This homemade version of creamy shrimp scampi is every bit as good as what you’d find in a restaurant; sweet shrimp, lots of garlic, and a hint of red pepper flake heat.
Don’t sacrifice flavor for convenience – my easy creamy shrimp scampi recipe is perfect for busy weeknights.
I’m excited to share with you my latest recipe for creamy shrimp scampi. This dish is perfect for a cozy night in or a casual dinner party, and it’s quick and easy to make. Plus, the creamy sauce is simply irresistible.
Ingredients For The Shrimp Scampi
To start, you’ll need:
- 1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 8 ounces of spaghetti or linguini
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of garlic, slivered (6 cloves)
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup of dry white wine, (pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 4 tablespoons butter cut into 4 patties
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, and more for garnish
- Lemon zest (optional)
Preparing The Scampi
When you make the creamy shrimp scampi dish, everything comes together quickly. So start by prepping the ingredients first. Doing this you’ll find that the whole recipe comes together smoothly.
To do first:
- Peel and devein the shrimp
- Slice the garlic cloves
- Chop the parsley
- Mix the lemon juice with the cornstarch to make a slurry
- Measure out the wine
Getting all the prep work done means you’ll be eating this yummy meal much sooner.
Begin by cooking the spaghetti or linguine pasta according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain and set aside.
The Next Steps
While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Then add the white wine and the fresh thyme leaves and bring it to a simmer and allow it to reduce slightly. This should take 3-4 minutes.
Stir the cornstarch into the lemon juice and add it to the skillet. (You can add some lemon zest to the sauce now too). Bring it to a simmer to thicken slightly. Add the chopped parsley.
Next, add the butter patties and melt butter while stirring. Give the sauce a taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
Add The Shrimp To The Sauce To Cook
Now it is time to cook the shrimp in the sauce. Add the shrimp and cook the first side for 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp to the second side with a pair of tongs and cook for another 2 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque with no signs of gray color.
You could also cook the shrimp in a bit of olive oil first, then reserve them and add to the buttery sauce to finish. I’ve done the shrimp both ways and prefer to cook them in the sauce.
You can add the cooked pasta to the skillet to combine with the creamy garlic shrimp or serve the hot creamy lemon sauce over the pasta.
Variations To Try
- Even Creamier Shrimp Scampi: Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese for a more decadent sauce. Serve with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.
- Spicy Shrimp Scampi: Add extra red pepper flakes and diced tomatoes to the sauce. Serve over pasta or with crusty bread for dipping.
- Shrimp Scampi Alfredo: Combine the creamy shrimp scampi sauce with a classic Alfredo sauce for an ultra-indulgent pasta dish.
- Shrimp Scampi with Zoodles: Replace the pasta with zucchini noodles for a low-carb and gluten-free option. You can make them yourself using This Recipe. Or, buy them pre-made from your grocery store. Add extra veggies like cherry tomatoes and spinach for a healthy and flavorful meal.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to shrimp scampi. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new variations!
Low Carb And Gluten-Free Options
If you’re looking for a low-carb or gluten-free option, there are several substitutes for pasta that can be used in creamy shrimp scampi:
- Zucchini noodles (zoodles): These can be made using a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler to create thin ribbons of zucchini that resemble pasta. Zucchini noodles can be boiled or sautéed until tender and used as a base for the shrimp scampi.
- Spaghetti squash: Spaghetti squash can be roasted in the oven until tender, then the flesh can be scraped into thin strands with a fork. The strands can be used as a pasta substitute and topped with creamy shrimp scampi sauce.
- Cauliflower rice: Cauliflower can be pulsed in a food processor until it resembles rice. It can be sautéed in a skillet and used as a low net carbs alternative to traditional pasta.
- Rice noodles: If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, rice noodles can be used in place of traditional pasta. They have a neutral flavor and work well with the creamy sauce.
These pasta substitutes can be a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional pasta. Feel free to experiment with different options to find your favorite!
