Sometimes simple is the most satisfying. One of our favorite examples? The combo of lemon, garlic, and butter. The almost sweet acidity of the lemon pairs perfectly with the toasty and pungent flavor of the garlic, and both are enhanced by the rich fattiness of the butter. These flavors show up in countless of our favorite weeknight dinners and steak recipes, but they really get to shine in homemade shrimp scampi. Requiring ingredients you most likely already have on hand, shrimp scampi is a weeknight savior (or dinner party main!) that is truly always satisfying, no matter how you serve it.
First: What is shrimp scampi?
Shrimp scampi is an Italian-American dish that can be found in Italian restaurants throughout the country. The name is a little redundant as scampi is the Italian word for langoustines (delicious shrimp-like crustaceans that are commonly found off the Italian coast). This dish is distinctly American though and is made using plump, pink shrimp and usually served over a heaping bowl of pasta; however, sometimes the pasta can detract from the delectable simplicity of this dish. The shrimp is the main event, so in this recipe, it’s treated as such.
How to make the best shrimp scampi:
— The best white wine for shrimp scampi. We suggest using a dry white wine in this recipe. Some of our favorites: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay. Use your favorite bottle, or check out our favorite white wine brands for sipping and cooking.
— White wine substitutes. If you’d prefer not to use wine, try subbing it for chicken or vegetable broth instead. Need a bit more zing? Add some acid in with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
— The pasta. If you’re looking for shrimp scampi pasta, serve this recipe with angel hair, linguini, or even fettucini, or checkout our copycat Cheesecake Factory shrimp scampi.
How to make the sauce:
Lemon juice, garlic, and butter make up a simple but extremely flavorful scampi sauce, but we’ve also added a few extra ingredients for more complexity. We use a bit of dry white wine and lemon zest to add some depth to the sauce, while parsley also provides a much needed herbal pop.
Serving ideas for shrimp scampi:
We highly recommend serving alongside plenty of crusty bread to soak up every last drop of the delicious garlic-butter sauce; alternatively, you can serve this on top of a thin pasta noodle. Don’t forget to top with even more of those garlicky, lemony breadcrumbs for a savory crunch in every bite.
Tried making our take on this classic? Let us know how it came out in the comments below!