Shrimp scampi, loosely translated, means "shrimp shrimp" in Italian. And while the shrimp may be the star of the dish, there is so much more to it. Garlic, lemon, and parsley join forces in a velvety, buttery, wine sauce to form what might be one of the most iconic Italian-American seafood dishes. Serve by itself as a pre-dinner snack, or add some pasta or rice and you've got an entire meal that will be a hit any night of the week. Because, after all, it can be made in under 30 minutes.
What is shrimp scampi?
Shrimp Scampi comes in many variations, but most recipes will contain garlic, lemon, white wine, and parsley as ingredients. Scampi or langoustines in Italy are not shrimp. They are small lobster-like crustaceans. In America, Italian chefs substituted shrimp for scampi, but kept both names, thus creating the popular Italian-American dish known as shrimp scampi. Not quite an oxymoron, but just an interesting way to keep the scampi name intact.
Our favorite way to eat shrimp scampi is with a loaf of crusty Italian bread. The bread does a fantastic job of mopping up that buttery, garlicky wine sauce. SO GOOD. A glass of Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Grigio also pairs perfectly with this dish.
And since shrimp scampi pairs so well with bread, we also love these shrimp scampi rolls which are a more budget-friendly alternative to lobster rolls.
If you want to serve it over a pound of pasta, we recommend increasing the liquid ingredients by 50% and using some added pasta water in the sauce. In this very similar Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta, we added pasta water in the same manner to create the sauce. You can also serve this dish over rice.
How to make it
Each numbered pic corresponds to the numbered written instructions below.
- Begin by adding a ½ teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to the 1 ½ pounds of shrimp in a glass bowl. Mix well and set aside.
- Remove any large stems from the parsley, then mince a ¼ cup.
- Mince 6 cloves of garlic. Or use as much as you like as garlic is truly a personal preference.
- Heat a large pan to medium and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 4 tablespoons of butter. Let it melt then add the garlic.
- Once the garlic turns lightly golden (about 2-3 minutes) add ¾ cup of dry white wine and a ¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Turn heat to high and let the wine reduce by half (about 3-5 minutes).
- Once reduced turn heat back down to medium and add the shrimp in. Saute for 4-5 minutes.
- Once the shrimp turn pink and slightly firm they are done. Turn off the heat.
- Add in all the parsley and the juice of half a lemon. Season with black pepper to taste. Taste test and make any last-minute adjustments to salt, pepper, or red pepper flake levels if required.
Serve with lemon wedges and crusty Italian bread. Enjoy!
If you're looking for a veggie to pair with this dish, check out these delicious sides that can be made just as quickly as this classic shrimp scampi recipe.
- Baking soda and salt brine the shrimp, making them plumper and juicer. It's a simple technique that is great for almost all shrimp recipes.
- Fresh good quality ingredients make all the difference in this dish.
- Use fresh garlic, parsley, and good-quality white wine. Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay are both good wine choices.
- Shrimp tend to dry out and get rubbery when reheated or when cooked too much. Just cook the shrimp until they are pink and firm to the touch. Taste test or cut one in half while cooking to check for doneness. Cooking time will vary based on the size of the shrimp. For example, U21/25 shrimp are larger and will take longer to cook than U41/50 shrimp. The "U" refers to the amount per pound.
- Serve with crusty Italian bread. For pasta add 50 percent more wine and butter. Also, use a bit more pasta water to make a sauce that won't dry out.
- Leftovers can be reheated gently on the stovetop until warmed through, but it is recommended to eat it all right away.
Try these other Italian shrimp recipes
- Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Linguine - Classic Italian-American spicy shrimp dish with plum tomatoes and white wine.
- Shrimp Oreganata - Super tasty seasoned breadcrumbs sprinkled onto colossal shrimp and oven-baked.
- Shrimp Arrabbiata - Shrimp in a spicy red sauce with vinegar peppers.
If you like this shrimp scampi recipe give it a share! Leave a comment. We would love to know how you did and it’s nice to show others as well. Thanks!
The full recipe video for this and many others can be found below in the recipe card and on the Sip and Feast Youtube Channel. We are working on making every single recipe on this site into a full-length instructional video. We are also on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. We appreciate you reading this and making our recipes! Thanks!
- 1 ½ pounds large shrimp
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup parsley minced
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large lemon
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Begin by mixing the shrimp with the baking soda and kosher salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a large pan to medium heat and add the olive oil and butter to the pan. Once butter melts add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Add the white wine and crushed red pepper to the pan and turn heat to high.
- Once the wine reduces by half (about 3-5 minutes) add the shrimp in and turn the heat back down to medium.
- Cook the shrimp until they turn light pink and firm. Depending on the size of shrimp this will take anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
- Once shrimp are fully cooked through turn off the heat and add the parsley and the juice of half a lemon. Season with a nice amount of black pepper.
- Taste test the sauce and make any final adjustments to salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper if required. Serve with crusty Italian bread. Enjoy!
- Baking soda makes shrimp plumper and juicier.
- Fresh good quality ingredients make all the difference in this dish.
- Use fresh garlic, parsley, and good quality white wine.
- Leftovers can be reheated gently on the stovetop until warmed through.
- Serve with crusty Italian bread. For pasta add 50 percent more wine and butter. Also use a bit more pasta water to make a sauce that won't dry out.
This guy is an excellent cook tried a couple of his recipes although I have my own and I thought they were fabulous 🇮🇹👑🇮🇹👍👍👍
Thank you! That's really nice of you to say.
