15 Minute Shrimp Scampi – The Stay At Home Chef

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Shrimp scampi pasta is an easy way to bring the essence of a gourmet meal to your family’s table. Tenderly cooked shrimp and linguine are tossed in a luxuriously buttery and garlicky sauce, topped with red pepper flakes and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a rich yet refreshing flavour. Ready in just 15 minutes, this dish is perfect for moms looking to create a quick and sophisticated meal that caters to both adult tastes and kids’ pasta lovers.

Why we love shrimp scampi

  • fast and easy: Ready in just 30 minutes, perfect for busy weeknights.
  • flavorful and fresh: A fun mix of garlic, lemon, and parmesan for a fresh, zesty flavor.
  • multipurpose:Easily adaptable to a variety of ingredients, such as various seafood and vegetables.
  • For kids: Very popular with children due to its mild taste and friendly pasta base.
  • Elegant yet simple: Perfect for casual family dinners or special occasions.
  • minimal cleanup: Simplify your kitchen routine as you only need one pot for cooking.
  • nutritious: Good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, with the possibility of adding vegetables.
  • leftover friendly: It’s delicious even when reheated, so it’s perfect for lunch the next day.

Ingredient breakdown and substitutes

In this recipe, each ingredient plays a key role in creating its signature flavor profile. Below is a detailed breakdown of these key materials, as well as some proven alternatives. This will ensure that you can accomplish this fun dish even if you’re missing a few items in your pantry.

A top view of the ingredients needed to make shrimp scampi on the kitchen counter.
  • shrimp: Can be eaten fresh or frozen. If using frozen, thaw completely before use.
  • Linguine: You can also use spaghetti or angel hair instead. Use gluten-free pasta if desired.
  • butter: You can also use unsalted butter. Adjust salt accordingly.
  • White wine:Replace with chicken soup or non-alcoholic wine according to your preference.
  • lemon juice: Fresh is best, but bottled is also convenient in a pinch.
  • parmesan: You can grate it yourself for the best flavor or use pre-grated for convenience.
  • parsley: Fresh parsley is recommended, but you can also use a small amount of dried parsley.

Did you know that?

Shrimp Scampi originally did not contain shrimp. Scampi is actually a broader name for a small member of the lobster family, usually Dublin Bay shrimp or Norwegian lobster. However, due to the abundance of shrimp in the United States, this dish has evolved over time to become an almost classic preparation of shrimp on top of pasta. It is usually stir-fried with butter, garlic, white wine to deglaze the pan, and lemon juice. Hmm!


Can I use frozen shrimp?

Yes, shrimp should be completely thawed before cooking.

Is this dish spicy?

Red pepper flakes add a mild kick, but you can adjust this to your taste.

Can I add vegetables to this dish?

Yes, green peppers and spinach are also great additions.

A visual guide to how to make shrimp scampi

A collage of two images showing how to make shrimp scampi.

How to choose shrimp

Choosing the right shrimp is key to making the perfect shrimp scampi pasta. Here are some tips for choosing the best shrimp.

  • Fresh vs frozen: Fresh shrimp should have a mild oceanic aroma, firm flesh, and a bright, clean appearance without dark spots or discoloration. But don’t shy away from frozen shrimp. Fish are often flash-frozen immediately after being caught to maintain freshness.
  • size matters: Look for medium to large shrimp for this dish. Not only are they easy to clean and handle, they also provide a satisfying texture and flavor. Shrimp are usually sold by the pound. For scampi, 21 to 30 shrimp (meaning 21 to 30 shrimp per pound) is ideal.
  • tail on or off: Shrimps with tails can add a more elegant presentation to dishes, but for ease of eating, you may want to leave the tails off. It’s a matter of personal preference and presentation.
  • natural or cultured: Wild-caught shrimp often has a stronger flavor, but responsibly farmed shrimp is also a good alternative.
  • preparation: If you don’t have much prep time, look for deveined and skinned shrimp. Otherwise, buying whole shrimp and cooking them yourself is more economical and gives you more control over the cleaning process.

Make shrimp scampi the perfect meal…

  • pasta: Classic and comforting, serve shrimp scampi over al dente linguine or spaghetti, allowing the pasta to soak up the flavorful sauce.
  • Couscous or orzo: These fast-cooking grains are great at absorbing scampi sauce and provide a fun textural contrast.
  • alternative base: For a lighter option, try serving it over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. Brown rice and quinoa are also great bases for those looking for whole grains.
  • bread pairing: Crunchy breads like baguettes and garlic bread are perfect for soaking up the delicious garlic butter sauce.
  • vegetable garnish: Balance the richness of scampi with steamed or roasted vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, or assorted seasonal vegetables.
  • salad: A fresh garden salad with a light vinaigrette dressing enhances the flavor and adds a refreshing and refreshing element to the meal.


  • overcooked shrimp: Boil the shrimp until they turn pink. They continue to cook in the sauce.
  • sauce too thin: Simmer the sauce a little longer before adding the pasta.
  • Pasta doesn’t mix well: Thoroughly coat the pasta with the sauce to coat it evenly.

Tips from the chef

  • Made with high quality and fresh ingredients For the best taste.
  • Do not overcook the shrimp. They cook quickly.
  • Add pasta directly to sauce Improve flavor integration.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese For a fresh touch.
An overhead view of shrimp scampi with tongs in a frying pan.

Storage and reheating instructions

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat slowly in a saucepan over low heat. Freezing is not recommended as it may affect the texture of the shrimp or pasta.

See more shrimp recipes

Watch the video below Here, Rachel walks you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes visuals can be helpful. We always offer cooking shows. A complete collection of recipes can be found at: YouTube, facebook watch, or our Facebook pageor see the corresponding recipe on our website.

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