Ready in 15 minutes or less, this Easy Shrimp Scampi Pasta Recipe is full of rich, buttery, and vibrant flavors, plump shrimp and lemon garlic essence. Similar to my Light Shrimp Scampi, this dish is perfect for weeknight meals and one the whole family will enjoy.
After a long day, the last thing I want to do is stand in my kitchen all night long making dinner — I just want to put my feet up! Shrimp scampi pasta is where restaurant-quality food meets quick and healthy. I promise these two things can co-exist!
What Is Shrimp Scampi?
In Italian, scampi refers to a type of lobster-like crustacean, also known by the names of Dublin Bay Prawns, Langoustines, or Norway Lobsters. Italian-American cooks began making this dish with shrimp instead, but they kept the scampi name, thus creating “shrimp scampi.”
Shrimp scampi pasta is made by sautéeing shrimp in a garlic, butter, and wine sauce. Most of the time, it’s served over angel hair pasta as an elegant main dish.
Before you go thinking this recipe requires chef-level cooking experience, let me assure you it couldn’t be simpler! All you’ll need is a few ingredients, a pot and a pan, and about 15 minutes of your time.
The end result is rich and buttery balanced with notes of lemon and a touch of heat. With countless ways to make this dish your own, it’s a must-have in any home cook’s repertoire!
- Olive oil — I use this as a healthier choice to sauté the shrimp and garlic. It also lightens up the recipe compared to using all butter. If you don’t have olive oil, avocado or grapeseed oil will do the trick!
- Shrimp — Fresh is always best. The size of the shrimp is up to you, but I tend to reach for wild-caught jumbo shrimp. For reference, one pound of this size generally yields around 20-22 shrimp.
- Garlic — While it might seem crazy, I use fresh and powdered garlic. I find fresh garlic provides a zesty element while garlic powder gives a more subdued, well-rounded flavor.
- Lemon — Lemon juice and zest add just the right amount of acidity and POP to this recipe. Bonus — lemons are full of antioxidants like vitamin C!
- Dry White Wine — Dry, crisp white wine varietals like unoaked Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc work best for cooking. However, I always recommend using the one you enjoy most as there will be plenty leftover for drinking!
- Lemon Pepper — Not a traditional shrimp scampi ingredient, but one I highly advocate for to enhance the sauce!
- Red Chili Flakes — To bring the heat. Skip the chili flakes if you are sensitive to spice, or add more if you can handle it!
- Onion Powder — Instead of fresh shallots, I simplify my shrimp scampi recipe by using onion powder. It adds a subtle savory flavor that blends into the sauce incredibly well.
- Parsley — Throw in some freshly minced parsley at the end for a burst of color and flavor. Use however much or little you prefer. You can even try fresh basil for a twist!
- Unsalted Butter — Added in at the end of simmering to create a rich and creamy sauce consistency. To control the amount of salt in this recipe, use unsalted butter.
- Angel Hair Pasta — Also known as capellini, this is the most common way to serve shrimp scampi pasta. Remember not to rinse pasta as the starch helps the sauce stick.
- Salt & Pepper — An absolute necessity! Taste and season as you go to avoid overdoing either of these.
How to Make Easy Shrimp Scampi Pasta
- SAUTE SHRIMP – In a skillet with hot olive oil, cook the shrimp for a couple of minutes per side. Careful not to walk away from the pan as shrimp can quickly overcook and turn rubbery. Once they look pink, transfer them out of the skillet and to the side.
- START THE SAUCE – Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet, and sauté the minced garlic until fragrant. Mix in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and white wine.
- AROMATICS AND BUTTER – Season the sauce with lemon pepper, red chili flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, and parsley. Simmer the sauce over medium-low heat until it is reduced by about half, then swirl in the butter.
- ASSEMBLE – Add the shrimp back in, swirl them around, then turn off the heat. Transfer cooked angel hair pasta in and toss everything together. Garnish with extra parsley and a squeeze of lemon before serving.
While shrimp scampi pasta makes a complete meal on its own, you may enjoy it with some complementary side dishes like garlic bread! I mean, is there such a thing as too much garlic?
