This creamy shrimp scampi is one of those dishes that just hits the spot time and time again. Plump, juicy shrimps pair perfectly with the savory white sauce.
If you love creamy pasta dishes, you have to try our Classic Alfredo Sauce.
This is another one of those meals that you can quickly prepare. If you are a working person or just being busy with kids, I would highly recommend this dish.
It’s hard to believe that I used to not be a fan of fish or shrimp. After marrying my husband Tim, a seafood fanatic, my palette opened up and I am now able to enjoy all the lovely seafood Seattle has to offer. Creamy Shrimp Scampi is one of the first dishes that changed my mind.
Tim also created a seafood-lover out of our 11-year-old son Jacob. He can blow through an entire bag of shrimp like it’s a bowl of popcorn! When he sees me preparing my Creamy Shrimp Scampi, I can see his inner “foodie” growing just like mine did.
What is Shrimp Scampi?
The first time I had Shrimp Scampi was at Red Lobster. I loved its lightness and immediately wanted to recreate it at home. I learned that Shrimp Scampi is defined by Italian-Americans as shrimp cooked in a sauce made of white wine, butter, and garlic. Combine the sauce with pasta and sop up whatever is left at the bottom of your bowl with a hunk of fresh bread.
What Pasta Does Shrimp Scampi Pair Well With?
Linguine, linguine, linguine! I love how the wide and flat noodles soak up the buttery sauce. I also find that linguine is the best pasta to use if you want to get a forkful of shrimp and pasta in the same bite. It’s durable, thick, and sure to satisfy a carb craving.
Choosing the Right Ingredients to Make Shrimp Scampi
While this pasta is quick to prepare, nailing it requires that you pick the right quality of ingredients. Here is my breakdown of each component to this classic:
You will want to use a crisp and dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. The acids in the wine will help enhance the flavors of the shrimp and compliment the creaminess of the cheese and heavy whipping cream (if you choose to add it). You can find Sauvignon Blanc for pretty cheap at the market, but opt for a bottle you actually like to drink on its own. That way, you can pour yourself a chilled glass with the leftovers when you are ready to eat! C’mon you deserve a treat, anyways :).
It’s always best to go fresh! If you can, go to the fish market. If not, the frozen variety are just fine. Keep in mind that frozen shrimp come in both cooked and uncooked varieties. Pay attention to the packaging so you don’t accidentally overcook already cooked shrimp! You can tell when shrimp is cooked because it turns a pink-orange color.
Hot tip: Cook fresh shrimp with the shells on. There is plenty of flavor in the shrimp shells that will be released into the sauce as you cook it. If you are a hardcore seafood lover, this method is for you!
While it might be tempting to garnish your pasta with a dried herb from your cupboard, opt for the fresh stuff. Grab a bundle of parsley or basil. Chop it roughly and sprinkle it on top of your pasta right before serving. This will add a beautiful pop of color and flavor!
If you are anything like me, you probably have a handy (and perfectly tasty) jar of marinated, minced garlic in your fridge for when you don’t feel like getting your hands dirty. For this dish, press fresh garlic. It will stand up to the heat of the pan better and prevent burning.
Use a high-quality parmesan cheese. Grab a block of it and grate it fresh. Grating your cheese unlocks oils and flavors that are lost in the shredded and bagged varieties.
Heavy Whipping Cream
Not everyone uses heavy whipping cream in their Shrimp Scampi. I, for one, am a sucker for the creaminess and texture it adds. Add it or don’t. Either way this dish will be something special!
Shrimp Scampi Nutrition and Benefits
A single serving of my Creamy Shrimp Scampi clocks in at just under 500 calories. It also boasts 30 grams of protein. Bon appetit!
Other Pasta Recipes to Try
- Creamy Orzo Bacon Pasta Recipe
- The Easiest Shrimp Linguine
- Creamy One-Pot Pasta
- Easy One-Pan Meatball Pasta Recipe
- 1 lb shrimp
- 1 lb linguine
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Prepare the ingredients for the recipe. Cook pasta per package instructions.
- Melt butter in a skillet, add in pressed garlic and cook for about a minute.
- Add in shrimp. If they're not cooked, cook until shrimp turns pink. To the shrimp, add in lemon juice and wine. Bring it to a simmer.
- Stir fettuccine into the mix, add Parmesan and stir to combine it all together. Add in the heavy whipping cream and bring to a simmer. Immediately remove the scampi from heat.
- Season with salt if needed, garnish with herbs and serve right away.
I can't have wine, so I used chicken broth and lemon zest for a little extra acidity. I used cassava spaghetti, because that's the closest grain free pasta possible... Oh my gosh this turned out amazing. The heavy cream really makes a HUGE difference.
Hi Jessica, Thank you so much for sharing your process and feedback. I love how you were able to really make this recipe your own! Enjoy it dear!!
What else can you use beside whipping cream
Hi Cindy, the results wouldn't be the same, but you can use half and half. I hope this helps. Thank you for reaching out!
How much in weight is about one serving?
Hi Austin. This recipe is 6 servings. The nutrition calculator does not provide us with weight. I am sorry I could not be of more help. Good luck!
This sounds really good... except for the cooking wine. You should only cook with wine you would drink. Cooking wine has no alcohol and is full of salt. Yuk! Chicken broth would be better than cooking wine. Reisling would be the best!
Hey Lorry- that is all true! Earlier in the recipe we do recommend using Sauvignon Blanc, and actually advise to use what you would drink! The recipe card will be updated to reflect that as well.
I made this exactly as written, it was sooo good! I used wild Argentine Red Shrimp, and they cooked quickly. Served with the heavy cream over linguini...bowls were practically licked clean! Will absolutely make this again, perhaps setting aside some lemon quarters to squeeze on individual servings.
