This shrimp scampi recipe is the best way to make easy look elegant with large shrimp bathed in a garlicky, lemony butter sauce dished up as an appetizer or served as a main with pasta, zucchini noodles, or over rice.
At first glance, this shrimp scampi dish looks downright decadent. But in reality, it’s the poster child for simplicity, because the best shrimp scampi made from scratch couldn’t be simpler and literally takes just minutes to prepare. Just like my pasta puttanesca, easy chicken piccata, and spaghetti alla carbonara, this shrimp scampi is elegant but effortless and is a no-brainer for a quick and delicious dinner.
Whether you serve it as shrimp scampi pasta for a super quick weeknight meal or serve it to company for a chic nod to your faux fancy cookery, I love this recipe because the ingredients can always be stocked in the pantry and freezer for a sizzling bite any time. Plus, it’s a versatile dish that can be served over rice, pasta, zucchini noodles, or just with some crusty bread (the perfect vehicle for all of that luscious sauce).
What is Shrimp Scampi Sauce Made of
For what many eaters view as a fancy dish, shrimp scampi is totally easy to pull off for any level of cook and requires very few ingredients to do so.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Frozen shrimp. For the best flavor, choose wild-caught shrimp when possible. I prefer the large 21/25 Key West pink shrimp for its sweet flavor. Choose a frozen shrimp with the shell and tail still on, then shell and devein yourself. You can keep the tail or remove it. Shrimp still in the shell have more flavor and are cheaper. To ensure you’re getting the freshest shrimp possible, skip the seafood counter’s ice rink of thawing shrimp (it was originally frozen too, and how long have they been sitting there??) and go for a bag of flash-frozen shrimp so you can thaw yourself by soaking in a bowl of cool water for about 10 minutes.
- Garlic. Choose fresh garlic over the jarred stuff. I prefer to press mine instead of mincing.
- Red pepper flakes. Red pepper flakes deliver a balanced heat.
- Extra-virgin olive oil. A fruity extra virgin is my choice.
- White wine. Choose a drinkable wine that’s on the drier side such as a sauvignon blanc or even a chardonnay.
- Butter. Salted or unsalted work equally fine and thicken the sauce.
- Lemon juice. Always use fresh lemon juice in this recipe.
- Kosher salt. Kosher salt isn’t as strong as table salt.
- Parsley. Use flat-leaf or regular parsley. Mince it fine for just the right bits of brightness.
How to Make Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp scampi is deceptively easy to make, and it’s all about the sauce. The sauce for this shrimp scampi thickens and concentrates in flavor when cold butter is added to the warm wine and lemon juice, then simmered to reduce.
Here’s how to make it:
Prep the shrimp. Thaw the shrimp in cool water and remove the shells then devein the shrimp. Discard the shells, rinse and drain the shrimp then transfer them to a small bowl.
Marinate the shrimp. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, half of the garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and the red pepper flakes. Toss to coat and set let sit for 20 minutes for flavors to build.
Cook the shrimp. Heat some olive oil over medium heat and add the shrimp and garlic mixture to the skillet. Cook for 1 to 1 ½ minutes then flip the shrimp over when they begin to become opaque. Cook for 1 more minute or so, watching so the shrimp turn golden but don’t brown too much and the garlic doesn’t burn.
Make The Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce
Melt the butter and add the remaining garlic. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant then stir in the white wine and lemon juice. Cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens and reduces by half, stirring occasionally.
Whisking the cold butter into the warm sauce emulsifies the sauce and thickens it as the butter melts. It’s a French technique similar to the classic beurre blanc, and creates a satiny-smooth, velvety textured garlic butter sauce you’ll be licking with a spoon.
Toss it all together. Add the shrimp with any juices back to the pan and stir in the remaining butter and some more salt. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, stir, and cook for 1 more minute. Serve warm with sourdough bread for dipping, or over pasta or rice.
The Best Wine for Shrimp Scampi
Can you make shrimp scampi without the wine? Adding white wine to this scampi’s olive oil, butter, and lemon juice sauce gives it a depth of flavor that won’t ever leave you boozy woozy. See, the wine’s alcohol cooks out and evaporates while simmering, making it perfectly okay for kids or those who abstain to eat.
But if you prefer skipping the wine, substitute half chicken broth and half water in lieu of the wine.
Why do They Call it Shrimp Scampi
“Scampi” is the Italian plural for “Scampo,” which is breaded prawns or langostine.
How to Add More Flavor to Shrimp Scampi
Layering flavor makes simple dishes sing, and this shrimp dish is no different.
