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.

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
  • 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 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.


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 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 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).

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Shrimp Scampi

View Comments / Leave a Comment


  1. liz

    Serve it over cooked frozen spinach for a low carb version.

    • Tom @ Raise Your Garden

      Nice idea with the frozen spinach. Being a newbie cook myself, I bought a couple of bags of shrimp from Wegmans. I thought all you had to do was defrost and eat. Oops! But I thought on those fancy trays you buy, that’s what they do. Boy, was I wrong according to my Aunt who said “yes, you have to cook them!” So confused! Always thought Shrimp Scampi was something so fancy you have to order out at a restaurant, even I can do this!

      • Dawb

        Some frozen shrimp is cooked, so you could have been correct! The package should tell you under the Ingredients section – if the shrimp are not precooked, it should say Raw Shrimp. The best way to tell is to look at them when they are defrosted. If they are grey/white and slightly translucent, they are raw. If they are white with pink hues over the surface and totally opaque, they are likely cooked. I have found one exception to this – Trader Joes Red Argentinian Shrimp are pinkish even when raw, although they are still slightly translucent.

        If you want to make this recipe with precooked shrimp, just be sure not to heat the shrimp for too long – prolonged cooking turns them into little lumps of tough rubber. Great simple recipe, thanks Elise!

      • Geri

        No offense Tom but I’ve haven’t laughed out loud over a comment like yours on these sites in a very long time. I’m glad you got over the shock and learned a more edible way to eat shrimp. hehehehehe
        Happy Friday the 13th everyone.

  2. Kath

    I love your idea of keeping frozen shrimp in the freezer and then defrosting them in ice water for a quick meal! We love scampi and almost always have the other ingredients on hand. I’ll have to stock up on some frozen shrimp!

  3. Mary at Deep South Dish

    Very nice!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dish but since we are right on the Gulf Coast & a shrimping family it’s never a quick & easy dish for me since it means peeling & deveining the shrimp myself! But they are freshly frozen Gulf shrimp, so it’s worth every ounce of the trouble. :) Carbonara is probably my favorite need-something-quick-and-don’t-want-to-have-to-plan-or-work-too-hard pasta dish. Fast easy & delish!

  4. @minkitch

    Couldn’t you shell the shrimp and then cook the shells with the shrimp? Best of both worlds that way.

  5. Chi Anh @ Door To My Kitchen

    I love Shrimp Scampi but never got down to doing it. I always have a problem with sauteeing things in white wine – it ends up smelling/tasting sour-ish. Is that how it’s supposed to taste like, or am I using the wrong wine? I used mostly Savignon Blanc & Chardonnay.

    Make sure to use a white wine you like to drink. I usually use a Sauvignon Blanc, preferably from New Zealand. A dry white wine will be lightly acidic, but this balances out the butter and the natural sweetness of the shrimp. ~Elise

    • jean alberti

      Try a dry Vermouth, let it reduce a bit before adding lemon

  6. Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

    I do almost the same thing but I don’t use pepper flakes but it sounds like a great addition. Sometimes I toss in some fresh spinach at the end and wilt it. Great standby recipe.

  7. Lisa

    This is the exact recipe I use for scampi, minus the red pepper flakes. It is so easy and so yummy! I also keep a bag of frozen cooked shrimp in the freezer for an emergency meal. Sure comes in handy for those evenings when I can’t think of anything else to make!

  8. Sue

    It looks and sounds wonderful! I want to try it soon, but can it be made without the wine?

    You can use clam juice or chicken stock instead of wine. ~Elise

  9. Susan

    Ha! I never knew what scampi meant so I concluded from a recipe for it that it was a style of cooking shrimp. Whatever it means literally, it has long since become generic for sauteing shrimp quickly in butter, garlic and white wine…and I love it! Next time I make it, I will add the pepper flakes for a little kick! Thanks, Elise.

  10. George@castironfoodie

    I do something very similar and serve it with pasta. I make a basic garlic oil sauce (aglio e olio) and cook the shrimp in that and toss with linguine for a good 15 minute dinner.

  11. question

    The recipe is wonderful & I enjoy the red pepper flakes:) I thought the following might be helpful: Lidia Bastianich describes “scampi” as the Italian name for a particular type of Mediterranean shellfish usually prepared with butter, wine & garlic. So in her restaurants, she prepares “shrimp in the style of scampi”. Whatever – mangia:)

  12. Warren

    I don’t like the tails on my shrimp. Is it ok to remove them prior to cooking? Will they still cook properly?

    Yes, you can certainly remove them. We just left them on for looks. ~Elise

  13. shaz

    This sounds delicious and easy. Is there a good way to incorporate cream for a creamy scampi?

