Do you ever struggle to think of a quick dinner to make? If you’re like any other working mom, planning for 7 nights of dinner doesn’t always go to plan. Sometimes, we forget to defrost the beef. Other times, you’re just too exhausted. Enter, this super easy Shrimp Scampi Pasta recipe you can get on the dinner table in no time!
This delicious and easy to make Scampi recipe is practically a staple in our home. It comes together so quickly and is super adaptable.
It can be served over risotto, rice, any kind of pasta such as linguini or angel hair, or even on it’s own with a simple side salad if you’re managing a low carb diet.
Scampi is a great low carb shrimp recipe or keto recipe. Keep the rest of the dish low carb by serving over cauliflower rice or a bed of steamed broccoli. You’ll have a super satisfying and delectable dinner in minutes!
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What is Scampi Sauce made of?
There is something so classic and so indulgent in a delicious, silky, buttery, lemony, garlicky, scampi sauce. It’s one of those dishes that people order in a restaurant because ‘they can’t make it at home.’
But, you might not know, scampi sauce is super easy to make. With a few staple ingredients you likely already have at home, you can make a gourmet dinner the whole family will enjoy.
You’ll need lots of fresh lemon, raw garlic and butter.
Another crucial ingredient is fresh shallots, rather than onions. Shallots offer a more mellow, and slightly sweeter flavor than regular onions. Sliced thin or finely minced, they practically melt into the recipe.
For starters, you want quality, fresh shrimp. You can still buy fresh shrimp in it’s frozen form, which is what I do. But by all costs, avoid buying pre-cooked shrimp.
Fresh herbs and spices are critical.
One element I like to incorporate into this dish is fresh parsley. Since I often grow my own, I’m always on the hunt for ways to use it. Fresh parsley is far better than dried, store bought. Fresh herbs bring a great brightness to this dish.
Another ingredient that you just cannot cheat on is the garlic. Garlic powder will not suffice in this dish. It will ruin it and not at all do it justice. You must be using fresh, minced, garlic.
Making Scampi From Scratch – It’s SO EASY!
I’ll let you in on a little bit of a secret I have. I’m not ashamed of it and have reaped the benefits of this little secret many times over. Want to know what it is?
Well, I always keep a bag of uncooked, frozen shrimp in my freezer! Ah the horror! But guess what? Shrimp takes less than 10 minutes to defrost and less than 10 minutes to cook.
I typically buy a two pound bag of raw, peeled and deveined, jumbo shrimp. I whip that bag out whenever I’m in a pinch and have a guaranteed delicious dinner on the table for less than ten bucks.
While buying shrimp isn’t super cheap, but I always find a large bag for sale. For $15, I can get three or four meals out of it for two adults. So to me, it’s worth the cost.
Some people prefer to make scampi without wine. If you don’t have the good stuff at home, or can’t get to a wine shop, just use white cooking wine. It’s what I’ve selected for this dish and is included in the instructions below.
How do you defrost frozen shrimp?
If you haven’t cooked with frozen shrimp before, there are a few simple steps you’ll need to take before you get started.
You need to properly defrost the shrimp before you can start cooking. If you try to cook with frozen shrimp, the outside will cook until it’s rubbery and the inside will stay raw or barely cooked.
The easiest way to defrost shrimp is to put it in a strainer or bowl. Then, place the it in the sink and run cool water over the shrimp. Make sure the pressure is on low, to medium low.
Definitely keep the temperature of the water on cool and don’t be tempted to turn it on warm! If you try to defrost with warm water, the shrimp will start to cook and turn the meat to rubber!
Run the water until completely defrosted, stirring from time to time. This should take no more than 10 minutes, depending on how much shrimp you are trying to defrost.
I also recommend avoiding metal bowls. The shrimp will act as ice cubes and the metal will only make the water colder, which will then work against you! Learned that the hard way…
If you have the time, you can also place the frozen shrimp in a bowl, cover it, and leave it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
I do not recommend leaving the shrimp on the counter to defrost. Once it hits room temperature, you run the risk of it forming bacteria and getting food poisoning. Ew.
Easy Lemon and Garlic Scampi Recipe
To start, take the fresh shrimp, pat dry with a paper towel, and lightly season with salt and pepper on both sides. Removing the excess moisture will allow the shrimp to cook, without boiling them. Boiling them will make them chewy.
Next, finely mince the garlic and shallots and roughly shop the parsley
Then, heat a sautee pan to medium high heat with half the butter and the extra virgin olive oil until the butter melts. Next, add shrimp to sautee pan and cook each side 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp is no longer translucent and starts to brown along the edges.
Once cooked, remove shrimp from pan and set aside on a plate. Then, turn heat to low and add the rest of the butter, along with the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and shallots and occasionally stir.
Sautee together until fragrant on low heat, but careful to not brown the garlic or shallots (this will turn the dish bitter). After sauteeing for approximately 3 minutes, add the white wine, broth, parsley, salt, pepper, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
Simmer ingredients together, still on low heat, until the sauce reduces. Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed, your call here! Also add more lemon if you’d like.
Add shrimp back in the pan for 90 seconds and coat shrimp with scampi sauce.
Pour all ingredients over pasta, rice, risotto, or in a bowl all by itself. Enjoy!
Low Carb Recipes You’ll Love!
- Classic Low Carb Wedge Salad Recipe
- Low Carb Mini Turkey Meatloaf Recipe
- Loaded Baked Low Carb Chicken Recipe
Lemon and Garlic Shrimp Scampi Recipe
- 1 pound Peeled and Deveined Shrimp
- 3 Cloves Fresh Garlic
- 4 tblsp Butter
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Lemon
- 1/4 cup white cooking wine
- 2 tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tblsp Fresh Chopped Parsley
- 1 fresh shallot
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- Take the fresh shrimp, pat dry with a paper towel, and lightly season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Chop parsley
- Then, heat a sautee pan to medium high heat with the half the butter and the extra virgin olive oil. Heat until butter melts.
- Add shrimp to sautee pan and cook each side 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp is no longer translucent.
- Remove shrimp from pan and set aside on a plate
- Turn heat to low and add the rest of the butter, along with the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and shallots
- After sauteeing for approximately 3 minutes, add the white wine, broth, parsley, salt, pepper, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
- Simmer ingredients together, still on low heat, until the sauce reduces.
- Salt and pepper to taste if needed
- Add shrimp back in the pan for 90 seconds and coat shrimp with scampi sauce.