Every time I make shrimp scampi, it takes me 15 minutes to throw together, the kids devour it, and I kick myself for not making it more often. It’s really that good.
Shrimp scampi requires shrimp and pasta… and some garlic, lemon, parsley and butter and olive oil. That’s it! And, honestly, if you don’t have any parsley, use basil or just skip it. Your meal will still taste amazing.
This shrimp scampi is the perfect answer to pasta night. If you have your favorite angel hair or spaghetti pasta, get it out. When we have pasta night, we often make two pots of pasta – one gluten-free, one regular. This is a naturally gluten-free recipe – just switch up the pasta to accommodate your eaters.
Believe it or not, Americans eat four pounds of shrimp per year. Whoa. That’s a lot of shrimp per person! Due to this huge uptick in shrimp consumption, lots and lots of our shrimp has to be imported – a lot as in 94% of all our shrimp is imported. Sigh… I am a passionate supporter of local food as often as possible for so many reasons. The same goes true for shrimp – you really want to know where your shrimp comes from and how it was raised. Trust me.
I’ll spare you the details on the shrimp sitch in many places so let’s just talk about what you SHOULD be looking for when you buy shrimp. When at all possible, buy wild shrimp that has been certified from one of the following organizations – 1.) The Marine Stewardship Council, an organization that ensures shrimpers are fishing responsibly; 2.) Whole Foods Market labels shrimp responsibly caught; and 3.) those listed as “Best Choices” or “Good Alternatives” on Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Guide, at seafoodwatch.org
If you can find responsibly caught, US wild shrimp, that has been peeled and deveined, this recipe will be done in no time. If your shrimp is frozen, let it thaw in a bowl of water in your sink while you prep the other ingredients. Treat your prep space for shrimp like you would for chicken. Don’t share cutting boards or knives with other foods and clean your sink after your prep is done.
Easiest Shrimp Scampi
To make your shrimp get a nicely caramelized slightly crisp outer layer, pat your shrimp dry before you lightly salt and pepper it and drop it into the sizzling butter and olive oil. Also, do your best to not touch it while it is cooking on each side. Drop it in, let it cook, flip it over. You can cook the shrimp tail on or off. I used to kill myself trying to peel all the shrimp … guess what, when I left the tails on, my kids didn’t mind one bit pulling off the tails and it saved me a ton of time.
It’s hard to mess this recipe up! We love garlic so I crush an entire bulb of garlic for this recipe. We don’t mess around. No vampires here. Or common colds. 😉 If you have some shrimp abstainers, this garlicky lemon sauce will taste delicious tossed with your pasta even without the shrimp. As I tell my daughters, shrimp abstainers, more for me.
Easiest Shrimp Scampi Recipe
- 1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1 box of spaghetti, cooked
- 1 bulb garlic
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 T. olive oil
- 2 T. butter
- 1 handful parsley, rinsed and chopped, no stems
- Prepare your pasta. Drain your pasta.
- Smash your bulb of garlic and slice up as many large cloves of garlic as you can manage without getting annoyed.
- Rinse your shrimp, pat it dry with a paper towel, salt and pepper it.
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan or wok.
- Add garlic and shrimp. Don't touch the shrimp! Let it cook for about 2 minutes.
- Flip the shrimp, let it cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from pan.
- Add lemon juice and parsley into the pan. Heat through. Add salt if necessary.
- Add your pasta to the sauce. Toss.
- Add shrimp on top.