    I think you could add a little cream at the end, maybe just a tablespoon or two, and after you remove the pan from the heat. With the acidity in the wine, you do risk curdling, so you might want to temper the cream first with a little of the hot sauce, then add the cream to the sauce. ~Elise

  14. Betty

    You could lighten this up a bit by omitting the butter and olive oil. Just spray the pan with butter flavor cooking spray, heat up the garlic, add some oregano, toss in the shrimp and add some chicken broth (fat free low sodium works well) add the wine and pepper and cook down as you normally would, if you want to thicken a bit, add some corn starch dissolved in chicken broth just before serving.

  15. Kim

    I typically add garlic and green onion to the mix. But we don’t really eat shrimp anymore, because of aquaculture concerns. Recently our local grocery had local wild-caught US shrimp, though, and we enjoyed them simply sauteed with some fish blackening spice. Great flavor!

  16. Lady Amalthea

    Shrimp scampi is always the standard dish I order in Italian restaurants!

    Question about defrosting the shrimp: putting them directly in a bowl of ice water, they don’t get waterlogged? I always do mine in the refrigerator (beginning the night before) but of course that requires advance planning. Thanks!

    Never heard of them getting water logged, and it hasn’t been an issue for me. ~Elise

  17. Michael

    My butter seems to brown/burn at medium high heat on our gas stove. Is that typical?

    Adding oil should raise the burning point (which is why we call for a mixture of oil and butter). It could be that you have a higher than normal BTU stove, in which case you should just lower the heat a bit. ~Elise

  18. Filipa

    Yum YUM YUM!!! I tried it with some fresh corriander and diced tomatoes and it was fabulous. I make an easy ‘budget’ pasta dish with similar flavours using frozen peeled prawns. It’s good for a 15 minute midweek meal.

  19. Don

    Accolades, Elise. If I may, a recommendation ref bruwning butter: I use ghee, which is clsrified butter that can be home made, or in my csse, I get at local oriental market.

  20. John Watson

    Aloha Elise- I love the reminder of a delicate gourmet dish that can be made at home easily. I too get my Shrimp at Trader Joe’s and always prefer raw. Ever since I had the most delicious butterflied Garlic Shrimp at Mandarin Gourmet (closed) I have butterflied my Shrimp to get all that sauce on as much Shrimp as possible. I bring this up because I have never seen a recipe photo done like this. I will try doing half butterflied next time and compare. Ciao!

    p.s. Scampi: “A room full of Wall Street brokers”

  21. Hadeel

    Just made this today, and it is awesome! I can’t have wine, so I substituted w/ a bouillon cube dissolved in some boiling water. Perfecto!
    I even took a photo of it: :)

    Nice! ~Elise

  22. Mary Furness

    Have always loved shrimp scampi–it was a favorite of my dad’s back in the day. When I saw this recipe I wanted to make it this evening, but with temps in the high 80’s here in Missouri, didn’t want to heat up the kitchen…so–made the sauce, then fired up the grill and brushed on the sauce as I grilled the shrimp!! Worked beautifully! Drizzled the rest of the sauce over the finished product…delicious!

  23. Jeanne

    I tried this last week after a long work day and my husband and 2 year old son loved it. Plan to make it again this week. I think it will become a staple. Love your website, Elise!

  24. Jane

    I have looked at this recipe several times, and for some reason I chose to follow another elsewhere. Tonight, with a bowl of defrosted shrimp and not much time, I decided to go for it. WOW, I totally absolutely LOVE the flavor the combo of ingredients produces. I’m not usually a “measuring” kinda cook, but I sensed it was important in this recipe. Served over a wee pile of angel hair with a side of creamed spinach (hey, try it) and we both were over the moon. Thanks! I should have tried it the first time I saw it! You have such a way of creating/finding/sharing simple, healthy, and deeeelish recipes. I use many of them as my “go to” guides. Happy Thanksgiving from MA, and many blessings to you and your family.

  25. Pat Fultz

    I made this receipe last night. This was so easy and yet so delicous. This is definetely going into my permanent receipe folder. I served with a salad because I watching my carbs. I will put this over rice with almonds on one of my carb days. Thank you so much simply receipes.

  26. Tasha

    Excellent recipe. Served over rice with a side of green beans sautéed in olive oil, garlic and hot pepper flakes. Thank you for sharing!

  27. Ms. Kelly

    This recipe was delicious!!! This was my first time making shrimp scampi. I added chardonnay as the wine and basil instead of parsley (because I already had it at home;)) Thumbs up!

