THE BEST Easy Shrimp Scampi Recipe You’ll Ever Taste
If you love savory garlic, butter and shrimp then this is sure to be your favorite shrimp scampi recipe! Because, it’s easy to make but makes you look like s rock star.
My father-in-law was a bonafide food snob. He had great taste, and he knew what he liked. And, I admired him more in the short time I knew him than most people I’ve known for a lifetime. And, man, do I miss him.
He shared this recipe with a very few, select people. It was an honor to have him show me in my own kitchen how to make this delicious dish. I did what any mom would do, I grabbed my stepson (his grandson) and said, let’s do this! He let me know he wanted to share this with me because I was special. Food was his love language, and he was good at both. But, more than knowing how to make fantastic shrimp scampi, knowing all of what this recipe meant to my husband’s family – and getting to be a part of that for close to 20 years – that is the real treat.
He also never wanted to write the recipe down. He believed sharing recipes should be done like breaking bread: together.
His tried and true advice: Always cook when you’re hungry. Imagine the tastes, and savor the journey. (Also important is reading that word “hungry” like he said it. With gusto!)
With this shrimp scampi recipe, the trick is not to overcook the shrimp. But, the real secret is in adding the ingredients in the right order. Add the garlic too soon, and you’ll lose the taste. Add it too late, and it won’t infuse with your meat.
Then, there’s the wine. I fondly remember Jim teaching me how to make his delicious Shrimp Scampi. First, he poured us both a glass of white wine. He handed me my glass, and had me smell it. Now, I’m not talking just a sniff, but really drinking it in through its smell. Then, he slowly took a small, deliberate sip. When you sample your wine, go slowly! Let the wine sit on your tongue first, and then slowly move it around your mouth to really experience the flavors. Relax. Let it soak in. Savor it, because it’s the base of the dish you’re about to create.
The difference between cooking food and creating a masterpiece is being at one with the taste.
Choosing Your Seafood
Many people aren’t aware that there are lots of choices when it comes to seafood, and shrimp is no different. For example, there’s farm-raised and wild-caught. It doesn’t take a culinary genius to realize that wild-caught is going to be healthier and better for you.
When it comes to shrimp scampi, size does matter! Of course, choose the size that you like. However, know that small shrimp may cost less but will take much less time to cook and is easier to over cook. Huge shrimp may catch your eye, but for this recipe I’d suggest a Large or Extra large shrimp. And, I’d recommend avoiding prawns which look like giant shrimp (how’s that for an oxymoron?) Because, they actually lose flavor the bigger they are.
Lastly, while pre-cooked shrimp is available I would not recommend it for this recipe. Buy raw shrimp so you can control how “done” it gets, and allow the seasonings to penetrate for a more tasty dish. Buying peeled and deveined shrimp may seem more appealing, but it usually costs a bit more. If you have time and want to save money, you can peel and de-vein them yourself. Either way is fine. I calculated the time for this recipe based on having the shrimp already peeled and de-veined.
Serve it up
Shrimp Scampi can be served as-is, drenched in the incredibly tasty sauce its made with. Or, use it to top angel-hair pasta or a soak up in a bed of rice. Add a side of green salad to complete this meal.
J.R.’s Shrimp ScampiPrint
- 1 lb. large shrimp
- 1/2 lb butter (2 sticks)
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 3–4 T dry white wine
- 2 tsp. lemon juice (fresh, if possible)
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse shrimp and set aside. If shrimp is not peeled & deveined, do that now.
- Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat until melted.
- Saute garlic 1-2 minutes or until softened but not browned.
- Add ingredients, one-at-a-time, allowing each to cook for 5 minutes between them: wine, onion, lemon – use more or less to taste. (In other words, add wine, cook 5 minutes, then add onion, cook 5 more minutes, etc.)
- Simmer on very low heat. Saute for 15 minutes, until achieving desired taste.
- Add shrimp. Cook until shrimp are pink and firm (1 minute one one side, then flip shrimp and cook another minute (for uncooked shrimp… less for cooked shrimp).
- Add chopped parsley and salt & pepper before serving.
- Garnish with lemon slices and parsley sprigs if desired.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Category: Seafood
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: shrimp, shellfish, seafood, wine, butter