The perfect date night at home dish! Large shrimp in a luscious butter and bright lemon sauce twirled in strands of fettuccine pasta and topped with fresh parsley. Perfectly paired with white wine for a spectacular meal.
Jump right on in for the perfect date-night dinner that requires little effort. Whether it’s a date night for your special someone, a best friend, or a night of self-care, shrimp scampi is the answer.
The answer to all your needs:
- 20-minute recipe? Check.
- Buttery goodness? Check.
- Bright lemon bursts? Check.
- Succulent shrimp? Check.
- Ribbons of perfectly al dente pasta? Check.
- Pairs well with wine? Check.
You better believe this is going to be your easy go-to pasta dinner whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not. I’m talking winter comfort dinner, springtime dinner with a side of asparagus, or a summertime patio sunset dinner.
No matter the time or season or day, this recipe has got your back.
I first posted this shrimp scampi pasta recipe back in 2016 when I was living in North Carolina. On the coast. Next to a local seafood market. Talk about F.R.E.S.H.
Now I’m back deep in the mainland (ahem, Minnesota with feet of snow around me). But I’m happy to report that this recipe holds up regardless of whether or not you have shrimp straight from your backyard.
It is, however, best when you find high-quality shrimp (but what recipe isn’t?). I recommend finding shrimp that’s wild and as sustainable as possible.
What’s in Shrimp Scampi?
We’ve covered the basics, especially the sustainable shrimp. Let’s dive deep in the simple, basic, fresh ingredients that come together to create this mouth-watering pasta.
- Fettuccini pasta – just enough for two!
- Butter – you know it’s a must!
- Shallot – for a slightly more mild onion flavor.
- Garlic – it wouldn’t be scampi without garlic. Lots of garlic.
- Red pepper flakes – for a slight flavor kick.
- White wine – there’s gotta be wine in scampi sauce. Plus, it’s not a romantic dinner unless there’s a glass of wine in hand while cooking, right? 😉
- Lemon – fresh! fresh! fresh! It adds such a brightness to the scampi, pairing perfectly with the shrimp.
- Fresh parsley – more freshness! And the pop of color makes the dish complete.
How to Make Shrimp Scampi For Two
Happy to say again, that it is E.A.S.Y. to make shrimp scampi at home! Whether it’s made for two or four (just double it!), this recipe is one that’s quick enough to make for an elegant weeknight dinner, yet special enough for date night.
The sauce comes together lickity split. The shallot and garlic saute in olive oil and butter (yep, the start of a luxurious sauce indeed).
Salt and red pepper flakes layer in flavor.
The shrimp cook (on one side… see notes below!).
Then in goes the white wine and lemon juice to bring the brightness to the sauce.
The shrimp go back in the sauce to finish cooking, then in goes the pasta for its final swim in the sauce.
Tips and Tricks for Making This Pasta Recipe:
- Cook the shrimp on one side. This helps to prevent the shrimp from overlooking. They’ll go back in with the pasta and sauce at the end, and cook the rest of the way.
- Boil the pasta just under al dente. Similar to the shrimp, the pasta will cook a little more in the sauce, and you want to ensure it doesn’t overcook when doing so. Better to cook longer in the sauce (more flavor!) than overcook and end up with soggy pasta. That’s my motto.
- Use that white wine if you can. It creates a depth to the sauce and brings in more flavor. No wine? I recommend using vegetable broth for a flavor boost.
There you have it… the best shrimp scampi pasta around that’s easy as 1, 2, 3.
The lemon! The butter! The wine! They’re basically matches made in heaven, soul mates, partners in crime.
Now twirl the pasta up in your fork and get a big piece of tender, juicy shrimp mixed within, and you’ll land yourself right there in pasta heaven.
What Should You Serve with Shrimp Scampi?
If you’ve been around here a while, then you know that I don’t think there has to be anything served with pasta.
That being said, there are a few sides that would pair very nicely with shrimp scampi.
Obviously I would highly recommend serving with a large glass of white wine, but to each their own.
No matter how you serve it up, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
More Shrimp Recipes to Love
- Firecracker Shrimp
- West African Inspired Spicy Peanut Shrimp
- Curried Shrimp Fried Rice
- Spicy Chipotle Shrimp Salad
- Shrimp Taco Bites
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Shrimp Scampi for Two
- 6-8 ounces dried fettuccine pasta
- ~1/2 pound shrimp peeled and deveined (approximately 5 shrimp per serving)
- 2 1/2 TBSP butter
- 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil + more for shrimp
- 2 1/2 - 3 TBSP shallot roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- Dash red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt more to taste
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Generously coat peeled and deveined shrimp with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- In a large stock pot, bring salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add fettuccine and cook just under al dente, about two minutes less than the package directions. Reserve approximately 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 T butter and 1 1/2 T olive oil until hot. Add shallot, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the seasoned shrimp to the skillet, spread evenly on their side. Cook on one side for 1-2 minutes until begining to turn pink. Once cooked on their one side, remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add wine to the shallot mixture to slowly to deglaze pan. Add additional salt (~ 1/4 tsp) and lemon juice. Bring sauce to a simmer for approximately 2-3 minutes to reduce the wine down. Add an additional 1/2 T butter. Place the shrimp back in the skillet and cook on second side. Add cooked pasta and stir to coat, adding any pasta water as needed for sauce to reach desired consistency (I like to add a couple tablespoons). Cook pasta in sauce for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately with additional lemon wedges and parsley on top to garnish.
This post was originally published in May 2016. It was updated in February 2020 for text and recipe clarity; the photos were also updated.
This recipe is part of our Date Night Recipes to Love roundup. Check it out!