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.

Large metal spoon holding two shrimp.

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.

Ingredients shown on cutting board: parsley, butter, lemon, garlic, white wine, and shrimp in glass bowl.

How to make it

Each numbered pic corresponds to the numbered written instructions below. 

  1. Begin by adding a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to the 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp in a glass bowl.  Mix well and set aside.
  2. Remove any large stems from the parsley, then mince a 1/4 cup.

Shrimp scampi recipe process shot collage group number one.

  1. Mince 6 cloves of garlic.  Or use as much as you like as garlic is truly a personal preference.
  2. 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.
  3. Once the garlic turns lightly golden (about 2-3 minutes) add 3/4 cup of dry white wine and a 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.  Turn heat to high and let the wine reduce by half (about 3-5 minutes).
  4. Once reduced turn heat back down to medium and add the shrimp in.  Saute for 4-5 minutes.

Recipe process shot collage group number two.

  1. Once the shrimp turn pink and slightly firm they are done.  Turn off the heat.
  2. 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.

Top tips

  • 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.

Shrimp scampi Pinterest image.

Try these other Italian shrimp recipes

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 InstagramPinterest, and Facebook.  We appreciate you reading this and making our recipes!  Thanks!

Shrimp Scampi

5 from 24 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Classic shrimp scampi recipe with garlic, white wine, parsley, and butter.

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley minced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions 

  • 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!

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.3g | Protein: 39.2g | Fat: 21.4g | Saturated Fat: 9.2g | Cholesterol: 389mg | Sodium: 925mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.4g | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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50 Comments

  1. Frank says:

    Loved this recipe I added some broccoli and onion

  2. Step-Jeff says:

    5 stars
    Made this for my wife who couldn’t have red meat. She loved it came out great. Thanks man. 👍

  3. Christine Nenna says:

    5 stars
    Fabulous!!!! Made this for dinner last night and it was out of this world! In my sixty years of cooking, never have I made such a delicious shrimp scampi. Followed the recipe to a tee-easy prep and cooking. Look forward to making your shrimp and orzo recipe next. Thank you!

  4. Darlene Schunk-Hendrickson says:

    5 stars
    great shrimp scampi dish! 5 star and better! your daughter is adorable <3

  5. Cindy Arient says:

    This was AMAZING!! Followed the recipe to a “t”… it was excellent, quick and a boat load of flavor and sauce! Your recipes are simply the best!! Thank you for AMAZING food!!

  6. Flo says:

    Jm How much shrimp for the scampi and how much pasta for 10 adults I want to serve on Christmas eve. love the way you cook!!!!

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Flo, thanks for the comment! Please use the 2x and 3x buttons on the recipe card to scale the recipe up.

  7. Gena Maranto says:

    5 stars
    Perfect!

    1. James says:

      Hi Gena, thanks for the comment and so happy you enjoyed the recipe!

  8. Steve Mainero says:

    Hi Jim: I have used your recipe more than a dozen times and it is always delicious. My wife and I share the cooking — I do 4 nights, she does 3. We are at the point that, if we need a recipe, we check Sip and Feast first before any. I am an old Italian that learned to cook from his Dad (the men always cooked Sunday dinner). Your recipes are the best that are out there. No one tops you (including my Dad). Hoping that one day, you publish a book. Thank you.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Steve, thanks for the comment and kind words. I really appreciate that you and your wife look to Sip and Feast before any other when searching for a recipe. We do plan to get a book out and are hoping that will take place sometime in 2024. We’ll be sure to announce it here, via email, and on social media. Thank you.