Shrimp scampi is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get a delicious, impressive meal on the table. Just sauté plump shrimp in a zesty white wine and butter scampi sauce and toss it with garlic, parsley, chili flakes, and linguine pasta. You’ll have an unforgettable dinner ready in 30 minutes.
What is Scampi?
Here’s a little Italian lesson for you: “scampi” isn’t a way of cooking shrimp. It’s actually the Italian name for langoustines, a different type of shellfish that was originally used. When the dish was adapted stateside, Italian-American chefs started using easier-to-find shrimp instead of scampi — but they kept the old name. And now when we hear the words “shrimp scampi” our mouths start to water.
Can I use Frozen Shrimp?
You can use frozen shrimp — just thaw them in cold, running water for five minutes before you throw them into the pan. We told you this was easy!
Do I need to use Shrimp with tails?
We left the tails on, because just look at those little beauties. (And they add lots of deep flavor to the sauce, too.) But if you don’t like pulling off tails while you slurp your pasta, feel free to use shrimp that already have the tails removed.
- 1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 4 tbsps butter divided
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 3 to 5 garlic cloves minced (about 2 Tablespoons, or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
- ½ cup dry white wine may substitute clam juice or chicken broth
- Kosher salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- ¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
- ⅓ lb angel hair or linguine pasta cooked to serve, reserve the cooking water
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese optional
- In a large pan over medium heat, melt half of the butter with the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and chili flakes and cook until they're fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the white wine, salt, and black pepper and bring it to a simmer. Allow the wine mixture to simmer for 2-3 minutes or until it is reduced by about half.
- Add the shrimp to the pan and cook, stirring often, until just cooked through (about 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the size of your shrimp).
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and mix to combine. Add the chopped parsley.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, lemon juice, or more chili flakes, if desired. You can also adjust the consistency of the sauce with a little of the reserved pasta cooking water, if needed. Serve over pasta and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
If you watch our video, you’ll see that even though shrimp scampi has connotations of candlelit date nights with a white tablecloth and Italian wine, there’s really nothing fancy about the cooking techniques or the ingredients — which means you basically can’t mess this up.
The rich and buttery, bright and lemony, herb and garlicky flavors are bold enough for a dinner party or date night — but since our shrimp scampi just takes 30 minutes, you can also treat yourself to an Italian seafood feast any night of the week. Buon appetito!