- Steep the shrimp in a drizzle of olive oil and pressed garlic with a pinch of heat from red pepper flakes. This method infuses extra flavor into the shrimp before cooking.
- Gain extra flavor by allowing the shrimp to sit in the flavored oil for at least 20 minutes on the countertop or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
- Avoid using acids like lemon juice or vinegar in the shrimp marinade. Similar to ceviche, these ingredients will “cook” the shrimp. Sitting in an acid-based marinade for too long could also make the shrimp mealy.
What to Serve With Shrimp Scampi
- Any long pasta noodle will work for shrimp scampi pasta such as angel hair pasta, linguine, spaghetti, or fettuccine
- Zucchini noodles, or a combination of pasta and zucchini noodles
- Steamed white rice
- Creamy polenta
- Gnocchi or risotto
- Turn them into appetizer bruschettas
- Crusty bread
What to Serve with Shrimp Scampi
- Easy Lemon Rice Recipe
- Caesar Salad with Garlic Croutons
- Arugula Salad With Shaved Parmesan Three Ways
- Avocado and Tomato Salad
- Easy Parmesan Buttered Noodles
- Creamy Polenta
- Garlic Bread
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
How to Make the BEST Shrimp Scampi
- 1 pound wild caught large shrimp with shells
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , divided
- 4 cloves garlic , pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup white wine or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice , or ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- Thaw the shrimp in cool water and remove the shells then devein the shrimp. Discard the shells, rinse and drain the shrimp then transfer to a small bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, half of the garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and the red pepper flakes. Toss to coat and set let sit for 20 minutes for flavors to build.
- In a large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and garlic mixture to the skillet, spacing evenly in the pan. Cook for 1 to 1 ½ minutes then flip the shrimps over when they begin to become opaque. Cook for 1 more minute or so, watching so the shrimp turn golden but don't brown too much and the garlic doesn't burn. Transfer the shrimp to a small bowl or plate. If you have browned bits of garlic, move the skillet from the heat and remove the browned garlic as it will be bitter.
- Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in the skillet over medium heat and add the remaining garlic. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant then stir in the white wine and lemon juice. Cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens and reduces by half, stirring occasionally.
- Add the shrimp with any juices back to the pan and stir in the last tablespoon of butter and ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste. Sprinkle with the minced parsley, stir, and cook for 1 more minute. Serve warm with sourdough bread for dipping, or over pasta or rice.
More Shrimp Recipes to Try Next
- Easy Shrimp Cocktail
- Peel ‘N Eat Beer Steamed Shrimp
- Citrus Shrimp And Avocado Salad
- Saucy Greek Baked Shrimp
- Pan-Seared Citrus Shrimp Recipe
- Shrimp In Thai Coconut Sauce
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Christopher J Rudan
the “Key West shrimp” you’re talking about are known as Argentina Reds. I made this dish tonight. I always use the Argentina Reds because they are sweet & a little larger than the Mayport Shrimp at have here in Florida. GREAT RECIPE! Thank you.
This recipe is over-the-top delicious! Served it with grits and zucchini noodles
For dinner, then served with grit cakes for lunch next day. I didn’t have fresh lemons, so had to use a lime, but it didn’t matter! Thank you for sharing this wonderful and so easy recipe!
Amazing and easy recipe! it looks delicious
This was so easy to make and absolutely delicious. I will definitely make this again.- Even my 14 year old son loved it!
Beck and Bulow
I loved this dish, it felt so fresh. However, I did not like the salad dressing at all, it was too much and clashed with the main dish I felt. As with other recipes, I thought the portion size was small, more for 2.5-3 people rather than 4 (I am small and the other 2 people were 2 11-year old boys so hardly big eaters)
I love Heidis recipe. Best Scampies ever!!!
Greetings from Switzerland
My go to shrimp scampi dish from now on. Super delicious!
Happy to hear that Ody!
This was an excellent meal. I made it just like it was printed but took the advise of the referral of the oil and garlic with red pepper chips for 2 hours marinated. My company just loved it
Shrimp Scampi is one of my favorites and I’ve been making it for decades. I tried this recipe last night and it is by far the BEST! Marinating the shrimp makes a huge difference in this dish.
Delicious, quick & easy. Our 8 year old twin grand daughters loved it.
Of course, Alaskan Shrimp is the Best!
Glad you all enjoyed!
Your recipe reminds me that I used to be very scared of shrimps. Now, I eat them at every single opportunity. Your Shrimp Scampi will be my next adventure; what do you think about using ginger as a spice?”
Beck and Bulow
Then I removed the fish and started the grill. When stabilized at the minimum temperature I put the fish back in and heated to a meat temperature of 130. Loved the result.