Here are a few GBC options I think would pair well with this recipe:
There are so many ways to customize this recipe to suit your tastes. If you are sensitive to gluten, use gluten-free pasta. For a low-carb version, use spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles (zoodles). If you prefer more spice in your life, don’t be shy with the chili flakes! If you have any customizations you’d like to share with me to try, please let me know in the comments!
Tips And Tricks
The key to a delicious easy shrimp scampi is not overcooking the shrimp! Only a few ingredients are involved, so each should be appropriately prepared and cooked. Sauté the shrimp for a maximum of 1-2 minutes per side to prevent a rubbery texture.
Angel hair pasta is part of what makes this meal so quick. It only takes about 2-3 minutes, so start it after you first remove the shrimp from your skillet.
If you don’t drink or cook with wine, you can still easily make this pasta dish. Swap in an equal ratio of chicken, vegetable, or seafood broth.
What To Do With Leftovers
If you’re lucky enough to have leftover shrimp scampi pasta, follow these easy steps to look after the surplus.
This recipe always stores better if you keep the pasta separate from the shrimp. Once cooked, refrigerate shrimp in an airtight container within two hours. If stored this way, the shrimp will keep for up to 4 days.
Transfer the pasta and sauce to separate containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It is normal if the sauce dries out a bit.
Reheating your easy shrimp scampi couldn’t be easier! I recommend heating a little olive oil in a pan over medium. Then, add in the pasta, sauce, and shrimp.
If things are looking a little dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water until it reaches the perfect consistency. It should only take about 4-5 minutes for everything to heat through.
Although the microwave seems like an easier option, your shrimp will turn rubbery. I don’t recommend reheating it this way.
More Pasta Recipes
If you’re a pasta lover like me, you absolutely need to try these other family-favorite recipes:
- Creamy Garlic Pasta with Seared Scallops
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe
- Cajun Spinach Stuffed Manicotti
- Cajun Shrimp Zoodles
- Cajun Shrimp Linguine
- Keto Shrimp and Grits
- Cajun Jambalaya Pasta!
Easy Shrimp Scampi Pasta
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 lb wild caught jumbo shrimp tails and shells removed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 garlic cloves minced
- juice of 1 lemon plus 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 tsp lemon pepper
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp minced parsley
- 3 tbsp cold unsalted butter
- 1/2 lb angel hair pasta
- Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add shrimp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to season and sauté for about 1 or 2 minutes on each side until they turn pink. Make sure not to overcook them since shrimp cook very quickly. Then remove and place to the side.
- Add remaining olive oil to the pan then add minced garlic and cook for just about 30 seconds.
- Next add lemon juice and zest and wine then season with lemon pepper, red pepper flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, and parsley. Stir together, lower heat to medium low and reduce sauce by about half. Swirl in the butter.
- Then add back in the shrimp and swirl around and turn off the heat.
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, add a generous pinch of salt, then add the angel hair pasta. Carefully swirl the pasta around the saucepan until it is fully submerged.
- Cook according to package instructions, or until al dente (angel hair typically takes about 2-3 minutes maximum). Drain the water in a colander, but do not rinse it
- Add angel hair pasta and toss all ingredients together then garnish with parsley and serve.
If you’re lucky enough to have leftover shrimp scampi pasta, follow these easy steps to look after the surplus. This recipe always stores better if you keep the pasta separate from the shrimp. Once cooked, refrigerate shrimp in an airtight container within two hours. If stored this way, the shrimp will keep for up to 4 days. Transfer the pasta and sauce to separate containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It is normal if the sauce dries out a bit. Reheating
Reheating your shrimp scampi pasta couldn’t be easier! I recommend heating a little olive oil in a pan over medium. Then, add in the pasta, sauce, and shrimp. If things are looking a little dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water until it reaches the perfect consistency. It should only take about 4-5 minutes for everything to heat through. Although the microwave seems like an easier option, your shrimp will turn rubbery. I don’t recommend reheating it this way.