Shrimp scampi rolls are the garlicky, more budget-friendly cousin to the lobster roll. Shrimp are sauteed in garlic, butter, and white wine, piled onto toasted garlic bread, and topped with a squeeze of lemon and sauteed cherry tomatoes for even more flavor. These rolls are perfect for summer but can be enjoyed all year round!
If you’ve ever been to one of the DJ’s Clam Shack locations, you may have noticed shrimp scampi rolls on the menu.
While we’ve been making our own version of shrimp scampi for years, we never thought to make a shrimp scampi sandwich.
We appreciate the inspiration from DJ’s to make these rolls as they’re much easier on the wallet than lobster rolls, and they are just downright delicious.
If you’re a Sip and Feast regular, you know how much we love cherry tomatoes so naturally, we’ve topped our shrimp scampi rolls with a wilted cherry tomato topping that is optional but adds so much depth of flavor and texture so we encourage you to try it!
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- In a bowl mix together 1 1/4 pounds of extra large shrimp (peeled, deveined, tails removed) with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Set the mixture aside and move on to making your optional tomato topping. Slice 24 ounces of cherry or grape tomatoes in half. Heat a large pan to medium and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the tomatoes. Give the tomatoes a sprinkle of salt and saute until they are wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated (about 7-10 minutes). Taste test and adjust salt and pepper to taste, then place tomatoes into a bowl and set aside.
- Mince 3 cloves of garlic and using the back of a knife, create a paste. Note: Adding a tiny pinch of coarse salt to the garlic will help break it down to create the paste. Wipe down the same pan you cooked the tomatoes in and add 4 tablespoons of butter and the garlic paste. Cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is fragrant (about 2 minutes), then pour the garlic butter into a glass bowl and set aside.
- Spread the garlic butter on the inside of 4 to 6 rolls, hot dog buns, or other rolls of your choosing. Note: You can get about 6 smaller sandwiches or about 3 hero or large subs out of the recipe.
- Toast the rolls, buttered side down, in the pan over medium heat until golden (about 3 minutes). Be careful and watch for burning. Set the garlic bread rolls aside once toasted.
- Heat a large pan to medium heat (I’m using the same pan the whole time = less cleanup!) and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Once the butter melts add 6 cloves of minced garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Add 1 cup of dry white wine and turn the heat to medium-high. Allow the wine to reduce by about half (2-3 minutes) before moving to the next step.
- Add the shrimp to the pan and turn the heat back down to medium, cooking them for approximately 2-4 minutes until they turn pink and firm. Note: Exact cooking time will vary depending on the size of the shrimp.
- Once the shrimp are cooked, turn off the heat and add 3 tablespoons of minced parsley and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Taste test the sauce and make any final adjustments to lemon juice, salt, pepper, or crushed red pepper. Serve on garlic bread and top with the tomatoes. Make sure to use the extra sauce for dipping! Enjoy!
Top tips for super shrimp scampi rolls
- The shrimp. We used uncooked U26 (26 shrimp per pound) shrimp that were already peeled and deveined by the fishmonger. If you can only find smaller shrimp that is fine. Note that depending on the size of the shrimp you use the cooking time may vary from what we’ve outlined. As with many other of our shrimp recipes, we recommend mixing with the salt and baking soda brine to help the shrimp stay plump.
- The rolls. We tested our shrimp scampi stuffed rolls with a few different types of rolls and bread. Hero rolls are a great option if you’re making a bigger sandwich. We also tested with a brioche hamburger bun and brioche split-top hot dog buns. We found the hamburger bun version to be the most flavorful but was also the messiest! If you’re looking to keep this on the neater side, and more closely resemble a lobster roll, opt for the hot dog bun.
- The topping. Cherry tomatoes are one of our favorite ingredients (we grow a lot of them every year) and we use them quite often in our recipes. We wanted to add our own touch to these DJ’s Clam Shack-inspired shrimp scampi rolls, so we came up with our wilted cherry tomato topping. Sure it is optional, but we love the additional flavor and texture it adds to the rolls, and the cherry tomato shrimp combo is wonderful, like in our shrimp tomato basil pasta recipe. You can certainly skip this part and squeeze some lemon on top and you’ll be good to go.
More great shrimp recipes
In addition to our classic shrimp scampi recipe linked above, we think you’ll love these other shrimp recipes!
- Lemon garlic shrimp pasta – Similar to shrimp scampi but with pasta!
- Shrimp Francese – Battered shrimp lightly fried and simmered in a buttery lemon sauce.
- Shrimp oreganata – Baked shrimp topped with garlicky breadcrumbs.
- Shrimp Alfredo – Seasoned shrimp and fettuccine tossed in a creamy Alfredo sauce.
- Shrimp fra diavolo – Pasta and shrimp tossed in a spicy marinara sauce.
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Shrimp Scampi Rolls
For the tomato topping (optional)
- 24 ounces cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the garlic bread
- 4-6 large rolls split hot dog buns, round rolls, hero rolls all work well
- 3 cloves garlic paste
- 4 tablespoons butter
For the shrimp scampi
- 1 1/4 pounds extra large shrimp (around U26 size) deveined and tails removed
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons parsley minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl mix together the shrimp with a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Set the shrimp aside and move on to the next steps.
For the tomato topping (optional)
- Heat a large pan to medium and add the olive oil and tomatoes. Give the tomatoes a sprinkle of salt and saute until they are wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated (about 7-10 minutes).
- Taste test and adjust salt and pepper to taste then place tomatoes into a bowl and set aside.
For the garlic bread
- Wipe down the same pan and add 4 tablespoons of butter and the garlic paste. Cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is fragrant (about 2 minutes) then pour the garlic butter into a glass bowl and set aside.
- Spread the garlic butter on the inside of the rolls and toast the rolls buttered side down in the pan over medium heat until golden (about 3 minutes). Watch for burning! Set the garlic bread aside.
For the scampi
- Heat a large pan to medium heat and add the olive oil and butter to the pan. Once the butter melts add the minced garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Add the white wine and turn the heat to medium-high.
- Once the wine reduces by about half (around 2-3 minutes) add the shrimp to the pan 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 2-4 minutes.
- Once the shrimp are cooked turn off the heat and add the parsley and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Taste test the sauce and make any final adjustments to lemon juice, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper if required. Serve on garlic bread and top with the tomatoes. Make sure to use the extra sauce for dipping. Enjoy!
- Baking soda makes shrimp plumper and juicier but you can easily omit it. Just don't overcook your shrimp!
- Use any roll you like. For a larger portion, sub/hero rolls work well.
- Though the tomatoes are optional they really brighten the dish and add a great blast of flavor.
- Leftover shrimp can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated on the stovetop until just warm.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.