Simple Shrimp Scampi

Why this recipe works: The best shrimp scampi recipe would have to feature lightly cooked and moist shrimp, with the seasoning fresh and minimal and the surrounding liquid light, plentiful, natural tasting, and delicious. To get there, we quickly cooked the shrimp and garlic, to avoid tough shrimp and bitter garlic. Adding the lemon juice and parsley at the last possible minute allowed both ingredients to keep their sparkle. Cayenne pepper replaces ground black pepper in this recipe, but use it sparingly, only to give the faintest hint of spiciness.

Simple Shrimp Scampi

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 2

    tablespoons olive oil

  • 2

    pounds large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined if desired

  • 3

    tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4

    medium cloves garlic, minced

  • 2

    tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1

    tablespoon dry vermouth

  • 2

    tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

  • Cayenne pepper


Serves 4 1. Heat 12-inch skillet over high heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Add 1 pound shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until just opaque, about 1 minute; transfer to medium bowl. Return pan to heat and repeat process with remaining oil and shrimp. 2. Return empty skillet to medium-low heat; melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off heat, add lemon juice and vermouth. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter; add parsley and cayenne, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return shrimp and accumulated juices to skillet. Toss to combine; serve immediately.


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