Shrimp Scampi


Do you have a favorite meal for those need-something-quick-and-don’t-want-to-have-to-plan-or-work-too-hard days? I keep a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer just for those times when I’m too busy to plan, but want a quick and easy meal.

I’ll put some frozen shrimp in a bowl of ice water, and if I’m serving them with pasta, by the time the pasta water has come to a boil the shrimp are defrosted enough to cook.

Shrimp scampi has to be one of the easiest ways to quickly prepare shrimp. We simply sauté the shrimp with garlic in butter and olive oil, splash it with some white wine, let the wine reduce while the shrimp cooks, and then toss it with fresh parsley, lemon juice and black pepper.

A favorite from the recipe archive. First posted in 2011.

Shrimp Scampi Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

If you are using frozen raw shrimp, defrost them quickly and safely by putting the shrimp in a large bowl of lightly salted ice water (1 1/2 teaspoons of salt for every quart of water).

We cook the shrimp scampi in butter and olive oil so we can cook at a relatively high heat without burning the butter but still impart the butter flavor.


  • 1 pound large (16-20 count) raw shrimp, shelled* and de-veined, (if you want, keep the tail on for an attractive presentation)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp butter
  • Salt
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, slivered, or 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (less or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I recommend a dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

* Shell on? or Shell off? It's really up to you. Shrimp cooked shell on are more flavorful because the shells infuse more flavor into the shrimp while they cook. But, shell-on is fussier to eat. If you remove the shells before cooking the shrimp, you can save them for making shellfish stock.


1 Sauté garlic, red pepper flakes, in butter and olive oil: Heat a sauté pan on high heat then reduce to medium high heat. Swirl the butter and olive oil into the pan. After the butter melts it will foam up a bit then subside. If using unsalted butter, sprinkle a little salt in the pan. Stir in the slivered garlic and red pepper flakes.


2 Add shrimp and wine: Sauté the garlic for just a minute, until it begins to brown at the edges, then add the shrimp.

Add the wine and stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce of butter, oil, and wine.

Move the shrimp so they are in an even layer in the pan. Increase the heat to high and boil the wine for two to three minutes.


3 Turn shrimp over to cook on the other side: Stir the shrimp and arrange them so that you turn them over to cook on the other side. Continue to cook on high heat for another minute.


4 Toss with parsley, lemon juice, pepper: Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the shrimp with parsley, lemon juice, and black pepper, and toss to combine.


Serve as is, or with crusty bread, over pasta, or over rice (for gluten-free version).

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Choosing Sustainable Shrimp article from the Huffington Post

Shrimp Scampi

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Showing 4 of 89 Comments

  • Ben haden

    I made this for my wife last night it was so good she asked where I bought it she couldn’t belive I made it.thanks

  • Leticia Loya

    I varied components and also used frozen shrimp w o the shell. Started butter first then olive oil, onions and added bell peppers because they were the most firm. (plus some cream & salt n pepper!!) after they reduced, diced tomato and parsley. This is when I finally added the shrimp. Several minutes later with the cream, butter and wine mingling together, we placed the whole sauce over pasta for him and sautéed zucchini for me. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  • Nilz

    Made this tonight and it was absolutely amazing! I added Alfredo sauce and it simply blew my mind! No need to order this plate next time at a restaurant

  • Pat

    I made this tonight. I mixed in Zucchini spaghetti with it. Delicious!! The Zucchini picked up the flavoring of the sauce too. I will make this again!!

  • christie

    Perfecto for the Novice and I only slightly modified it, I am about to mix “coins ” of monk fish and shrimp in the same pan and do it again.

    For Ash Wensday I made this I took the extra sauce tossed in a pound of cooked angel hair pasta and 1cup of cooked peas, A drop of cream would have been nice, but I added a drop more EVOO and butter. On the friday after I made a Marianara sauce, pulled off some dropped in more shrimp, PLUS made another batch of this.

    Service plate was cooked pasta with peas (extra parsley) then shrimp sauce over it and topped with a few more scampi shrimp, and of course Peccorino Romano.

    As expected there was no talking, just eating and sipping at the wine glass, (I prefer a beer, or a glass of coke, but that seemed to be out of line.

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