Shrimp Scampi is such an easy recipe to make at home! Tender pan seared shrimp are served with the very best buttery, garlicky scampi sauce over linguine. This restaurant quality dinner is ready in under 30 minutes with easy steps and simple ingredients!
If I see shrimp scampi on the menu at a restaurant, that’s usually what I order! I also love a good Pasta Primavera if I can find it! This classic pasta dish is one of my all time favorites. With that being said, though, I think this homemade recipe is far better than what I’ve been served at so many different places. The shrimp are always cooked just right (tips on that below) and the sauce is so flavorful! Ingredients like crushed red pepper flakes and garlic make the butter really sing when paired with the white wine and chicken broth. Oh, and the fresh lemon juice sends it right over the top!
What is Shrimp Scampi Sauce Made of?
The beauty of scampi sauce is that it's super simple! Our sauce is made of butter, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, chicken broth, white wine, fresh lemon juice and a bit of salt. This sauce is nice and garlicky but if you're a true can't get enough garlic person like me, serve this with our homemade Garlic Bread too!
Can I use frozen shrimp?
Yes! Just make sure that the shrimp are totally thawed prior to cooking. I recommend placing frozen shrimp in the fridge for about 8-12 hours to thaw completely.
How to Make Scampi Style Shrimp:
1. Cook the shrimp. Add olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes per side or until opaque. Don't cook more than 2-3 minutes per side, shrimp cooks fast! Remove the cooked shrimp from the pan and set aside.
2. Make the butter flavorful. Melt the butter in the same skillet. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant (30 seconds or so).
3. Deglaze the pan. Pour the broth and wine into the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan, deglazing it. Cook for about 3 minutes or until slightly reduced.
4. Add the final touches. Stir in the lemon juice and salt. Do a taste test to see if anything else is needed. Toss it all together. Place the cooked shrimp back in the pan and toss them in the sauce. Cook for just a minute or so to warm up the shrimp.
Enjoy! Serve immediately with cooked linguine, toasted bread, and freshly chopped parsley if desired.
Notes for Storing This Pasta for Later:
Once cooled to room temperature, you can store your leftover shrimp scampi in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat in 30 seconds intervals in the microwave until warmed through. Or, for even better results, toss the scampi back into a pan over medium-low heat with some butter and stir until warmed through. I do not recommend freezing this shrimp scampi recipe.
Ingredient Notes for Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp - Do NOT overcook your shrimp! Overcooked shrimp are tough and rubbery. They should really only need about 2 minutes per side. You’ll know they’re cooked when their tails curl in to form a “C” shape and they turn opaque in color.
White Wine - I recommend using a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. If your wine is sweet like a Riesling, it’ll make the sauce sweet as well. And remember, only cook with a white wine that you’d actually drink so you know you’ll like the flavor!
Lemon Juice - It’s very important to use freshly squeezed lemon juice for this recipe. The bottled stuff will not create the same fresh acidic flavor we’re looking for.
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes - If you use just the amount that’s called for in this recipe, you’ll have a very minimal heat level. Feel free to omit this spice entirely if you have a more sensitive palate or double the amount if you’re craving some spice!
Garlic - For the best flavor, use freshly minced garlic, not pre-minced. However, pre minced works just fine if that's what you have on hand.
- In a large skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook them for about 2 minutes per side until they turn pink and opaque. Once cooked, remove the shrimp from the skillet and set them aside.
- In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, sautéing them for about 30 seconds until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Pour in the chicken broth and white wine into the skillet, scraping the bottom to deglaze any browned bits. Let the mixture simmer for about 3 minutes, allowing it to reduce slightly.
- Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet, tossing them in the sauce to coat evenly. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, allowing the shrimp to heat through.
- Serve with cooked linguine, toasted bread, and freshly chopped parsley if desired.