Delicious shrimp scampi ready in under 15 minutes! We love this scampi sauce made with garlic, butter, white wine, and lemon. It’s perfect served on its own, over pasta, rice, or zucchini noodles for a low-carb option.
⭐️ Don’t miss our popular garlic butter shrimp with lots of happy reviews.
3 Secrets for perfect shrimp scampi
- Cook the shrimp quickly over high heat. Shrimp only need to cook for a few minutes per side until they are opaque and pink. Using a larger skillet makes sure the shrimp have room.
- Add wine and lemon juice to deglaze the pan. This helps to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and add flavor to the sauce.
- Swirl in butter and parsley at the end of cooking. This will create a rich and velvety sauce and prevents the sauce from breaking.
Classic shrimp scampi is such a wonderful dish. I love how simple it is to make (only 15 minutes) and the short list of ingredients. Add this easy shrimp scampi recipe to your list of go-to weeknight dinners!
Key ingredients in our shrimp scampi
Use fresh, high-quality shrimp. Jumbo or large shrimp are perfect, but you can use any size of shrimp that you prefer. You’ll get around 30 large shrimp per pound, which works well when serving this as an appetizer or tossing with pasta. I leave the tails on my shrimp. They do add a little flavor to the dish, but you can always remove them before cooking.
Shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes are the base of our simple sauce. We cook them in olive oil until soft and sweet before adding our shrimp.
Fresh lemon juice and white wine deglaze the pan and are what really makes our sauce pop with flavor.
Butter and parsley transforms the lemon wine sauce into a smooth, creamy sauce.
What is the best wine for shrimp scampi?
The best wine for shrimp scampi is a dry, crisp white wine. We reach for Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or unoaked Chardonnay. The most important thing to remember is to use something you enjoy. Our scampi recipe calls for 1/2 cup of wine, so you will have some leftover to enjoy with the shrimp.
What can I use instead of white wine?
If you do not have wine or choose not to cook with it, you can substitute the wine for chicken broth or vegetable broth. I also like adding more lemon to the sauce to balance the loss of acidity when leaving the wine out.
How to prevent scampi sauce from breaking
To prevent the garlic butter sauce from breaking, add the butter to the skillet off the heat at the end of cooking and swirl it in slowly.
How to serve shrimp scampi with pasta
Spoon this easy shrimp scampi over spaghetti or linguine, or follow a few more steps for the best shrimp scampi pasta:
Get the pasta cooking in a large pot straight away. The shrimp takes around 5 minutes to cook. Check the package directions for the cooking time associated with the pasta you are using.
When tossing the cooked pasta with the sauce and shrimp, if it seems dry, add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the cooking water to thin it out. The starches in the water will also help the sauce to stick to the pasta strands.
More easy shrimp recipes
- These chile butter shrimp tacos with a simple slaw and avocado mash are seriously tasty.
- Soba noodles, pesto, and roasted shrimp make dinner easy.
- This 15-minute shrimp pasta is perfect for busy nights.
Easy Shrimp Scampi
How to make garlic butter shrimp scampi in under 15 minutes. Perfect served alone or spooned over pasta, rice or lower carb zucchini noodles.
You Will Need
1 pound large or extra-large shrimp, peeled with tails left on and deveined
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, cut into four pieces
1/4 cup minced shallot (1 medium), see notes
1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 cup dry, crisp white wine like pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc or unoaked chardonnay, see notes for alternatives
1 lemon, cut in half
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, chopped
- Cook Shrimp
1Pat the shrimp dry then season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper.
2Add the olive oil to a wide skillet. Place the skillet with olive oil over medium heat then add the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir around the pan until fragrant; about 1 minute.
3Add the shrimp, nestling them into the pan so that they are in one layer. A few shrimp stacked on top of each other is okay. Cook, without moving until the edges start to turn pink, about 1 minute.
4Flip the shrimp and stir in the wine and the juice from half a lemon (1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons). Continue to cook until the wine has reduced a bit and the shrimp are cooked through, another minute or two. Slide the skillet off of the heat.
- Make Scampi Sauce
1Transfer the shrimp to a plate, and then, with the skillet off of the heat, add the butter and parsley. Stir the butter around the pan so that it melts into the sauce making a creamy butter sauce. (If the butter is not melting, place the skillet over low heat until it does).
2Taste then season as needed with salt, pepper or additional lemon juice.
3Serve with a few extra slices of lemon on the side or with pasta, zucchini noodles or rice.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Substitute for shallot: Use 1/4 cup minced yellow, white or sweet onion.
- Substitute for wine: Use 1/2 cup of chicken, vegetable or seafood broth. I also like adding a bit more lemon juice.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Shrimp Scampi with Pasta: Use 8 to 12 ounces of dry pasta for 1 pound of shrimp. If, when tossing the pasta into the scampi sauce, it seems dry, add a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water to thin it out a bit. The starches in the water will also help the sauce to stick to the pasta strands.
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.