November 8, 2021
If you’ve so much as dabbled in the kitchen, you know that the smell of garlic cooking in butter is unmatched. Add in a splash of wine and lemon juice, and your home starts to smell like an award-winning restaurant.
Such is the base for shrimp scampi pasta: buttery, garlicky, lemony, and slightly sweet. This dish, while sensorily exquisite, is also quite easy to make. (Your friends don’t need to know that, though.) Make up a batch of this easy shrimp scampi recipe for your next get together, and don’t be surprised if people start answering you by saying, “Yes, chef.”
First, let’s give you a bit of background on this dish. What is shrimp scampi and what in the culinary world does “scampi” mean, anyway? “Scampi” is Italian for “lobster,” but you can think of it as a prawn. No, the dish doesn’t contain lobster or prawns, and no, the name is not grammatically sound. “Shrimp prawn” doesn’t tell us much about how this dish is currently prepared, instead only hinting at the crustaceans that were used in more traditional preparations.
If we had to rename the dish, we might call it “garlic butter shrimp with parsley” because that more accurately represents shrimp scampi seasonings. No matter what you call this dish, you’re about to fall in love with it. Start boiling some pasta water because it’s time to make the best shrimp scampi recipe ever.
How to make shrimp scampi with linguine
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined* (jumbo shrimp also work well)
- ½ cup dry white wine (like Chardonnay)
- 2 whole lemons
- 4 dashes of hot sauce or a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 8 ounces (half a box/bag) of linguini (You can use other varieties like angel hair pasta or penne as well)
- Fresh basil, chopped
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ cup grated or shredded fresh parmesan cheese
Chef’s tip: Deveining shrimp is easy. With a sharp, small knife, carefully draw a line down the outer part of a peeled piece of shrimp, following the line of the vein. Don’t cut too deep because you don’t want to split the shrimp in two. Once you’ve opened the shrimp, pull out the vein using your fingers or scrape it out using the tip of the knife. Usually, if you pull at it, the vein will come out whole. Give the deveined shrimp a quick rinse under cold water to remove any remaining vein parts and grime.
- Start boiling the pasta water. As always, heavily salt your pasta water.
- In the meantime, heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add in the chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook for just a couple of minutes, or until the onions become soft and translucent.
- Add in the peeled, deveined shrimp and stir to combine with the ingredients already in the pan. Sauté for two minutes more.
- Squeeze in a hearty amount of fresh lemon juice and add in the wine.
- Add the salt, black pepper, and hot sauce/red pepper flakes to taste. Reduce the heat to low.
- Add the linguini noodles to the boiling water and cook for the time recommended on the box. Right before you drain the pasta, use a measuring cup to carefully extract roughly one-third of a cup of pasta water* from the pot. Mix it into the scampi sauce.
- Turn off the heat and add the drained linguini to the sauce, tossing to combine. Adjust your seasonings as needed.
- Add the parmesan cheese and a layer of chopped parsley or basil, then serve.
Chef’s tip: Pros love adding a splash of pasta water to sauce before mixing it with freshly cooked pasta. Pasta water contains starches that get released from the noodles while they are cooking, and when you add this water to a sauce, it helps the sauce later bind to the noodles.
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman.
Nutritional values per serving
Fat: 23.1 grams
Saturated Fat: 12 grams
Cholesterol: 182 milligrams
Sodium: 768 milligrams
Carbohydrates: 25.7 grams
Fiber: 0.3 grams
Sugars: 1.2 grams
Protein: 32.4 grams
How long can you store homemade shrimp scampi?
You can store shrimp scampi in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Just keep in mind that it’s best to boil fresh pasta every time you serve the sauce because cooked noodles don’t hold up well in the fridge.
Can you make “scampi” without shrimp?
Scampi-style dishes can use a variety of different proteins and substitutes. For example, there are vegan versions of this meal made with cauliflower instead of shrimp and plant-based butter instead of the dairy variety. You can also make a version that contains lobster or a mix of lobster and shrimp. You can even swap shrimp for tender breaded chicken. Now that you know how to make shrimp scampi sauce, you’re ready to make substitutions as you please. The basic recipe is essentially the same for these variations; you’ll just need to check cooking times and methods for the fish, poultry, or vegetables you use as a substitute.
How can I make this garlic shrimp scampi recipe low-carb?
Make this or any pasta dish low-carb by using spiralized vegetable noodles instead of grain-based ones. You can make these noodles at home from carrot, zucchini, or beet if you have a spiralizer, but if you don’t own one, you can easily pick up ready-made or frozen veggie noodles from the grocery store. This option is also gluten-free.
If this recipe has fully convinced you to make buttery scampi tonight, we don’t blame you. This savory dish is quick to make and a comforting, gourmet-feeling weeknight meal. Send Gopuff out for the groceries as you set the table for a treat-yourself moment at home.