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A Simple and Elegant Shrimp Scampi Recipe

Shrimp scampi is a delightful and classic Italian dish that combines succulent shrimp with a rich lemon garlic butter sauce. It’s a quick and easy meal that can transform a simple dinner into a gourmet experience. Traditionally served over angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti, this dish is perfect for both weeknight dinners and special occasions. The combination of flavors and textures makes it a crowd-pleaser that’s sure to impress.


  • Pasta and Shrimp:
  • 8 ounces thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Vegetables and Seasonings:
  • 1/4 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch segments
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese


Preparing the Pasta and Shrimp

  1. Cook the Pasta:
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to box instructions until al dente. Drain well and set aside.
  1. Cook the Shrimp:
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. Shrimp should be pink and opaque.
  • Remove the shrimp from the skillet and cover to keep warm.

Sautéing the Vegetables

  1. Cook the Asparagus:
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, stirring frequently for approximately 4-5 minutes.
  1. Add Garlic and Tomatoes:
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
  • Add the grape tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds, stirring several times.

Combining Ingredients

  1. Deglaze the Pan:
  • Add the dry white wine to the skillet and cook for 1 minute, allowing it to reduce slightly.
  1. Add Shrimp and Seasonings:
  • Return the shrimp to the skillet, along with the lemon juice, parsley, and red pepper flakes.
  • Warm for a little less than 1 minute while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Serve:
  • Serve the shrimp scampi over the cooked angel hair pasta.
  • Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Tips for the Perfect Shrimp Scampi

  • Preparation is Key: This recipe moves quickly, so have all your ingredients prepped and within reach before you start cooking.
  • Quality Ingredients: Use wild-caught shrimp if available, as they are tastier and healthier. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese also makes a significant difference in flavor.
  • Pasta Variations: You can substitute fettuccine or linguine for the pasta. For a low-carb option, consider using zoodles (zucchini noodles) or spaghetti squash.
  • Cooking Shrimp: Shrimp cook very quickly. They are done when they turn pink and opaque and curl into a “C” shape. Avoid overcooking to prevent them from becoming tough and rubbery.
  • Garlic Timing: Garlic can become bitter if cooked too long, so it’s added towards the end of the recipe to retain its flavor.
  • Wine Alternatives: Use a dry white wine like Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc. If you prefer not to cook with wine, chicken broth is a suitable substitute.
See also  Savory Lentil Patties


What is Shrimp Scampi?

Shrimp scampi is an Italian-American dish typically made with shrimp cooked in a garlic, lemon, and butter sauce, often served over pasta.

Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe?

Yes, frozen shrimp can be used. Make sure to thaw and pat them dry before cooking to avoid excess moisture in the pan.

What type of wine should I use for shrimp scampi?

A dry white wine such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc is recommended. If you don’t want to use wine, chicken broth can be substituted.

How can I make this dish gluten-free?

To make this dish gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta. The other ingredients are naturally gluten-free.

Can I add other vegetables to the dish?

Yes, feel free to add other vegetables such as bell peppers, spinach, or mushrooms to customize the dish to your liking.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave.


This simple and elegant shrimp scampi recipe is a wonderful addition to your culinary repertoire. With its quick preparation and rich, flavorful sauce, it’s perfect for any occasion. Enjoy this dish with a glass of your favorite white wine and a side of crusty bread for a complete and satisfying meal.