Shrimp Scampi Pasta is classic Italian comfort food! It’s made with butter, garlic, white wine, chicken stock, lemon juice, parsley, and shrimp.
Quick and easy pasta recipes make the best weeknight dinners! At my house, we love whipping up Tomato-Basil Pasta, Citrus Cream Pasta, Caprese Pasta Bake, and this recipe because they all take 20 minutes or less to make!
Shrimp Scampi Recipe
Shrimp Scampi reigns supreme as some of my favorite Italian comfort food. It’s so easy to make, incredibly flavorful (thank you garlic!), and everyone just loves it! While fresh shrimp can be a bit on the expensive side, making Shrimp Scampi Pasta at home is far less expensive than ordering it at your favorite Italian restaurant, so fresh shrimp is definitely worth the splurge!
Scampi Shrimp vs. Shrimp Scampi
The word “scampi” refers to an Italian dish made with lobster or shrimp that’s poached in white wine, garlic, and chicken stock and served with parmesan cheese. Scampi can refer to the cooking style or the lobster or shrimp themselves.
Shrimp Scampi is the same as above but served over pasta, usually spaghetti or linguine.
What’s in Shrimp Scampi sauce?
It’s the sauce that coats both the shrimp and the pasta in this dish. It’s simmered until slightly thickened, and the sauce has the following ingredients:
- white wine
- chicken stock
- lemon juice
- fresh parsley
- salt & pepper
Can you make Shrimp Scampi without wine?
Yes! In my recipe below, you can skip the wine and use these 2 alternatives:
- Instead of wine use 1 cup of white grape juice mixed with 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar.
- Replace the wine with chicken stock so the total amount of chicken stock for this recipe would be 1 1/2 cups.
Can you use frozen shrimp to make Shrimp Scampi?
While fresh shrimp is ideal when making scampi, you can use frozen shrimp but it will need to be defrosted.
How do you defrost shrimp?
- My favorite method is to let the shrimp thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Right before cooking, gently drain and rinse the shrimp. You can now use the shrimp as directed in the recipe below.
- You can also place frozen shrimp in a large bowl filled with cold water. Small shrimp will take about 15 minutes to thaw and jumbo shrimp will take about 30 minutes to thaw. Once thawed, drain the shrimp.
How to make Shrimp Scampi?
It’s fairly easy to make, here’s how:
- Sauté the garlic (you’ll need 8 hearty cloves) in olive oil.
- Poach the shrimp in white wine and chicken stock.
- Remove the shrimp from the pan and cook the remaining liquid until it’s reduced by half.
- Whisk in the butter and lemon juice.
- Toss the pasta, scampi sauce, and shrimp together and serve with parsley and Parmesan cheese.
Cook’s Note – Shrimp Scampi Recipe:
- Don’t be tempted to use chicken broth in this recipe. Use chicken stock, because it’s more flavorful.
- While this recipe calls for spaghetti, you can use any type you like. I usually serve this dish with spaghetti, linguine, or angel hair pasta.
Cook’s Tools – Shrimp Scampi Pasta:
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Shrimp Scampi Pasta Recipe
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 pounds extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
FOR SERVING (optional):
- Lemon wedges
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Freshly grated Parmesan
- Cook the spaghetti as per package instructions, and drain and toss the pasta with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- While the pasta boils, cook the shrimp. In a large and deep heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, while stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Pour in the wine and chicken stock, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Gently place the shrimp in the boiling liquid and cook until the shrimp are just beginning to turn translucent about 2 minutes. Gently stir the shrimp, reduce the heat to medium, and cover the pan. Cook until the shrimp are cooked through, about another 2 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to move the shrimp to a bowl.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the liquid until it is reduced by half, about 1-2 minutes. Add the butter pieces to the pan and whisk them into the sauce. Whisk in the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a large serving bowl add the drained spaghetti, the sauce, shrimp, and chopped fresh parsley. Toss to coat and serve with lemon wedges and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.