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Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

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Shrimp scampi with pasta — fast, flavorful, and irresistibly garlicky. The perfect weeknight dinner for seafood lovers.

finished shrimp scampi with pasta dish

Succulent shrimp bathed in a garlicky, white wine and lemon-infused butter sauce—shrimp scampi makes an excellent sauce for pasta. However, in many recipes, the pasta is more of an afterthought, left in need of more flavor and sauce. In this version, both the pasta and the shrimp share the spotlight equally. While you could certainly use any long pasta, my preference is for angel hair or capellini. The thin, delicate strands have a knack for soaking up the garlicky sauce, packing maximum flavor into every bite.

Making shrimp scampi with pasta is fairly simple, but it’s important to watch the shrimp’s cooking time. If you cook them for too long, they can become rubbery. The trick is to take the shrimp off the heat as soon as they turn opaque and pink. Pair shrimp scampi with an arugula salad and dinner is served!

“Have made this delicious recipe a couple of times and am now training my hubby how to make it! We both love it!”

Cat

What You’ll Need To Make Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

shrimp scampi with pasta ingredients
  • Angel hair, spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccini: While any long pasta will work, angel hair or capellini is ideal for soaking up the sauce. You’ll need to reserve some pasta water before draining, as the starchy, salty water serves as an excellent thickener for the sauce. To remember to save this water, place a measuring cup in your colander as a visual reminder.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil: Used to sauté shallots, garlic, and shrimp, adding flavor and preventing sticking.
  • Shallots and garlic: These aromatics form the fundamental flavor base for shrimp scampi. The recipe calls for six cloves of garlic, so if your garlic press has been gathering dust, now’s the time to break it out and put it to work!
  • Red pepper flakes: Offer a hint of heat. Feel free to adjust to taste.
  • Extra-large shrimp: The star of the dish. Unless you live near the coast, using thawed frozen shrimp is ideal as they are flash-frozen at peak freshness, and they can be quickly defrosted before cooking.
  • Dry white wine: Adds depth and acidity to the sauce. When cooking with wine, always select an inexpensive bottle that’s still good enough to drink. Avoid “cooking wines” due to their salt and additives.
  • Butter: Brings richness and flavor, creating a silky sauce texture.
  • Lemon juice and zest: Add brightness and tanginess, balancing the buttery sauce.
  • Fresh parsley: Provides a fresh, herby finish and looks pretty, too.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente according to the package instructions.

Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain.

reserved pasta water in glass measuring cup

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute.

cooking the shallots in a skillet

Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

adding the garlic, red pepper flakes, and pepper to the skillet

Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are pink and just cooked through, about 3 minutes.

adding the shrimp to the skillet

Transfer the shrimp to a plate.

cooked shrimp on plate

Add the wine to the skillet and simmer until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes.

simmering the wine in the skillet

Add the butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest, ½ cup of the reserved cooking water, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir until the butter is melted.

Butter, lemon juice and lemon zest, ½ cup of the reserved cooking water, and ½ teaspoon salt simmering in the skillet

Add the drained pasta and continue to cook, tossing, until the pasta is warmed through, adding more of the reserved cooking water as needed if the pasta seems dry. Return the shrimp and any juices from the plate to the skillet and toss with the pasta.

close up image of shrimp scampi with pasta

Stir in the parsley, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve with lemon wedges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make shrimp scampi without wine?

Yes, you can make shrimp scampi without wine. As an alternative, you can use chicken or vegetable broth with a squeeze of lemon, or just leave it out.

Can I use pre-cooked shrimp for shrimp scampi?

No, pre-cooked shrimp will not work for making shrimp scampi. They have already been cooked and will become tough and overcooked when heated again, which can ruin the texture and flavor of your dish. Use fresh or thawed frozen raw shrimp for best results.

How can I prevent shrimp from becoming rubbery?

To avoid rubbery shrimp, be careful not to overcook them. In this recipe, they take only a few minutes to cook. It important to take them off the heat as soon as they turn pink and opaque to prevent further cooking.

Video Tutorial

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Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

Shrimp scampi with pasta — fast, flavorful, and irresistibly garlicky. The perfect weeknight dinner for seafood lovers.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 1 pound (16 oz) angel hair, spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccini
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced shallots, from 2 to 3 shallots
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1¼ pounds extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest, from 1 to 2 lemons, plus wedges for serving
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente according to the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, shrimp, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate. Add the wine to the skillet and simmer until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the butter, lemon juice and lemon zest, ½ cup of the reserved cooking water, and ½ teaspoon salt; stir until the butter is melted. Add the drained pasta and continue to cook, tossing, until the pasta is warmed through, adding more of the reserved cooking water as needed if the pasta seems dry. Return the shrimp and any juices from the plate to the skillet and toss with the pasta. Stir in the parsley, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve with lemon wedges.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 925
  • Fat: 38 g
  • Saturated fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 94 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 45 g
  • Sodium: 187 mg
  • Cholesterol: 274 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Really quick and flavorful! It took me 45 minutes from start to sitting down for dinner! I followed the recipe as written until the shrimp are removed. Then added 5 spears of sliced asparagus and a large ripe tomato, chopped, as the wine reduced down. Did not use the pasta water. Freshly grated Parmesan on top. Delicious!

