Homemade Shrimp Scampi is honestly one of my favorite seafood pasta dishes to make at home. With just the right tools and settings, you can whip up a restaurant quality dish that will impress your guests.
Not only does this dish come together in 15minutes or less, but it also tastes fantastic! I love that you typically have all of the ingredients on hand.
Whenever I make Shrimp Scampi, I ALWAYS use raw shrimp. Shrimp, in general, is one of the fastest cooking proteins. When cooked properly, it even tastes a little sweet. Using pre-cooked shrimp is truly a crime when making this dish. In fact, when you realize just how quickly raw shrimp cooks, you’ll always opt for this instead of using cooked shrimp.
Despite this dish coming together in 15 minutes or less, if you have a few extra minutes to spare, you can take this dish to the next level– here’s what I mean by this. When seasoning the shrimp, first pat them dry. Then season them liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Afterwards, leave them alone for about 30 minutes. This will allow the raw shrimp to dry brine, which will bring out the natural sweetness of the shrimp. This will also allow the shrimp to crisp up nicely once we begin cooking them. In fact, there’s so many different ways of making this simple dish, and this is hands down the best way to make it. Allowing the shrimp to dry brine will guarantee that you get the best flavor and texture. It’s a win-win situation!
The other major thing to keep in mind when making Shrimp Scampi is that prepping the ingredients ahead of time will make you the master chef of this dish. This pasta dish comes together so quickly that it’s imperative that you have everything queued up ready to go! By the time you’re sautéing the shrimp, it’s time to make the sauce and add the pasta. If you wait to dice your garlic or gather the rest of the ingredients while this dish is already underway, you’ll end up with a scampi that leaves the heart (and taste buds) wanting more! With that being said, it’s also important to note that having the precise heat settings is also key!
Now making Shrimp Scampi is not rocket science. You just want to make sure to have your ingredients prepped ahead of time, and have a hot pan. Always be aware as to how hot your pan is. Depending on how quickly the garlic cooks, you may have to adjust. You want to avoid burning the garlic the same way that you want to avoid over cooking the shrimp. As soon as the shrimp hits the hot pan, flip the shrimp over once it begins changing color. Remove them and then make the sauce. You can always finish cooking the shrimp once you toss them back into the sauce with the pasta. Lastly, have patience and let the white wine reduce by at least half. As much as wine pairs great with food, you want to extract all of the yummy flavors. Let the alcohol cook out to get to the good stuff! This seafood dish is a symphony. Luckily, it’s an easy one to master.
If you’d like to see how I whip up my Shrimp Scampi, definitely check out my YouTube Channel – Chef Zee Cooks!
And now for the recipe!
- 1 lbs Large Raw Shrimp
- 3 tbsp Salted Butter
- ½ cup White Wine
- 5 Garlic Cloves Diced
- 2 tbsp Diced Parsley
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- Lemon Zest
- ½ Lemon
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- ½ Box Spaghetti
- Pasta Water *if needed
- Olive Oil
- Clean and de-shell large raw shrimp. Pat dry and then season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature for best results
- Boil pasta and cook al-dente. Set aside 1 cup of starchy pasta water just in case
- In a deep sided skillet, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Once the oil begins to smoke just a bit, add the seasoned shrimp and flip as soon as it begins to change color. After about 30 seconds, remove shrimp
- Now add 2 tbsp of butter. After butter has melted, add diced garlic and red pepper flakes. Adjust heat if needed to avoid burning the garlic. Next, add ½ cup of dry white wine. Then add the zest of 1 lemon and 1 more tbsp of salted butter. Let sauce simmer and reduce by about half
- Once the sauce has reduced by half, add cooked shrimp and the juice of ½ fresh lemon. Mix together until well combined. Now add pasta and toss together carefully. Add salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to lower the flame or turn it off altogether. In the end, add fresh parsley for added flavor and enjoy with extra lemons. Your sauce should be nice and creamy. If your sauce is too oily or broken, add starchy pasta water to help come together as one. Enjoy while hot