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Perfect creamy shrimp scampi with sweet shrimp flavor and a hint of red pepper flake heat.

Perfect Creamy Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi with lots of garlic and creamy wine sauce.
Course Seafood main dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword creamy shrimp scampi
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
brining time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 318kcal
Author Joe Boyle



  • 20 shell on jumbo shrimp, 1.25 to 1.5 lbs. shelled, deveined, shells reserved
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine, (pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc)
  • 5 or 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp sliced garlic cloves, (6 to 8 cloves depending on size)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 4 tbsp butter, cut into 4 patties


  • 1 qt water
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar



  • Mix water, salt, and sugar in a tall container and stir to dissolve. Add the raw shrimp and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove shrimp from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.


  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a 12" skillet on medium high heat and once the oil shimmers, add the shrimp shells. Stir occasionally until the shells start to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and add the white wine and thyme sprigs. Return to the heat and simmer the wine 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from the heat and strain the sauce into a bowl. Use a spoon or spatula to squeeze all the liquid from the shells. Discard shells and thyme.
  • Wipe the same skillet clean with paper towels, return to the stove on medium heat, add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil, pepper flakes, pepper, and slivered garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the wine sauce and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook, turning with tongs, until the shrimp is opaque, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove the shrimp from the skillet to a dish, then mix the cornstarch with the lemon juice and add to the sauce, stirring until thickened, 1 minute. 
  • Add the pats of butter to the sauce and stir to melt, then stir in the chopped parsley. Add shrimp to the sauce and toss to coat.
  • Serve alone or over pasta, mashed potatoes, quinoa, or any other grain of choice. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and lemon wedges.


  1. Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen. 
  2. This recipe is easiest followed by doing all the prep work first. Once that is done, it is a snap to make.
  3. 8 ounces of dry pasta, cooked al dente would be just about the right amount, if serving with pasta.


Calories: 318kcal