  28. nicole

    Oh my gosh..this was delicious! after the butter and olive oil do what they are suppose to do..and before I added the garlic…I had shaved up one shallot and some green onion…I added that first and let it cook for about 3 minutes and then I added the garlic and went from there. The red pepper was a bit to spicy for me, so I will cut down on that next time, at the end, I also added a touch of seasonal salt. This was so good and flavorful. Definitely a keeper! Thanks for posting this :)

  29. Carol

    I love Shrimp Scampi. I never made it before myself until tonight when I used this recipe. The red pepper flakes were a great addition and made it taste just perfect! The only white wine we had in the house was riesling and it worked really, really well for our tastes. I’m glad we had a mild winter and had fresh parsley growing right outside. Thanks, Elise, for a great recipe I will use again and again!

  30. jules

    Quick – easy – yummy!

  31. Nadia

    Such a quick and easy, yet delicious recipe!! I love shrimp, although I did not have red pepper flakes on hand this time, it turned out just right.

  32. Claudette

    I loved throwing this together, it was so fast! and savory. White wine is rarely on hand here, so I raided my husband’s martini bar and used dry vermouth, excellent.

  33. Max John

    2 questions Elise. Can I use red wine? and when do I add the salt? Thanks for the tip.

    • Elise

      Hi Max,
      Shrimp scampi is best with white wine. Red wine tends to be a little too strong for the shrimp. But if that’s what you have, use it, and see how it turns out! Either way you’ll know for the next time. Add the salt with the butter if you are using unsalted butter. If you are using salted butter, skip the additional salt.

  34. Tanner

    Just made it. Perfection. Added a few tomatoes from the garden at the end just because we are overrun. Thanks for another great recipe!

  35. Debbie L.

    I don’t normally comment on recipes, but I just wanted to let you know I stumbled on this recipe a week or so ago and have already made it twice! It is SO good and so easy and your pictures were so helpful! We used the shrimp in a pasta dish as well as in quesadillas and they were perfect both times. I usually overcook shrimp but these came out perfectly. Thank you!

  36. Paul Henderson

    I like to add a few capers and a couple anchovy filets to really juice up the flavor.

  37. Jaqui

    Hello, this is certainly a hit on any dinner table. Being from Mozambique, I use beer instead of wine (readily available) and add a bit of fresh cilantro to the pan and see how well all the flavors open up. In my country red peppers (peri peri) are a must and if they make you tear, then you are on the right track.
    Thanks for sharing. I make this often and the family loves them. When I am in a rush, I prepare it all the same and bake it in the oven ( frees my hands) to peel potatoes and make French fries to go with the delicious sauce.
    Thanks again

  38. Carolyn

    This was amazing, Elise! Hubby didn’t really want pasta with it, but I made angel hair anyway and we both LOVED your recipe. It’s simple with easy ingredients. And fast. Cleaning the shrimp takes more time than cooking the whole recipe! But that’s ok. We just put on some music and had a glass of wine while I cleaned the shrimp! This recipe is going to become a staple for us. Yum! Thanks so much!

  39. Phyllis

    This was delicious and so easy to do! The only thing I changed was the red pepper flakes csuse I was out of them so I substituted with ground cayenne pepper..

  40. 5lita5

    When I CAN buy my shrimp peeled and deveined with tail ON, I do. Then I cook them like that and before serving I pull the tails off. I find that when I cook them without the tails I get more shrinkage than I’d like.

  41. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

    I love this dish, Elise! So simple to make, yet so absolutely delicious!

  42. Tess

    This may defeat the point on the dish… but can you make this with chicken?

  43. Shaina D

    Ha, I actually made this recipe from the original 2011 post just last weekend when I was craving seafood! I used fewer shrimp because I was just cooking for myself, but used the full amount of the sauce ingredients so I had more of that buttery, lemony, garlicky deliciousness, and soaked up the extra with crusty sourdough bread. It was so good I almost cried.

  44. peggy

    I made this last night!! Fantastic, easy and quick. We had it over some pasta and with the sauce is delicious! This is the first time I’ve made a shrimp scampi dish that came out great. Thank you for the recipe.

  45. Chas

    I made this tonight after finding some 16/20 shrimp on sale, and I was looking for an easy recipe. It was dead simple and came out amazing! One change that I made was that I did not use the wine. I used about 1/4 cup of the pasta water instead since I didn’t have any white wine in the house. I also finished it off with a nice grating of Parmesan cheese. The sauce and the shrimp were amazing with some linguine and a fresh crusty baguette. I will definitely be making this again!

Post a comment

Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for waiting. First time commenting? Please review the Comment Policy.

Some HTML is OK. URLs are automatically converted to links. Line breaks are automatically converted to paragraphs. The following HTML tags are allowed: a, abbr, acronym, b, blockquote, cite, code, del, em, i, q, strike, strong