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Seared Shrimp Scampi Pasta is simmered in an impossibly rich sauce made with white wine, lemon juice, and garlic – among other simple spices and seasonings. Less than 15 minutes from start to finish, this is one tender, mouthwatering weeknight meal that you can make without much hassle, prep, or cleanup required!
Garlic butter shrimp pasta, or shrimp scampi, is made with a white wine sauce flavored with Mediterranean ingredients including red pepper flakes and parsley. Brightened with a splash of lemon juice, it complements the briny shellfish perfectly.
Shrimp scampi pasta is a variation of a classic Italian dish, made with shrimp rather than the traditional lobster, and is traditionally served over a bed of noodles. Despite its complex and unique flavor, it’s actually very simple and quick to prepare!
The sweet and salty flavor of shrimp is one of my favorites to work with. Try out some spicy pozole verde soup, fresh and bright shrimp ceviche, or rich and saucy shrimp and grits straight from New Orleans.
While garlic butter shrimp pasta is, of course, usually served with noodles, you could replace the pasta with rice or mashed potatoes instead. Or you can make it a true melting pot meal and serve with french bread!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Large Shrimp – Either fresh or frozen would be fine. Feel free to keep the tails on or off, but remove the rest of the shell. This is much easier to accomplish with fresh shrimp.
- Olive Oil – You can use canola, sunflower, or vegetable oil as a substitute.
- Garlic – Use fresh minced cloves, not powdered, to ensure a tangible taste of garlic throughout the dish.
- Salt & Pepper – Baseline seasonings that you can’t do without!
- Dry White Wine – You have many options for a good, dry white cooking wine. Sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio are two popular choices.
- Red Pepper Flakes – For a bit of heat. You can use more or less per your own spice tolerance. Some possible substitutes include cayenne, chipotle, or chili powder.
- Parsley – This is a bitter herb that will brighten up once added to the shrimp scampi pasta. You can add (or replace parsley with) oregano, cilantro, or basil.
- Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed is always preferred — you’ll need a couple of lemons to get enough juice.
HOW TO MAKE SHRIMP SCAMPI PASTA
- Sauté the Garlic. Add the olive oil and butter to a saucepan and heat on medium. Once the butter melts, sprinkle in the garlic and sauté for just a minute.
- Make the Scampi Sauce. Pour in the wine and add the salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Continue to heat until the mixture begins to boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer until half of the liquid cooks down.
- Cook the Shrimp. Drop the peeled and cleaned shrimp, tails still intact, into the reduced sauce. Stir fry until the color turns pink. Add the lemon juice, sprinkle in the parsley, and stir until the shrimps are coated and the sauce reduces a bit more.
- Serve & Enjoy! Plate with your choice of cooked pasta, and enjoy!
What is shrimp scampi pasta sauce made of?
It’s a mixture of garlic sauteed in olive oil and butter, dry white wine, black and crushed red pepper, lemon juice, and parsley. The seafood is simmered in this liquid while it reduces and thickens, flavoring it even further. It’s salty, savory, and full of bright flavors!
How do you thicken a scampi sauce?
The sauce will thicken during the cooking process: it first reduces after adding the white wine to garlic and seasonings, and again after cooking the shrimps.
If you want a thicker sauce, you could always let it cook down a bit longer. Alternatively, you can add a small amount of cornstarch slurry until it’s as thick and creamy as you’d like.
What pasta should I make with shrimp scampi?
Garlic butter shrimp pasta is traditionally made with fettuccine or linguine. While these are preferred, any long, flat noodle is recommended. Ultimately, however, you can use any pasta that you like!
How do you make juicy shrimp?
The best way to get your shrimps as tender and juicy as possible is to be sure not to overcook them.
As the recipe instructs, wait until the sauce boils and reduces before adding the shrimp. Don’t cook them for longer than it takes for them to turn pink — roughly 3 minutes. If you decide to reduce the sauce even further, remove the seafood first so that it doesn’t overcook and dry out.
This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking November, 2020, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in July, 2022.
Shrimp Scampi Pasta + Video
- In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and melt the butter. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute.
- Add the dry white wine, salt and peppers. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Reduce liquid in half, several minutes.
- Add the shrimp to the skillet, sauté on medium for 2-4 minutes, turning until shrimp turn pink. Pour in the lemon juice and chopped parsley, tossing to coat and reduce slightly.
- Serve over pasta of choice, steamed rice, or mashed potatoes. Have some crusty French bread around too to dip into the lemony sauce.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, add the oil and linguine. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
- When pasta is done, drain and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, OR transfer to platter, make a well in center to top with cooked shrimp and serve (as pictured).
- You can use fresh or frozen shrimp. Feel free to keep the tails on or off, but remove the rest of the shell. This is much easier to accomplish with fresh shrimp.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.