This was amazingly good. I have tried other recipes with virtually the same ingredients but have not had the success that I had with this recipe. The tips about marinating the shrimp for a bit and removing the shrimp while the sauce thickens made a big difference. I also think the red pepper flakes added a little kick and flavor.
I’m glad you enjoyed Christy!
I made this with Linguine pasta and I’m never using another recipe!
My made a few tweaks but the base recipe remains the same:
I used the same ingredients called for in the recipe to season the shrimp but I added a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper and used extra garlic.
I used less lemon juice because I think the recipe calls for a tad too much. I suggest that you start with a little at a time and add as necessary.
I used more salt, Italian seasoning and pepper flakes than the recipe called for after I added the shrimp to the sauce. The sauce could be a bit bland so it needs seasoning up. Taste and add the salt, Italian seasoning and pepper flakes accordingly.
With these changes, the final product tasted like it was straight out of a fine-dining restaurant.
I’m glad you enjoyed Pria!
Have made this twice and served over whole wheat angel hair pasta with a side salad.
Yay! It IS delish with pasta for sure. Thanks Nancy.
This has become a go-to favorite for my husband and me. I’ve made it for guests, including kids, and it’s a hit every time. I add lemon zest from one lemon and a whole lemon’s worth of juice. Tonight, I added basil and oregano from my deck herb garden, along with the fresh parsley,. I make it with bucatini pasta, which soaks in all the deliciousness. I also try to marinate the shrimp for at least an hour. So good. And pretty!
I’m so glad you love it Denise. It’s a good one for company because it’s so easy. Bucatini is my husband’s fave too.
Question, if I bake or broil the shrimp since I am making 10lbs for a party rather then sauté it how would I thicken it up?
To thicken, allow it to reduce a bit longer and add more butter off heat. The cold dairy will thicken the sauce.
I can’t cook anything but I followed this super easy recipe and it came out great! I am hopeful that I can do it again! Thank you for sharing and I look forward to trying more of your recipes!
So glad it came out nicely!
Without a doubt, the BEST recipe I have found to date! I used garlic infused oil to marinate the shrimp but followed the rest to the T. I love the flavor from this. Thank you so much for sharing this!
So glad you liked it!
I tripled the garlic, used wine and sprinkled a little bit of fresh parmesan on it wit jalapeno cornbread!!!
It’s a keeper!!!!
Mary Ellen Van Bommel
This is an easy dish to make and is tastey. I followed the recipe except for the parsley because I did not have fresh parsley. I was also cautious with the red pepper flakes but the medium flakes I had were fine. I used a Chardonay and lemon juice and it was plessant tasting that way. I served it on linguine which we liked. A recipe I will use again!
I love this recipe! I do it all the time. It’s one of my family’s favorite. I also use it over roasted eggplant, when I want to avoid carbs, as in pastas, breads and rice.
Thank you for sharing!
Sooooo just want to say…..AMAZING flavors. I made this for dinner one day. My GF and I both tried it, our eyes opened wide, we looked at each other and we were just blown away.
So glad to hear you both liked it!
Made as directed and served over whole wheat angel hair pasta with a tossed salad.
Everyone loved it. Excellent!
So glad it worked for you all!
This is the best shrimp scampi recipe I have ever come across. It was so delicious. I marinated the shrimp for about an hour and I added a little more butter and garlic since we like our scampi with a lot of sauce. My husband is already asking for me to make it again! Thanks for such a great recipe.
Happy to hear you liked it!
Made this tonight. Added broccoli. It was excellent but the timing was a little off; took a few minutes longer to cook… perhaps your pan was hotter than mine. Hubby loved it! A definite keeper
So glad you both enjoyed!
This turned out wonderfully ~ I put the shrimp scampi over egg noodles, and it was delicious. It’s not a fussy recipe, and uses ingredients that I almost always have on hand. Definitely a repeat meal!
Happy to hear you enjoyed!
Absolutely fabulous! I made this exactly as written last week and it was amazing. About to double the sauce tonight since it was so good the first time. Thank you!
My husband goes crazy over this! He LOVES the shrimp. I’m not a seafood person but I’ve tried it with chicken and if you use slightly less lemon with it it’s perfect. I also cook my noodles in this recipe and I love eating just the noodles! This is my go-to and my husband loves to share with others to show it off.
Fantastic recipe! Made this for dinner tonight and my husband loved it. I got rave reviews and help with the dishes! Followed recipe exactly as is, but added some bay scallops with the shrimp to marinade, served over angel hair pasta. Definitely making this again. Thanks so much for sharing Heidi!
So glad you enjoyed Lisa!
