This is an easy shrimp scampi pasta recipe you can make for dinner tonight in less than 30 minutes!  Shrimp scampi is an Italian seafood dish with linguine pasta, shrimp, a lemon butter sauce and breadcrumbs.

closeup of shrimp scampi pasta in a big bowl

I don’t know about you, but quick and easy pasta dinners are some of my favorite meals to make for my family. You can add all sorts of veggies, protein and different noodle shapes and voila! dinner is ready. And this shrimp scampi pasta definitely fits the bill! The entire meal comes together in almost one single pan (the pasta is cooked in a separate pot) in less than 30 minutes start to finish.

There’s 4 delicious components to this dish— sautéed shrimp, al dente linguine pasta, a quick lemon butter sauce, and crispy breadcrumbs. It’s light but satisfying, and full of so much great flavor!

Ingredients you’ll need

shrimp scampi pasta ingredients with labels
  • Shrimp— Raw shrimp that are large/jumbo size (20-25 count, this refers to the amount per lb) are preferred for this recipe. Use peeled, deveined shrimp for the most convenient option. More shrimp info in my FAQs below.
  • Pasta— I prefer linguine pasta for this dish, but fettuccine, spaghetti and angel hair pasta will also work fine. 1 lb of pasta is what most recipes call for, but that’s just too much! 1/2 lb is the perfect balance of pasta, shrimp and sauce.
  • Olive oil and butter— both provide flavor and richness, and combining them makes it less likely the butter will burn.
  • Shallots and garlic— Adds so much flavor to the sauce, don’t skimp here! In a pinch you can replace the shallot with more garlic.
  • Lemon juice and zest— It just wouldn’t be scampi without the bright zesty flavor of lemon!
  • White wine— Wine provides flavor, acidity and a subtle sweetness to this dish (see FAQs for substitutions). 
  • Red pepper flakes— Brings a subtle heat that pairs really well with the zesty lemon and wine in the sauce.
  • Panko breadcrumbs— Honestly, toasted breadcrumbs are optional in this recipe. But I love the crispy contrast with the silky pasta.
  • Parsley— This garnish is one final bright burst of flavor.

How to make shrimp scampi pasta

Shrimp scampi may have a lot going on in a single dish, but it’s actually very easy to make! Prep, chop and measure ingredients before you begin and everything will come together quite quickly.

  1. Boil pasta. Add pasta to a large pot or wide skillet, cover with cold water and add a generous pinch of salt. Set over high heat, bring to a boil and cook until al dente. (Note: This is my favorite way to cook pasta! It takes less time and water.) While pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the dish. Once pasta is done, reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water and drain.step 1: toast breadcrumbs
  2. Toast breadcrumbs. In a large skillet, toast breadcrumbs in olive oil with a pinch of salt until lightly browned (watch so they don’t burn). Remove from the pan and set aside. Wipe skillet out with a paper towel.
  3. Cook shrimp. In the same skillet melt butter, add shrimp, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes until lightly browned, then flip over and cook 1 minute more. Remove from the pan and set aside. step 2: cook shrimp
  4. Make lemon butter sauce. Add more butter and olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat., then add shallots and garlic and cook for until softened. Add lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt, lemon juice and wine to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes more until liquid is reduced by half. step 3: make sauce and add pasta
  5. Toss everything together. Add drained pasta and reserved pasta water to the pan and toss to coat. Add shrimp and toss over heat for about 1 minute until everything is heated through.
  6. Serve! Top shrimp scampi pasta with toasted breadcrumbs and chopped parsley and enjoy immediately.
step 4: add shrimp and toss everything

FAQs for this recipe

What kind of shrimp should I use?

Uncooked raw shrimp (preferably wild-caught) is best for this recipe, as so much of the flavor comes from sautéing the shrimp. I prefer peeled, deveined shrimp for convenience. Either tail-on or tail-off will work fine, per your preference.
If you live a place where you have access to fresh shrimp, great! For the rest of us, I recommend frozen shrimp (in a 1lb bag) from the freezer aisle as it’s flash frozen while still fresh and will be the freshest option. The shrimp behind the seafood counter is thawed from frozen (and who knows how long it’s been there).

