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5 from 11 votes

Shrimp Scampi

This recipe is fool proof for juicy, tender shrimp and a trick to ensure perfectly flavorful shrimp will make Shrimp Scampi a go-to main dish or gathering appetizer. The recipe is written with using jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound)- you can substitute extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound) but if you do, decrease the cooking time in step 3 by 2 to 3 minutes. See notes for other tips on the type of shrimp to buy. And remember to save the shrimp shells as you're preparing them! You need them to flavor the sauce for the Scampi.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: appetizers, gluten-free, keto, shrimp
Servings: 4 people as a main dish
Calories: 397kcal
Author: Sally Humeniuk


  • 12 inch skillet
  • Mixing bowls
  • Slotted spoon


  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 ½ pounds jumbo shrimp, shell-on, peeled, deveined, and tails removed, shells reserved
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ cup dry white wine
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  • Dissolve the 3 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons sugar in 1 quart of cold water in a large gallon-size freezer ziplock bag. Add the 1 ½ pounds of shrimp to the brine and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no longer or the shrimp will turn mushy). Remove shrimp from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn spotty brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and carefully add the 1 ½ cup of wine and the 5 thyme sprigs. When bubbling subsides, turn the heat to medium and return the skillet to stove. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve over a large bowl. Discard shells and reserve the liquid (you should have about ⅔ cup). Wipe out skillet with paper towels.
  • Combine 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil, sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, and black pepper in the now-empty skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant and just beginning to turn golden at edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the reserved wine mixture, increase heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium now, add the shrimp, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just opaque, not yet fully cooked, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to a bowl.
  • Return the skillet to medium heat, add the lemon juice-cornstarch mixture, and cook until slightly thickened, this should happen very quickly. Remove from heat and whisk in the 4 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley until butter has melted. Return shrimp and any accumulated juices to the skillet and toss to combine. The shrimp should be fully cooked but not over-cooked now, between resting in the bowl and being added back to the sauce mixture.

You can serve the shrimp scampi a couple of ways at this point:

  • Serve it in the pan it cooked in and eat the shrimp family style, using forks and passing lemon wedges to squeeze over the Scampi. If serving as an appetizer, this is a good way to display the Shrimp Scampi, too. Either in the pan or on a plate as I've illustrated.
    If serving over pasta, be frugal with the amount of pasta used, as the Scampi is not super saucy.
    See notes for storing and reheating leftovers.


  • This recipe uses cook times for jumbo shrimp (16-20 per pound). You can also use extra-large shrimp (21-25 per pound) but if so, cut the cooking time in step three by about one or two minutes.
  • Several ways to serve this dish; if serving over pasta, I recommend angel hair and not a large amount of pasta. Cook about 8 oz. according to package directions, then divide the pasta (swirl it into shallow bowls) by 4. Top with the shrimp and then spoon scampi sauce over top. If serving as an appetizer, super easy to just cut thin slices of french bread, buttered, then place a few forks and a spoon for everyone to pick up their own shrimp and sauce for dipping or topping on the bread.


Serving: 8shrimp | Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 304mg | Sodium: 313mg | Potassium: 572mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 2mg