This is the best recipe I have made! My husband loved it! Easy to make! No one needs to eat out with these precise directions!❤️
So glad you both liked it!
Ummmmm YUMMY! Will make again.
Made it twice and it just keeps getting better the sauce is soooooo unbelievably delicious I can’t thank you enough for this recipe!
I’m glad you like it Rocky!
Yumm. My 2nd food review ever. I loved the detailed instructions especially for substing the wine. I used chicken broth (didn’t have stock) and omgosh; So amazing. I used 1/2 the broth box for more sauce, and fresh garlic diced very small def made a difference. Used like 8 cloves of garlic. Your recipe was Just perfect. Nothing crazy that I didn’t already have in the pantry. Paired with ronzoni’s new cauliflower pasta to scratch the carbs. My picky son had 2 bowls. Def a winner. Thanks so much
Happy everyone enjoyed!
Hiedi! OMG! My wife is a shrimp scampi lover. I was really worried about making this for her but she loved it znd has asked me to make it again. I went exactly by the recipe using the marinade overnight method. I was worried the red pepper might be too much for her but she loved it just the way you posted it. Thanks for a fabulous recipe.
This recipe is the best! Thank you so much for sharing!
I made it for my boyfriend Valentine’s Day – 02/14/20212!! I NEVER COOK!!! I knew he was missing hid favorite go-to, since we can’t go out and order it to the table at a restaurant! All your tips were simple and It was a hit!!!! Thanks!
Glad it was a success!
Absolutely delicious! And so so very easy! Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Hi Heidi, I can’t wait to try this recipe! Shrimp scampi is something I always order when we go out to eat. Since we’re doing much less of that these days, it will be great to make it at home. I’m looking forward to making your pan-seared citrus shrimp, too!
Sort that there are no pictures because everyone licked the plates clean. This is an amazing recipe and the best of all I’ve made. I did add lemon zest and a light drizzle of Queen Creek Meyer lemon oil as a finish. I tossed with linguine and it was perfect. Thanks for the technique and love that made this recipe work!
Oh my gosh this was amazing. My new favorite. Yum
2nd time making! This is the bomb! So delish! I love garlic so only change was 2 extra cloves of garlic and frozen thawed shrimp. Can’t wait to make it with fresh (soon to be winter Texans)!
Thanks for the rating Christine and so glad you love it too, and totally jealous of your fresh Texas shrimp.
I must say I am loving your recipes! This scampi and the Lemon Rosemary Roasted chicken have become my favorite recipes ever! I think I don’t make chicken any other way now ❤️
Thank you Stephanie! So glad you are enjoying adding these recipes to your cooking in the kitchen.
Delicious. My husband loved it. Will definitely be making this more often. Easy and delicious.
Made this last minute on a whim and it as super easy and so yummy over rice!!
I don’t think I’ve ever made a better tasting scampi sauce!. Took some to my daughter and she loved it as well!!
Thanks for sharing
Happy to hear you both liked it!
This is my new fave!! I don’t think I’ve ever had better. Thanks for sharing!!
Yay! Glad you liked it Cindy!
The butter was too much – I will use half of the butter next time!
Glad you’re able to adapt it to your own taste Erin.
Followed recipe but doubled sauce. Served over thin pasta and it was absolutely delicious. Thank you!
So glad you enjoyed it Joanne. Thanks for the 5 star rating!
Excellent Shrimp Scampi recipe, the only one you need! I made it just as is, served over angel hair pasta…I did double the sauce to cover the pasta better. Thank you for great recipe!
So glad you enjoyed it Diane!
Yummy!!!! My favorite dish
Sp glad you enjoyed it Donna. Thanks for the 5-star rating!
This is probably the best thing I’ve ever made!! Thank you so much for the amazing recipe!
You are welcome Rebecca! Thanks for the comment and 5-star rating!
Delicious! Next time I will shoot for more sauce. My Italian neighbor, who is a great cook, recommended a small bottle of clam juice as that is what he uses.
Clam juice is a great idea to add more seafood flavor.
I have not made this yet, but intend to, for my husband & sister. I’m allergic to shrimp & wonder if I can use the same method & ingredients on scallops which I can eat? It looks delicious!!
Made this for dinner, it was excellent!
I love this recipe it was fast easy and delicious! I added a few different ingredients to taste because my husband wanted it over fettuccine. Therefore it had to be enough sauce to pour over the shrimp/stir in. I prefer the shrimp alone or with steamed veggies on the side but either way they were full of flavor
Sounds like a great all-around dinner to me!
It was magnificent. I paired it with risotto. Yum!!
Amazing!!! Super easy and quick week day dinner! The flavors are spot on, it’s like a party in your mouth.
