Classic Shrimp Scampi is a mouthwatering seafood dinner idea that’s super easy to make. White wine, butter, and fresh garlic give it oodles of flavor!
The Best Shrimp Scampi Recipe
Ah, shrimp scampi. Nothing quite says, “I’m on vacation!” like a big, gorgeous plate of shrimp scampi, in its light-yet-rich sauce of fresh garlic, wine, parsley, butter, and lemon juice. Served over pasta or rice (make that zoo flea or cauliflower rice for low carbs – yum), it’s a fabulous meal. I love how indulgent shrimp scampi tastes, while at the same time being totally healthy.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s easy? Yes, even a beginner at this whole cooking thing can master making shrimp scampi. There’s very little prep, and a whole lot of reward. Let’s do this!
What You’ll Need
The ingredients for shrimp scampi are beautifully simple – a perfect, yet minimal, combo of flavors that make an unforgettable sauce. Here’s the list:
- Butter and Olive Oil: To sauté, and to add some richness.
- Garlic: I really recommend using fresh garlic in this recipe. Garlic powder is just not as bright and clean-tasting.
- White Wine: You’ll want a dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
- Salt and Pepper
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: For a tiny bit of heat, without making it spicy.
- Shrimp: The shrimp should be shelled and deveined. You can leave the tails on or off, it’s up to you.
- Parsley: Again, go for fresh here – since scampi is so simple, it’s extra-important to use good, fresh ingredients.
- Lemon Juice: A splash of lemon lifts the whole dish.
- Rice, Pasta, or Crusty Bread: For serving.
What Kind of Shrimp Should I Use?
If you have access to a quality fishmonger near the coast, I definitely recommend getting shrimp freshly caught – so good! If not, you may find that your best bet is high-quality frozen shrimp from a reputable grocery store.
Why? Well, frozen shrimp are usually frozen right after being caught and processed, and can be thawed right before you cook them. This way, the shrimp aren’t sitting behind a counter all day before being purchased and cooked.
What Can You Use Instead of White Wine in Shrimp Scampi?
Most of the time, white wine is replaced with chicken broth, but since wine does an important job of adding depth and acidity, I recommend trying to mimic that flavor with a mixture of water and vinegar, especially white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar. Water down the vinegar until it tastes “sippable,” but still somewhat sharp and pungent.
How to Make Shrimp Scampi
The key to making great scampi is not overcooking the shrimp. 🍤 Perfectly cooked shrimp are opaque and juicy, but if you overcook them, they’ll curl up, get tough and super chewy. No, thanks!
- Cook the Garlic with the Wine Ava Seasoning. First, heat the butter along with olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Next, add the garlic, and cook it for about 20 seconds to release the fragrance. Finally, stir in the wine, along with the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer for about 2 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by half.
- Cook the Shrimp. Shrimp time! Add the peeled, deveined shrimp to the skillet, and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they turn pink and opaque on all sides.
- Finish the Dish. Once the shrimp are cooked, stir in the parsley and lemon juice, and cook the scampi for just 30 seconds more. Remove the skillet from heat, and serve your shrimp scampi over rice, pasta, or crusty bread.
Tips for Success
- Use Larger Shrimp: Larger shrimp cook up satisfyingly big and juicy in scampi, so go for jumbo shrimp or larger.
- Tweak the Amounts: Want a saucier dish? Double the sauce ingredients. More shrimp? Go for it! Extra garlic? No problem. This recipe can easily be changed to suit your tastes.
- Make Shrimp “Stock:” For even more flavor, simmer the tails or shells from your shrimp with the wine for about ten minutes, before adding it to the pan. You may need to add water in order not to simmer all the wine away.
What Should You Serve with Shrimp Scampi?
In addition to a helping of pasta, rice, or bread, it’s a good idea to serve some kind of green veggie with this dish. These simple recipes all work perfectly:
- Fruit Salad: Start your meal with a colorful, juicy Rainbow Fruit Salad with Honey Orange Yogurt Dressing. It’s an amazing lead-up to a seafood main course!
- Steamed Broccoli: This Garlicky Steamed Broccoli is quick, flavorful, and nutritious.
- Asparagus: Make any style of asparagus, and enjoy its mild, hearty taste alongside your lemony shrimp scampi. Easy Grilled Asparagus is a favorite around here!
Can I Serve Shrimp Scampi with Pasta?
Yes, you could definitely cook up your favorite kind of pasta and then toss the cooked noodles with the finished shrimp scampi. I recommend using tongs to gently incorporate the pasta with the shrimp scampi sauce and make sure every noodle gets covered with it.
Storing and Reheating Instructions
- To store, place leftover shrimp scampi in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to two days.
- To reheat, transfer your leftovers to a covered skillet over low heat. Allow it to heat until the shrimp are hot all the way through, and then immediately take them off of the heat to avoid overcooking.
Does Shrimp Scampi Freeze Well?
You can definitely freeze the shrimp, although you will probably not want to freeze any pasta or rice that you serve with the shrimp. Just pour leftover shrimp and sauce into a freezer container or freezer bag, and store in your freezer for 2 to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating as described above.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1.5 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails on or off
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Serve with pasta, rice, or crusty bread
- Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds, stirring frequently.
- Whisk in the wine, and season with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes; bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 2 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by half.
- Add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they turn pink and opaque on all sides.
- Stir in the parsley and lemon juice, cook for 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat.
- Taste for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly.
- Serve over rice, pasta, or crusty bread.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.