoli or asparagus. Roasted vegetables, like zucchini or bell peppers, are also a great option. Additionally, a side of crusty bread can help soak up the delicious sauce.

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Shrimp Scampi

  • Author: recipstep
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Shrimp Scampi is a quick and flavorful dish featuring succulent shrimp sautéed in a rich sauce of garlic, butter, lemon, and white wine, typically served over pasta. It’s a beloved seafood classic that’s perfect for a sophisticated yet easy dinner.


1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt & Pepper


  • Prepare the Skillet
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter together over medium-high heat until melted.
  • Sauté the Garlic
Add minced garlic to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes, allowing it to infuse the oil and butter.
  • Season and Cook Shrimp
Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
Add the seasoned shrimp to the skillet.
Cook for about 2 minutes on one side, then flip to cook the other side.
  • Deglaze with Chicken Broth
Instead of wine, pour in the chicken broth.
Let it simmer for a couple of minutes until the broth reduces slightly, and the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through.
  • Finish and Serve
Remove the skillet from heat.
Stir in lemon juice for a burst of freshness.
Sprinkle chopped parsley over the shrimp.
Serve and Enjoy!
  • Pro Tips:
Ensure the skillet is hot before adding shrimp for a nice sear.
Don’t overcook the shrimp; they should be pink and opaque.
Choose a good-quality chicken broth for enhanced flavor.
Garnish with additional fresh parsley for a vibrant presentation.
Now, you’re ready to enjoy this delicious Shrimp Scampi 🦐🍋✨


  • Use fresh shrimp for the best flavor and texture.
  • Adjust the amount of garlic and red pepper flakes according to your taste preferences.
  • If you prefer not to use wine, you can substitute it with chicken broth.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Sautéing
  • Cuisine: Italian-American


  • Calories: 300 kcal
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 1170mg
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 35g
  • Cholesterol: 290mg

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