So glad to hear you liked it Michelle. Party on!
This recipe had a very good taste, but I was wondering how to get more gravy. We had it with rice, and it got dry because there wasn’t enough gravy to spoon over it. Is there anything I can add?
Try doubling the sauce ingredients next time.
This was so delicious and I will be making it again! Thank you for sharing such amazing recipes!
So glad you enjoyed it Alissa.
Delicious! Followed the recipe exactly as instructed
This by far is the best shrimp scampi I’ve ever tasted!
I just can’t believe I made something that tastes so outstanding!
I tried this & it was delicious
OMG!!! I have made many various shrimp scampi recipes and I can say this is the best by far. The cold butter at the end really makes a difference.
I am eating it as I am typing. This is the only recipe I will ever use from here on out
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
I made this tonight and it was SO GOOD!!! Will definitely make again!
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
This hands down is our favorite recipe. We make it just about every other week. I also double the sauce because you need more sauce with the pasta. Perfect meal and everyone on my house is happy. Thank you
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
Thank you Amy!
Omg! This recipe is great!!! So easy, I’ve seen others that were so unnecessarily complicated. I don’t eat meat so I sautéed onions and peppers and added it in and it was so yummy !!
Heidi, this was fantastic! Oh my word… keeping this in my go-to recipes. Perfect balance of lemon, garlic, parmeson, and heat in a completely satisfying meal. My husband and I made this under quarantine with Covid-19 . Had a blast making and eating it together. We halved the recipe and no leftovers. Making again very soon! Maybe adding some dry wine to sauce next time. Thank you so much!
Margie from MN.
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
Thank you so much Margie!
I only have pre-cooked (ready to eat) shrimp, does that mean I can’t make this recipe? I can’t tell if this requires raw shrimp. Although I’m guessing since your recipe calls for shells on that that may mean raw…I’m ignorant!
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
You definitely could use that shrimp you would just need to modify and only warm the shrimp
I could have eaten the entire dish! Excellent and easy .
I used pre-cooked frozen peeled/deveined shrimp making this recipe tonight and it was soooooooooooo delicious. Follow the directions for defrosting on the package and when it’s time to throw them in the pan, just watch them to make sure they get the nice light golden color. I sauteed half an onion before throwing my shrimp in, and I think that helped. I was a little scared that the shrimp would come out tough and rubbery but they were fine, so im happy I took the easy route. This came out soooo good, I actually might go pick up more shrimp tomorrow to make it again.
Made this tonight and it was amazing!! Easy to follow recipe.
This was delicious. The sauce was amazing. I’ll be making this again.
So glad you enjoyed T. Thanks for the rating and comment!
so easy and DELICIOUS. Made a decadent, lick the spoon, bowl and plate sauce. Used on top of angel hair pasta and made a luscious lemony, creamy shrimp pasta. Cant wait to make this dinner for my parents. Thank you for a perfect recipie!
Delicious! I used extra butter to make more sauce. Would probably use less lemon next time. I also topped with feta cheese.
Thank you for sharing.
So glad you enjoyed Germaine!
Made this last night for my family. Everyone loved it! I’ve made shrimp scampi before but its been a while and I wanted to follow a recipe, so I did some research and glad I found yours! Prepping the shrimp with garlic, oil, red pepper flakes and salt for an hour prior to cooking was something I’d never done before and I think it really helped with melding the flavors together. I added a little more butter at the end (probably 3 TBSP instead of the suggested 1 TBPS) because everyone loves a little extra sauce over here! Otherwise I made the recipe as is and it was delicious!
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
I am so glad this was delicious for you!
Loved this recipe. – easy, quick and so flavorful!!!!
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
This scampi looks delicious. Making me hungry. My husband will Like it too.
This dish was absolutely delicious!!!! My husband loved it! I put it over whole wheat spaghetti noodles. I will definitely make this again! Thank you for the recipe!
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
So easy! Great flavors! Served over pasta. Only addition was a sprinkling of Old Bay Seasoning because I love it.
Delicious! Forget Red Lobster, we are cooking at home. I was out of wine (I know but it is COVID time and things happen.) So I used a lemon aid wine cooler. It was a little sweet but after I put the second 1/2 tsp of salt and the red peppers in, you couldn’t tell the difference. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I can’t wait to try your other shrimp recipes too!
So glad it cured your Red Lobster cravings :) And lemon aid wine cooler??!! Excellent grocery games addition.
Delicious recipe!! I didn’t have red pepper flakes so I subbed crushed red pepper. The flavor was amazing! I tossed it with Angel hair past and it was a hit! Thank you for this great recipe!