    • — Margaret on February 28, 2024
    • Reply
  • Simple and excellent

    • — Olga on February 14, 2024
    • Reply
  • Made this tonight. Doubled it and fed family, and friends. Everyone loved it! Thanks!

    • — Julie H on February 10, 2024
    • Reply
  • It was fantastic!!! I halved the recipe because it is just my husband and me. It was so easy and took little time to put together. I sprinkled a little parmesan cheese to top it off.

    • — Bev Scheer on February 9, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made this delicious recipe and everyone loved it! Thank you!

    • — Norma R on January 30, 2024
    • Reply
  • delicious! Only change I made was to add some broccoli for color and capers. Others mentioned adding tomatoes, which I think I will try next time. This recipe is definitely a keeper!!

    • — Cheryl on January 16, 2024
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  • Delicious!!!

    • — Kristie (Senoia, GA) on January 14, 2024
    • Reply
  • Now this is a really, really good recipe and the second time I made it. Easy enough for a special weeknight dinner, but special enough for dinner guests. Served the dish with grated parmigiano reggiano. Thank you Jen…I’ve got to be your biggest fan!

    • — Kathy M. on January 6, 2024
    • Reply
  • Looking for an easy pre-thanksgiving meal and found this recipe. Made it as is and it was perfect. Every one LOVED it – even my mother-in-law ;-P
    Happy Thanksgiving 🦃!

    • — Tracy G on November 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this last night and it was very, very good!

    • — Christopher on November 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was such an easy meal and was absolutely delicious! Next time, I’ll double the sauce for a full pound of pasta though. I love the suggestion of tomatoes and/or arugula sautéed in and will definitely try that next time. Keeper of a recipe!

    • — Erin on November 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • Can I use cooking wine in place of the dry white wine or another alternative?

    • — Becky on November 13, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Becky, I don’t recommend cooking wine — vermouth would be a good substitute though. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 14, 2023
      • Reply
  • classic perfect shrimp scampi

    • — charrington on September 30, 2023
    • Reply
  • Delicious have made it several times so easy peasy 😊👍

    • — Marsha on August 31, 2023
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  • Hi Jenn,

    Made it, loved it!!! Very tasty with a hint of heat and the zest really brings out the lemon flavor. It will be in our regular rotation!

    • — Gary on July 31, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was fantastic!! Cannot believe how easy it was and tastes so good!! Another stellar recipe from Jenn- definitely adding this to my rotation … would not change anything!!

    • — Kelly S on July 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is fantastic! We really enjoyed it. Next time, I would reduce the amount of pasta that I used but that is personal preference!

    • — Darlene on July 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • So delicious! I added a couple of splashes of heavy cream!

    • — Christan on July 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • Want to make this one, but is the calorie count (925) correct per serving? That seems pretty high even for pasta

    • — isu89 on June 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • I just double-checked the nutritional info, and it is correct.

      • — Jenn on June 27, 2023
      • Reply
  • I made this for Father’s Day and it was delicious! I used a little less than a pound (maybe 3/4 pound) of pasta but no other changes! I can see how this delicious sauce would work with other proteins…next time I’m going to serve it with seared scallops!
    Thanks Jenn, your recipes never disappoint!!!

    • — Anita R. on June 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • I have yet to try a recipe of yours that isn’t absolutely wonderful–from Sloppy Joes and Leek Parmesan Quiche to your dry rub for baby back ribs and Morroccan Grilled Chicken with Couscous and Apricot Vinaigrette–your recipes are easy to follow, realistic for the busy everywoman home cook and truly delicious. Look out, Ina! (And yes, I’m an Ina fan, too!)

    • — Kelly McBride on June 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on June 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious I have made this a few times and it’s never a disappointment 👍😊

    • — Marsha on June 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • Is there any way this can be prepared ahead?

    • — Bobbie on June 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Bobbie, I really think this is a dish that’s best right after it’s prepared. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on June 22, 2023
      • Reply
    • Have made this delicious recipe a couple of times and now training my hubby how to make it! We both love it!

      • — Cat Andrews on August 26, 2023
      • Reply
      • HaHa, I need to train my hubby to cook. Right before I started to make this dish I was telling him how tired I was of cooking! He piped right up and said show me how. I must say I have the most wonderful hubby. Always willing to help.
        My son and his family invited us over for dinner tomorrow night. Thank goodness!!! I get a free night. LOL

        • — Bev Scheer on February 9, 2024
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Would it be okay if I halved the amount of butter? Love all of your recipes!

    • — Doreen on June 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Doreen, you could, but it could make the finished dish a little dry.

      • — Jenn on June 20, 2023
      • Reply
  • I originally made this as written, with the shrimp and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Tonight, I made the lemony sauce with rigatoni and a spinach/arugula mix. Once again, it was a hit! I did not have shallots so I used a bit of red onion but otherwise made the sauce as written. This is such a great lemony sauce for pasta!!!

    • — Cindy on June 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • I am planning on making this recipe for my daughter’s birthday. She loves shrimp and pasta…sounds like the perfect marriage!