What About Side Dishes?
Creamy shrimp scampi pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Homemade garlic bread: A classic side dish for any pasta dish, garlic bread pairs perfectly with shrimp scampi. Simply slice a baguette, spread it with garlic butter, and toast in the oven.
- Caesar salad: The tangy dressing of a Caesar salad pairs well with the rich and creamy sauce of the shrimp scampi. Add some shaved Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
- Roasted vegetables: Roasted vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts add a healthy and flavorful touch to any meal. Roast them with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a simple and delicious side.
- Grilled or sautéed mushrooms: Mushrooms have a rich and savory flavor that pairs well with shrimp scampi. Cook them in a skillet on medium-low heat with butter, fresh garlic cloves, and a splash of white wine for extra flavor.
- Tomato and cucumber salad: A light and refreshing side dish that adds a fresh contrast to the richness of the shrimp scampi. Toss diced tomatoes and cucumbers with red onion, olive oil, and vinegar.
- Steamed or roasted potatoes: Potatoes are a classic side dish that goes well with just about anything. Steam or roast them with some herbs and spices for a tasty and filling side.
These side dishes are just a few ideas to consider. Feel free to get creative and try out different combinations to find your favorite pairing!
This creamy shrimp scampi is the perfect comfort food. The rich and indulgent sauce perfectly complements the tender shrimp and al dente pasta. It’s a dish with lots of flavor that’s sure to impress but is also simple and easy enough to make an easy weeknight meal.
If you’re looking for a wine pairing, I recommend a crisp and acidic Sauvignon Blanc. It will cut through the richness of the creamy sauce and complement the flavors of the shrimp and garlic.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Let me know in the comments if you give it a try, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have. Happy cooking!
The full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
Here are some more tasty Shrimp Recipes you might like to try:
- Shrimp Mac and Cheese
- Tomato Spinach Pasta with Spicy Shrimp
- Pasta with Roma Tomatoes and Shrimp Sauce
- Shrimp Penne with Vodka Sauce
How To Make Easy Creamy Shrimp Scampi At Home
- 1 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail off
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine, (pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc)
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tbsp slivered garlic cloves, (6 cloves)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and black pepper as desired
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, and more for garnish
- 4 tbsp butter, cut into 4 patties
- lemon zest (optional)
- Prep the ingredients to have them readily available to make this recipe. Then, start boiling the water for the pasta and cook the pasta until al dente according to the package directions. Once done, drain and keep warm.
- While the pasta cooks, add 2 tbsp olive oil to a 12" skillet on medium heat and add the slivered garlic and pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute to become fragrant.
- Add the wine and thyme leaves and bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes to reduce slightly.
- Then, stir the cornstarch into the lemon juice and add to the skillet. (Now would be the time to add lemon zest if you would like). Bring the sauce back to a simmer to thicken. Add the chopped parsley at this time too.
- Add the butter patties and stir them in to melt. Once all melted, taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as desired.
- Add the raw shrimp to the sauce to cook. Cook the first side of the shrimp for 2 minutes. Then, use tongs to flip the shrimp to the second side. Cook for another 2 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and fully opaque. Uncooked shrimp will have gray flesh so you want to make sure it is white or pink.
- Serve the hot shrimp scampi over the pasta. Or, you could also mix the pasta in the sauce in the skillet to fully coat and then serve. Sprinkle with some additional chopped parsley and maybe some grated parmesan cheese.
- This recipe is easiest by doing all the prep work first. Once that is done, it is a snap to make.
- For a lower-carb or gluten-free meal, substitute rice noodles or zucchini zoodles for the pasta. You could also serve it over cauliflower rice.
- For a richer sauce, you could add a small amount of heavy cream and grated parmesan cheese. See the blog post for other ideas.
- Any dry white wine pairs well with the shrimp scampi.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave oven adding a splash of white wine or cream if desired to loosen the sauce.