Hello Annemarie- I am drooling just reading your feedback! I love Argentine Shrimp- it's fantastic! So glad you enjoyed this dish. 😀
I'm not super confident in the kitchen yet and this was easy to do! The pictures helped a lot. My husband loves this dish and I make it often now. Thank you for the great recipe!
Hello Jess- I love hearing that and I'm glad you found the recipe easy to follow. 🙂
Made this tonight. Everyone loved it. I did change it up a little. I had no heavy cream and substituted cream cheese.
I'm glad you made it work with what you had on hand! Thanks for commenting, Peggie! 🙂
You say to cook shrimp with skins on at what point do you take the skins off?
Hey Robert, I would move the shell after the shrimp is cooked but this is totally optional. I have been using tail on raw shrimp and it works amazingly in this recipe.
What if you want to add spinach and cherry tomatoes- at what step would you add?
Hi Julie - I would add them in at the very end just until the spinach is wilted. Hope this helps and thanks for reaching out.
What can sub for wine
Hi there- you can use chicken broth instead. Enjoy!
Thank you for the recipe! One thing to note is that the “one pot” graphic is misleading cause you have to cook the pasta separately. When we look for one-pot/pan recipes for quick dinner ideas, and it includes pasta, you should be able to cook the raw pasta in the same broth or water as the rest of dish. May just be helpful to clear up for those searching for a true one-pot recipe. Thank you!
Hi Elizabeth- Technically the pasta can be cooked in the same pot, as part of the very first step before cooking the garlic or anything else, but I do understand your point of the pasta cooking at the same time as everything else. Thank you for your feedback!
Love your recipe Natalya as it leaves lots of options for additional spices and ingredients! I substituted sour cream for heavy cream and included sliced fresh mushrooms and red bell peppers. Thanks sooo very much for sharing!!!
You're very welcome, Shari!
Is there a way to make it extra creamy?
Hello, Jaz! Yes, you can add more heavy whipping cream to it for extra creaminess!
You wrote whipped cream in two places when you mean whipping cream.
Ah! Good catch, Paul. You can tell we have whipped cream on the mind, can't you? LOL. Thanks so much and the recipe is updated.
Amazing recipe!!! I’ve never cooked this dish, but what a hit! Even the pickiest in our tribe loved it. Thank you 🙂
That is so good to hear, I'm so glad everyone enjoyed it!!
I'm going to try this for dinner tonight but, I can't comprehend why she would almost insist on "linguini, linguini, linguini" and then add fettuccini in the recipe. They'll give ya something you chew on.
Shauna, you are right, we did use linguini in this recipe. I made the update. Thank you!
Easy and so delicious! Seasoned the shrimp with salt pepper and red pepper flakes. Added a little extra parm. Incredibly creamy and exactly what I was looking for. Very pleased!
Alyssa, that sounds incredible! Thank you for sharing all your tips.
I have been looking for a scampi recipe that incorporated cream. Just found one! Going to do it tonight with some fresh NC shrimp. Thinking about boiling the shrimp in the shells a few minutes and add some shrimp water to help with it not being too dry. Thanks for the recipe!
Larry, this is a great tip about shrimp. Thank you for sharing!
Amazing! A huge hit and will definitely be saved for future use!
Hey Laura, I am so happy to hear this. Thank you!
Very easy to make and delicious
Leslie, thank you! SO glad you liked it!
Oh my goodness! This was super simple, unbelievably quick to make, and absolutely outstanding. I may tweak the lemon a bit and add less next time, but there will be plenty of "next times". In love! Thanks for the awesome recipe!!
Oh wow Brittany, I loved reading your review. Thank you for sharing the feedback. It makes me so happy that you loved the recipe.
Can you use 1/2 and 1/2
Hey Gayla, I haven't tried using half and half, I can't tell you how that would work. If you do try it, let me know.
I’ve been making this recipe since I found it last year. It’s so good thank you for sharing it.
Julie, late welcome to the blog! Thank you for leaving this sweet review. I hope you find several other recipes you will love!
Love this recipe. Very close to mom's.
We also use this with scallops (dry/ unprocessed - the 'processed' are injected with sodium tripolyphosphate which steals the sweetness), lobster, crab (Dungeness, Jonas, snow, king or our favorite- calinectus sapidus, the 'beautiful swimmer' of Chesapeake Bay)
Bacon, and even a few capers, if so inclined can compliment the dish.
I've even tried adding a few anchovies (our adopted nephew says they dissolve into 'salty oil' ) at the initial butter/ garlic stage to impart a subtle underlying seashore robustness, as I imagine many of the dishes had on the Adriatic coast's cooking kettles of the Abruzzo region where my father's side of the family comes from. (although our Familia resides a bit further inland)
Hey Bob, I learned a thing or two from you. I am a simple home cook and this was a really helpful comment. Thank you for taking the time to share all this info.
I used a 12oz biz of Fetticinni pasta...which I am assuming was 1-LB which was called for..,followed the rest of ingredients perfectly, but found that the dish was too dry.....but taste was great.
Karen, thank you for sharing your feedback. One tip is to remove it from heat as soon as possible from heat after it simmers. If you continue cooking it will try out. If you find it too dry, add a few spoonfuls of water make it creamy again.
Simple, direct spot on recipe. Thanks! Only thing I added was fresh cracked pepper and flat leaf parsley. Ok, I lied - I tripled the butter and added chopped bacon too. 😉
Oh my, lol Nate. Sounds delicious and bacon sounds like such an amazing addition!
I love shrimp in the summer! So nice and light.
I am glad you found the recipe! My son is like you, he will eat shrimp for any meal of the day 🙂
Looks delish!! Adding to next week's menu!
Thank you dear! I am excited for you to try it!