    • — Kathy M. on June 17, 2023
    • Reply
  • So delicious!
    I made this tonight and it was a big hit! I added 2 roma tomatoes (seeded and diced) to the shallots etc sautee step. I used 1/2 pound of Pici Dritti for the pasta. The Pici has a rough texture and really grabbed the sauce. This is truly the best scampi I’ve ever made!

    Thanks for another excellent recipe.

    • — sws on June 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • This recipe was one of the best my mom and I have made not only from Jenn but out of many of the recipes we’ve previously made. We doubled the sauce and used a little less than a pound of pasta and really enjoyed that combination. The sauce was perfectly balanced and unlike any shrimp scampi I’ve had before.

    • — Anya Sanders on June 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this dish today for my gourmet daughter and my husband, and to my NO surprise they said the best shrimp pasta they ever had/I ever cooked! It was so wonderful. Thank you Jenn! Your recipes are so great and reliable!

    • — Nadeshiko on June 14, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was fantastic and easy. The leftovers reheat very nicely too!

    • — Erin on June 13, 2023
    • Reply
  • I just made (half) this recipe for supper tonight and it is AWESOME! Hubby and I loved it. Make sure to have everything ready before starting as it comes together quickly once you get the ball rolling. Absolutely delicious and definitely company worthy perhaps with a small green salad as a starter – but not too much as this is a filling dish…although next time I may add a small basket of sliced baguette as one is tempted to lick that buttery, lemony sauce off the plate and the bread would prevent doing something so rude! LoL

    • — Susan P on June 12, 2023
    • Reply
    • From: http://www.emikodavies.com/scarpetta/

      “…Well the Italians have come up with a great solution for that. It’s called Fare la scarpetta, roughly translated as “to do the little shoe,” is the very charming act of using a small piece of bread to mop up the wonderful sauce on your plate that you cannot possibly leave behind.”

      • — David Hotaling on July 11, 2023
      • Reply
  • The recipe was easy to follow and the result looked exactly like yours. I did leave out the shallots. I also didn’t add any salt during cooking but added a pinch after plating. Overall it was tasty but next time I’m adding more garlic and lemon. I can’t seem to make any recipes requiring garlic to be garlicky enough.

    • — Steven Zeichner on June 12, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Steven, So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Using less salt will make your food taste less garlicky. Salt not only makes things taste “salty” but also amplifies all of the other flavors in the dish, making everything taste more like itself. 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 13, 2023
      • Reply
    • Yes I did make it is wonderful. the only thing I would do the next time I would add less red pepper. it is very good as written but I have a very sensitive stomach and was wondering is it ok to use cooked shrimp???
      Thanks for a great recipe

      • — Lorraine Séguin on June 14, 2023
      • Reply
      • Glad you liked it! Unfortunately, cooked shrimp won’t work here – sorry!

        • — Jenn on June 16, 2023
        • Reply
  • Just wanted to let you know that I just made this for my husband ( I don’t eat shrimp) and he said it was delicious. Made about half the recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    • — Marie on June 12, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe for Shrimp scampi on a camping trip in Colorado while there was torrential rain and we couldn’t grill.
    It came out sooo good! The flavors, spices and directions were perfect!

    • — Laurene on June 12, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was so good! I have made shrimp in a lemony sauce with pasta before but this combination of ingredients was so superior to any previous one I’ve had. I made this with our absolutely wonderful local spot prawns (only available for a short while so the recipe was timely). I used spaghettini, which I am normally not fond of, but you were right…it was perfect with this dish. Will definitely make it again whenever I can get spot prawns. Thank you for another winner!

    • — Cindy on June 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • Can you use cooked, deveined froskzen shrimp? How would you heat them up so as not over cook? Thanks!

      • — Rebecca Mandell on January 14, 2024
      • Reply
      • Hi Rebecca, for the most predictable results, I’d stick with raw shrimp. That said, you can get away with using cooked shrimp. I’d add it at the end along with the pasta and toss everything just until the shrimp is warmed through – Hopefully it won’t get overcooked that way. Enjoy!

        • — Jenn on January 15, 2024
        • Reply
  • Hi Jennifer, I have been making your recipes for a few years, all to rave reviews…thank you!! If I were to make this shrimp scampi for two, would I simply half all ingredients?
    Thank you
    Anita

    • — Anita Rodobolski on June 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, Anita that would be perfectly fine. And so glad you’ve had success with the recipes!

      • — Jenn on June 12, 2023
      • Reply
  • you’re my hero!

    • — mike on June 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’m making this tonight, quick question: if I want to make enough for 6 adults what is the best way to increase the amount of shrimp by 50%? (I can increase the seasoning proportionately for the beginning part, what about the second half of the recipe?). The amount of pasta can stay as written in the recipe. Thanks

    • — Sarah on June 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • I would just increase everything but the pasta by 50% – you won’t be sorry to have a little extra sauce 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2023
      • Reply
  • Can I add clams to this recipe ?
    The ingredients are very similar to your recipe for Clams and Fettuccine which I love.

    • — Steve on June 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, Steve, that should work. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on June 13, 2023
      • Reply

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