This shrimp scampi is an easy family dinner recipe you can whip up on a weekday evening. Linguine pasta is mixed with a creamy lemon sauce and juicy seasoned shrimp.
For a truly delicious and easy weekday dinner, read on. I love this meal! Making shrimp scampi without wine may offend some people but using chicken broth is my favorite method.
And for those that don’t drink wine, making this with chicken broth is the perfect route to go.
If you are looking for a really good white wine pasta recipe try this white wine gnocchi and shrimp. There’s even details on how to make your own gnocchi.
When you make anything with shrimp you always want to make sure to cook the shrimp right. And what does that mean? It means not overcooking your shrimp.
Overcooked shrimp is tough and chewy. Perfectly cooked shrimp is soft and delectable. As hard as it is to believe, shrimp take only minutes to cook. So we’re focusing on proper technique today.
But in the off chance you do overcook your shrimp, who will notice when it’s slathered with that luscious, lip smacking good, creamy lemon sauce.
Lick your plate clean, no one will judge you. Because this is the best shrimp scampi recipe, like ever.
Shrimp Scampi Ingredients
Here’s the rundown, what ingredients you’ll need and maybe even why you need it to make this shrimp scampi dinner. The full recipe is at the bottom, in the recipe card.
- Shrimp – There’s a lot of debate about what shrimp to buy, my theory is buy what you can, if all you can get is frozen shrimp then okay that will work, if you live some place where you can get endless fresh caught shrimp, do it
- Linguine Pasta – I like to use linguine, the sauce really clings to the flat noodles (same for this cajun shrimp pasta) but if you don’t have linguine then use whatever pasta you do have or want to use
- Butter – this helps make the sauce rich and buttery, I always like using salted butter for everything
- Garlic Cloves – fresh minced garlic will really enhance the flavor of this pasta dinner but in a bind you can sub out garlic powder but
- Chicken Broth – the base of our sauce
- Lemon Juice – also used for the base of the sauce, fresh squeezed lemon juice should be used
- Lemon Zest – used for flavor in the sauce
- Half and Half – this makes the shrimp scampi sauce creamy
- Pasta Water – when you boil your noodles, make sure to scoop out some pasta water, which helps to flavor, thicken and bind your sauce
- Salt and Pepper – for flavor
- Parsley – fresh chopped parsley
- Fresh Parmesan Cheese – fresh grated parmesan cheese, the kind that comes as a block labeled “parmigiano reggiano” or you can buy fresh grated in a container – this is usually in the cheese and deli area of your grocery store
I’m not going to even pretend to like cleaning shrimp. It’s right up there with doing laundry. But it must be done!
Depending on the type of shrimp you buy will determine how much cleaning it needs.
When my parents lived by the shore, they got fresh from the gulf shrimp. And you had to clean it really, really well.
When I buy shrimp from the grocery store it’s about half way there, they usually have taken off some of the shell and deveined one side. For you shrimp newbies, that means they cleaned the poo line out. Yuck.
No matter where you get it from you want to go over it with a fine tooth comb. Meaning, deep clean your shrimp.
How To Clean Shrimp
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Here’s how to clean and devein shrimp
- Remove Outer Shell
Remove the outer shell of the shrimp, it’s just a thin shell and peels off easy.
- Remove Tail
Pull the tail off the shrimp carefully by grabbing the ends and tugging.
Use a small pairing knife to cut a slit down the back of the shrimp and pull out the brown vein (make sure not to cut through the shrimp). I like to clean out the opposite side too.
- Rinse With Water
Put the shrimp in a bowl and run some cold water over them, using your hands to clean off any other gunk, pour the water out and repeat until the water starts to run clear
- Drain the Water and Dry
Drain the water out and put the shrimp on a few paper towels to absorb excess water.
How To Make Shrimp Scampi Without Wine
Making shrimp scampi is so easy!
The first part is preparing the shrimp. You’ll have to thoroughly clean the shrimp.
Next you need to cook your pasta according to what the package says. As a tip, if you drain your pasta 1 minute before it’s done (so cook to al dente) you’ll avoid mushy noodles.
Cooking the shrimp will be next, and it takes just minutes. The shrimp get seared in a pan with butter and garlic. And then move it to a plate while you make the sauce, don’t leave it in the pan and run the risk of overcooking it.
Last is making the creamy shrimp scampi sauce. And this is where our substitution making shrimp scampi without wine comes in to play.
In the same pan you cooked your shrimp you’ll add the chicken broth, lemon juice, lemon zest, half and half, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and parsley.
After the sauce has thickened slightly add back in the pasta and shrimp. You can leave the shrimp whole or chop them up which is my favorite way of serving it.
Chopping up the shrimp means every bite has shrimp in it and you can stretch the shrimp farther.
Technically yes but I don’t suggest it. And it’s because of the noodles. Cooked noodles don’t do very well reheating after they have been frozen.
Definitely, this makes a great next day lunch. Heat it in a pan or in the microwave with a splash more of chicken broth.
In general, the sauce is a thin sauce not a thick sauce. It does take time cooling, once you turn your stovetop heat off, for the sauce to thicken up a bit.
Yes, there is butter, fresh parmesan cheese and half and half in this shrimp scampi recipe.
Linguine is a great choice. Sauces stick to flat pastas, like linguine, really well.
It can. You can half the recipe or if you really love shrimp you could just decrease the pasta and leave the shrimp amount the same.
Try These Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- World’s Best Beef Stroganoff
- Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Summer Shrimp Pasta
- Ground Turkey Meatballs and Pasta
Shrimp Scampi Without Wine
- 1 lb shrimp cleaned
- 8 oz linguine pasta
- 3 tbsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 c chicken broth
- 1/3 c lemon juice 2-3 lemons
- Zest of a lemon
- 1/2 c half and half
- 1/4 c pasta water reserved from boiling pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley chopped (a handful)
- Fresh parmesan cheese grated
- Bring a pot of water to boil
- While you wait, clean the shrimp, set aside on a paper towel to drain off the water and pat dry with another paper towel
- Sprinkle the shrimp with a few pinches of salt and pepper
- At this point add the pasta to the boiling water (optionally you can salt your water for better tasting pasta) and cook until just al dente, before you drain the water scoop out 1/4 cup of the pasta water
- Grab a large sauté pan and heat it over medium heat
- Melt the butter and minced garlic in the heated pan
- In an even layer, add the shrimp to the pan
- Cook for 2 minutes, turn the shrimp and cook the other side
- The shrimp are done when they are pink in color and no longer transluscent (do not to overcook the shrimp)
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a plate
- Turn the heat up on your pan and add the chicken broth to deglaze*
- Bring this to a boil then turn the heat down to low
- Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and 1/4 cup of pasta water
- Stir the cooked pasta into the sauce
- Add the half and half, a pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper Move the shrimp from the plate to a cutting board and give it a rough chop (or leave them whole)
- Return this and the juice left on the plate to your sauté pan
- Top with fresh parmesan cheese (however much you like but a handful is a decent amount if you aren’t sure) and chopped parsley
- *Deglaze is a fancy word for getting all those delicious bits of stuff stuck on your pan off and incorporated into your liquid
- Adding pasta water back into your dish gives it good flavor and helps the sauce thicken
- Add some red pepper flakes for a bit of spice and heat Always check the flavor on your sauce, does it need more salt?
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review!