Wow! This shrimp scampi was absolutely delicious. I added extra butter and wine as indicated for a side of linguine. My guests raved about it as well. We had about 8 shrimp leftover, but only about 6 strands of linguine. What a delicious meal. And easy to make as well. Thank you.
I'm so glad you all enjoyed it! Thanks for the comment!
I have two pounds of shrimp as we are hosting dinner. I want to have a little extra “broth” leftover too to have with pasta. Any recommended adjustments to achieve this?
With you having 2 pounds of shrimp I would use about 50% more of the sauce ingredients (wine, butter, and lemon juice). When you make the pasta reserve at least a cup of the pasta water. Add a couple of ounces of it at a time if the sauce needs to be loosened up. Enjoy!
A scrumptious dish (Shrimp Scampi) and you show how simple ingredients can always taste best. Your tips for increasing to more servings is always very helpful, we do all the Sunday dinners at our house!
Thank you! Glad you like the recipe.
Can’t wait to try this! Can you also show us how to make Chicken parmesan? Your videos are great.
Hey, I hope you enjoy it and I do have a video and recipe post for chicken parm. Here it is: https://www.sipandfeast.com/chicken-parmigiana/
I'm a recent subscriber Jim, a Whitestone guy now in bucolic Sparta NJ. Your presentations are a pleasure to watch, thanks for doing this. You remind me of all the guys I worked with in the NYPD who grow up out on the island. I cook all the time as well, trying new techniques and honing my knife skills (see what I did there?:) Keep up the good work brother!
Glad you're enjoying all the recipes and videos, James. I almost did join the NYPD after college. My father was in the Sheriff's department so it was almost a perfect fit. I'll keep honing my craft 😉
Delicious!! Made additional sauce and had it over spaghetti!
Can’t wait to make it again!
Thank you for another great recipe
Thanks, Rich! So happy you enjoyed this one!
Looks really great! Love all your recipes and videos!
Hi Russ, thank you, and happy you're enjoying the videos and recipes!
Cathy Jo Sims
Thanks for all your videos. I just happened to come across your videos when searching for a simple recipe. I definitely need it kept simple; as I was never taught to cook growing up and I always felt guilty for not knowing how to cook at all. What really drew me in to your videos and made me a forever fan, was when I watched another video with you and your daughter and I actually cried because the way you were interacting with her was so genuine and loving and she also asked many questions that I had. You make a wonderful team. You are a great father and your children will succeed in whatever they choose. Let me know when you get your own cooking show; as I'm sure the requests are flooding in. Thanks again for keeping it simple for people like me.
Hi CJ, this may be one of the nicest comments I've ever received. Thank you for sharing this with me and I'm grateful to have been able to help you learn a bit about cooking.
Love your recipes
Thank you, Skip!
Without even asking my husband said, if I would rate this it would be a 5.
I followed the recipe and added more wine and butter since I was serving the shrimp on pasta. I added too much red pepper for my liking, but other than that it was delicious and I will make it again.
I do recommend having your table set. If you are serving salad, pasta or garlic bread I definitely would recommend preparing those items first. Once you have your ingredient ready and the oil/butter is hot , it all goes so quickly.
Hi Jane, thanks for the comment and so happy you liked this one!
Love this recipe. Made tonight and it was a winner!
Hi Deborah, thanks for the comment and so happy you liked the scampi!
I grew up on LI and loved the Italian American food that is so prevalent there. I stumbled across one of your YouTube videos a while ago and have been a subscriber ever since. You and your family are a joy to watch. You make me smile. I've made so many of your recipes and have not had a single failure. This recipe looks great and I'm going to make it tonight. However, I have a question. I usually prep for dinner in the morning, so I can get dinner on the table quickly in the evening. How far in advance can I brine the shrimp with the baking soda and salt? Thanks and keep on cooking!
Hi Marilyn, I really appreciate this comment and so happy you're enjoying the videos and recipes! I would only brine with the baking soda/salt for 15 minutes. I wouldn't go longer than that. You can certainly omit the brine if you'd prefer to prep in the morning - the shrimp will still be good. Hope you enjoy!
love your recepies!!
This is now our favorite shrimp scampi recipe. The ingredients call for 4 Tbsp butter, and the directions start with 2 Tbsp in the pan with the OO, but don't say when to add the other 2 Tbsp butter. So I just started with 4 Tbsp in the pan plus the OO. Added 50% more wine as recommended. Served with orzo and crusty bread - there was not a drop of sauce left. (Only used a half-pound of shrimp since it's just the two of us, and there were no shrimp left either.)
Hi Mike, so happy you enjoyed the scampi! You were right to add the 4 tbsp of butter all at once and I've corrected the instructions to read 4 instead of 2. Thanks for the comment!
Hi Gail, thanks for the comment and so happy you enjoyed it!
Love all your recipes as they are well written with pure Italian ingredients and methods.
All your recipes and videos are my go to when I need a refresher of a recipe.
Hi Branka, I'm so happy to hear we're your go-to for recipes, thank you for that! I really appreciate the comment and am so happy you're enjoying the recipes and videos.
Jim, you are an amazing chef, every one of your recipe that you have shared, and I have made, are delicious, easy to prepare, and watching your videos with your beautiful family makes them so special. I am 86, and so many of them are from my childhood. My mom, was an amazing cook also. You prepare them the same as she did. Bring loving memories 💕🌷💕
Hi Anita, I'm so happy you're enjoying the recipes and really appreciate your kind words; thank you!