This easy shrimp scampi recipe is made with tender shrimp, buttery garlic, a dash of white wine, salty capers, and fresh lemon for an insane amount of flavor. Even better, this dish is beginner friendly and ready in just 25 minutes!
Why You’ll Adore This Easy Shrimp Scampi Recipe
If you’ve been looking for a shrimp pasta recipe, you will absolutely love this shrimp scampi. It’s a simple and delicious dish that will be ready to eat in less than 30 minutes. Here are just some of the reasons why you need to try this recipe right away.
- Fresh Ingredients: This recipe for shrimp scampi uses fresh and flavorful ingredients, such as garlic, lemon, capers, and fresh herbs that create a wonderful balance of taste and texture. You taste buds will be very happy.
- Adaptable: Feel free to make this scampi your own! Try any kind of pasta you’d like, such as spaghetti, linguine, or angel hair. Some people omit the pasta completely and just enjoy it with crusty bread. You can also adjust the amount of lemon juice, wine, and capers to suit your preference.
- Sure to Impress: Friends and family alike will rave about this dish. Shrimp scampi looks and smells amazing on the plate, and you can garnish it with parmesan cheese and parsley for a little extra flair.
What You’ll Need
Is there anything better than making a delicious dish with minimal effort and ingredients? Not much! You can make this easy shrimp scampi recipe with simple-to-find ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page for exact amounts of each ingredient.
- Pasta: We prefer thick fettuccine noodles, but try any kind of pasta you’d like.
- Shrimp: We use medium shrimp that have already been peeled and deveined.
- White Wine: For the best flavor, use a dry white wine that you’d enjoy drinking. If you don’t want to use wine, you can substitute chicken stock.
- Lemon: We’ll use fresh lemon juice and zest from whole lemons.
- Salt and Pepper
- Seafood Seasoning: Old Bay is our favorite kind of seafood seasoning. If you can’t find Old Bay in your area, you can substitute crab boil, cajun seasoning, or mix a little celery salt with paprika.
- Butter: Unsalted
- Shallots: We like the mild flavor of shallots, but you can also use sweet onion.
- Capers: These are optional, but you’ll love the flavor. See the next section for more details on capers!
- Parsley: Fresh herbs will brighten up this dish quite a bit.
- Parmesan Cheese: Optional garnish but really tasty!
Do I Have to Add Capers?
Capers are optional in this shrimp scampi recipe, but we highly recommend them. These tangy and crunchy little buds add wonderful pops of salt, texture, and color to each bite. And they compliment the lemon butter sauce really well. Traditional shrimp scampi doesn’t use this ingredient, but we think our version is a big step up from the original!
If you’ve never tried capers before, this dish is a great time to do so. It’s totally up to you, but … trust us, you’ll be amazed by the flavor!
How to Make Shrimp Scampi
This buttery garlic shrimp scampi couldn’t be easier to make. Check out the recipe card at the end of the page for detailed instructions.
- Boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once the water is boiling, add a small handful of salt and stir in the pasta. Cook it according to package directions, drain, and then set aside while you finish the shrimp and sauce.
- Sauté: Melt the butter in a sauté pan and then add in all of your ingredients except the garnishes. Cook everything together being sure to stir often so nothing burns.
- Combine and Serve: After about 5 minutes, you’ll notice your shrimp have turned pink. Once that happens, toss in the cooked pasta, some more butter, lemon juice, and fresh parsley. Garnish with some fresh parmesan cheese, serve, and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Shrimp Scampi
Even though easy shrimp recipes like this one are super simple to make, we always find it helpful to share tips from our kitchen to yours. They will make your cooking experience fool proof!
- Be Prepared: This recipe is very quick and you’ll want to have all your ingredients prepped before you start cooking. Shrimp cook in 4-5 minutes, and will turn rubbery if they cook much longer. Be ready to move fast!
- Wine: Always use a good quality white wine. We personally enjoy a Sav Blanc or Chardonnay in this dish, but a Pinot Grigio would also be great. Just avoid a sweeter white wine for this dish since the flavors won’t work well.
- Wine Substitute: Don’t drink or want to cook with wine? No problem. The dry white wine can be substituted with chicken broth if you wish to leave it out. It does alter the flavor a little, but with enough garlic and butter, you will still be enjoying every bite.
- Pasta: You can use any type of pasta that you want as well. I used fettuccine, but this dish is also amazing with something super thin like angel hair pasta. There is no wrong pasta choice here, use whatever you have in the pantry!
- Shrimp: Buy shrimp that is already peeled and deveined for quickness and ease. Leave those steps to the experts so you can just focus on cooking them up and enjoying your dish.
What to Serve With Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp scampi is a complete meal all on its own. But if you’d like to add a side dish to round it out, we recommend trying our strawberry and spinach salad for a nice contrast to the richness of the scampi. Other great options would be our arugula salad with fried goat cheese or cucumber salad. If you really want to be decadent, enjoy a piece or two of garlic bread to sop up any remaining sauce!
What Can I Do With Leftovers?
One thing to note about this recipe for shrimp scampi is that it doesn’t store or reheat well. This is a dish best made and served fresh. Once shrimp are cooked, they turn rubbery if you try to reheat them. And the leftover pasta soaks up the sauce and can dry out overnight.
Our recommendation is to only make enough that you can eat in one sitting.
- Storage: Not recommended. This is one of those dishes you’ll want to fully enjoy the night you cook it, because the leftovers just won’t be worth it.
- Reheating: Again, not recommended. This is not a dish that reheats well.
- Freezing: Not a chance!
Looking For More Easy Shrimp Recipes?
- 12 oz fettuccine pasta
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 tablespoon butter, divided
- 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic. minced
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest, optional
- 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup drained capers
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
- Parmesan Cheese, for topping
- For the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta. Cook according to package directions, until al dente. Drain the pasta.
- Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium high heat melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add shrimp, shallots, garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, seafood seasoning, black pepper, capers and wine. Cook stirring often.
- Once shrimp turn pink, about 5 minutes, toss in cooked pasta. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and parsley.
- Toss to coat and serve immediately. Garnish with shredded parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, as desired.