Shrimp Scampi is an easy, yet elegant entree featuring shrimp sauteed in a rich sauce infused with white wine and garlic.
While it is delicious served as a stand-alone dish, I love to pair the shrimp with angel hair pasta for a quick Shrimp Scampi Pasta that is easy enough to prepare any night of the week.
What is Shrimp Scampi?
Shrimp Scampi is an Italian-American dish that is made with shrimp that are quickly sauteed in dry wine, butter, and garlic.
The ironic thing about the name of this dish is that it actually does not feature any scampi. Scampi, also known as langoustines, are small, lobster-like crustaceans with pale pink shells. Through the years, shrimp were swapped out from the scampi, forming the dish we know as Shrimp Scampi.
But regardless of the origin of the name, you will love this simple recipe!
Shrimp Scampi cooks up extremely fast--less than 15 minutes! It is the perfect dish for a quick weeknight meal, yet the flavor is so rich and impressive, you can even rely on this recipe for serving to company.
Notes on Ingredients
- Shrimp: It is best to usefresh or defrosted large or extra large, deviened, shelled shrimp.
- Oil/Butter: This recipe uses both olive oil and butter. The butter adds richness to the shrimp scampi, while the olive oil allows you to saute the shrimp at a higher temperature, than butter alone.
- White Wine: It is best to use dry white wine like chardonnay or pinot grigio for this shrimp scampi. If you don't drink wine, use low-sodium chicken stock.
- Shallots: Shallots are much more mild than onions and add a delicate flavor to the shrimp scampi that does not overpower the sauce.
- Lemon: You will need both the zest and juice of a fresh lemon. Be sure to zest the lemon before slicing and juicing the lemon, as it is next to impossible to zest a lemon after it is sliced open.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: The red pepper flakes will add a subtle layer of heat to the sauce and help wake up the palate. Feel free to reduce or omit to control the level of heat if needed.
- Parsley: The parsley adds a nice fresh, herby flavor to the dish, but it can be omitted if desired.
How to Make Shrimp Scampi Pasta
- For the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Season the water with a generous amount of kosher salt and drop the angel hair pasta into the water.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large, deep nonstick skillet.
- Once the butter is melted, add in the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and the shallots. Saute for just a minute to begin to toast the shallots and garlic.
- Add in the shrimp, salt, and pepper, and saute for just 2 minutes.
- Remove the shrimp to a plate.
- Add the wine and lemon juice to the skillet, and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Let the wine reduce by half and then add in the additional tablespoon of butter.
- Once the butter has melted, add the shrimp back into the skillet. Add the lemon zest cook for 1-2 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and firm.
- At this point, the pasta should be cooked. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid.
- Add the pasta, reserved liquid, and an additional tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and toss to combine.
- Heat for 1 minute over low heat just for the flavors to develop and then add in the parsley and serve.
If you are low-carb Shrimp Scampi can easily be prepared without the pasta. The shrimp and sauce can also be served over Instant Pot Rice, soaked up with Dutch Oven Bread, or served on garlic bread as a crostini.
Shrimp Scampi is always best when enjoyed immediately after preparing. However, you can store leftover shrimp scampi and pasta in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Add a splash of stock or water before reheating to keep the pasta from drying out.
FAQs on Shrimp Scampi
It is best to use raw shrimp so that the shrimp can be infused with rich garlic sauce.
Yes! In fact, it will add a lot of richness to your sauce. However, for ease of eating and less mess, I prefer using shelled shrimp. Keep in mind it will take about 5 minutes longer to cook shrimp with shells.
No! Shrimp Scampi is delicious when served alone or with crusty bread or rice. Simply omit the pasta from the recipe and reduce the oil from 3 tablespoons to 2 tablespoons.
More Recipes for Shrimp
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Shrimp Scampi Pasta
- 16 ounces angel hair pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter divided
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 2 shallots finely diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic about 3-4 cloves
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ pounds large or extra-large shrimp shelled and deveined
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
- 1 fresh lemon juice, and zest
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and salt well with kosher salt. Add in the angel hair pasta and cook for 1 minute less than the package directions state. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid.
- In a large, deep nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and shallots. Saute for 1 minute, just to begin to toast the shallots. Add the shrimp, salt, and pepper to the skillet and saute for just 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a plate.
- Add the wine, or stock, and lemon juice to the skillet, and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce by half and then add in the additional tablespoon of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the shrimp back into the skillet. Add the lemon zest cook for 1-2 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and firm.
- Add the cooked pasta, reserved liquid, parsley, and an additional tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and toss to coat. Heat over low heat for 1 minute just to combine everything. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve immediately.