How to thaw frozen shrimp?

If you can plan ahead, simply thaw the 1lb bag in the fridge overnight. You can also place the bag in a bowl of cool water, covered with a plate or bowl to submerge it, for 1-2 hours, replacing the water often. Always pat thawed shrimp dry with a paper towel before cooking.

What kind of white wine is best for shrimp scampi?

A dry white wine like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc are both great options. There’s no need to use anything expensive or fancy. I usually have a box of one of these in the fridge that I’ll use when I make this recipe.

What can you use instead of white wine for shrimp scampi?

All of the alcohol will cook out as the sauce simmers, but if you still prefer a substitution you have options! Vegetable or chicken broth will work, and provide a different but still delicious flavor. You can also increase the lemon juice for a more zesty flavor (juice an additional lemon into a liquid measuring cup, then fill with water to make 1/2 cup).

How to reheat shrimp scampi?

Shrimp scampi is best served immediately after cooking, as the pasta will continue to absorb the sauce as it sits. However, to reheat leftovers, add everything to a sauté pan along with a few tablespoons of water and reheat for a few minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let it sit for a few minutes to trap the moisture while it finishes reheating.

shrimp scampi in bowl

What to serve with shrimp scampi

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closeup of shrimp scampi pasta in a big bowl
5 from 1 review

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
This is an easy shrimp scampi pasta recipe you can make for dinner tonight in less than 30 minutes! Shrimp scampi is an Italian seafood dish with linguine pasta, shrimp, a lemon butter sauce and breadcrumbs.
Prep, chop and measure all ingredients before beginning and it will come together quickly and easily!

Ingredients
 

  • ½ lb linguine pasta
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (panko preferred)
  • 4 tablespoons butter , divided
  • 1 lb large/jumbo raw shrimp (size 21-25 count)
  • 1 shallot , finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced or finely chopped
  • ¼-½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt , plus more to taste
  • Ground black pepper , to taste
  • Chopped parsely , for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Add pasta to a large pot or wide skillet, cover with cold water and add a generous pinch of salt. Set over high heat, bring to a boil and cook until al dente. (Note: This is my favorite way to cook pasta! It takes less time and water. However, you can add pasta to a large pot of water that’s already boiling if that is your preference.) Once pasta is done, reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water and drain.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the dish. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and pinch of salt and stir till combined with oil. Continue to stir frequently as breadcrumbs toast till lightly browned (watch so they don’t burn). Remove from the pan and set aside. Wipe skillet out with a paper towel.
  • Add 2 Tbsp. butter to the same skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels, then add to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes until lightly browned, then flip over and cook 1 minute more. Remove from the pan and set aside. 
  • Add remaining 2 Tbsp. each butter and olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until softened. Add lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp. salt, lemon juice and wine to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes more until liquid is reduced by half. 
  • Add drained pasta and reserved pasta water to the pan and toss to coat. Add shrimp and toss over heat for about 1 minute until everything is heated through.
  • Top with toasted breadcrumbs and chopped parsley and enjoy immediately.

Notes

Notes:

  • Spaghetti, fettuccine and angel hair will work for this recipe too.
  • I prefer to use peeled, deveined shrimp for this recipe. You can use tail-on or tail-off. If using smaller shrimp, reduce cooking time by a minute or two, as they will cook much faster.
  • If you want a substitute for wine in this recipe, vegetable or chicken broth will work, and provide a different but still delicious flavor. You can also increase the lemon juice for a more zesty flavor (juice an additional lemon into a liquid measuring cup, then fill with water to make 1/2 cup).
Calories: 550kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 158mg, Sodium: 1375mg, Potassium: 334mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 416IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 108mg, Iron: 2mg
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Main Course
Author: Annalise
Have you tried this recipe?I’d love to hear about it! Leave a rating and review below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram @completelydelicious with #completelydelicious.