shrimp scampi

Old School Shrimp Scampi for Dinner Under 15 Minutes

Okay, here’s the truth. This recipe actually gets ready in 15 minutes or less. Provided you cook the scampi and the pasta simultaneously of course!

shrimp scampi

What is scampi?

Scampi refers to a luxurious sauce that is made with garlic, butter, lime juice, and olive oil. This simple, yet exotic sauce is what makes everything that goes with it a clear winner! With just a handful of ingredients, scampi is a secret everyone should know when it comes to making amazing dinner recipes.

Shrimp scampi is all the more special because it has this beautiful and glazy butter garlic sauce infused into those juicy shrimps. Oh, my mouth is salivating at just the thought of it!

shrimp scampi

Follow the basic rules

I think everyone has their own version of shrimp scampi. Mine is a little different than the usual, and I have never been disappointed by it. There are some 101’s when it comes to making this extremely simple dish. while this recipe is super simple and has minimal steps, you also need to get each step right.

  • The garlic is the champion – Let’s start with the garlic. The most important step in this recipe is infusing the flavors of the garlic into the olive oil right in the beginning. You don’t want to burn the garlic or make it crispy in hot olive oil. You need to infuse the flavors emanating from the garlic into the olive oil. Also, olive oil does not have a very high smoking point. Caution needs to be exercised while cooking dishes with it so that the oil retains its aroma and taste. For this, I put the finely chopped garlic into the olive oil before even starting the stove, letting it cook slowly so that the garlic gets infused into the oil.
  • Perfectly cooked pasta – The second rule is obviously cooking the spaghetti to perfection. There is no universal rule to cook pasta right, it varies as per the product you are using. So make sure you follow the instructions in your package and cook the pasta in hot boiling water. The most common way is to cook the pasta till al dente (almost cooked, but not completely cooked) and then drain it. The rest of the cooking happens in the final pan.
  • NEVER overcook the shrimp – Shrimps cook super fast and overcooking them can make them chewy and hard. Here’s how you get the perfect shrimp – Always keep the tails on, because it has so much flavor! Second, wash and pat your shrimps dry with a paper towel so that there is no water on it. Third, marinate the shrimps with salt and black pepper powder and use your hands to mix it well.  Last and most important – cook each side in olive and butter for 30 seconds each. That’s it!
  • Simultaneous cooking – The sauce needs to be prepared while you cook the pasta on the side. This will make you utilize time in the best possible way like a ninja. Oh yeah!

shrimp scampi

shrimp scampi

Should I add salt to the pasta?

Yes, yes and a million times yes. This is such a crucial step for a good plate of pasta. You do not want the sauce to have all the seasoning correct, and the actual spaghetti strands to be bland!

The reason why you need to boil pasta in salty water is that that’s the only time you are going to actually season the pasta. The spaghetti needs to have its own flavor too, and adding salt during the boiling process can give that elevated feel to your recipe.

Preparation time – 15 minutes

Cooking time – 15 minutes

Serves – 2


  • 50 g spaghetti
  • 200 g shrimps, tail on
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • 20 g butter
  • Juice of 1 whole lime
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • Salt to taste 


  1. Cook the spaghetti in a pot as per instructions in the package till al dente.
  2. Prepare the sauce simultaneously. For the sauce, pour olive oil in a pot and add the garlic in it. Put it on the stove in medium flame and stir for a minute. This is done so that the garlic does not burn, but instead, its flavor gets infused into the oil.
  3. Add the shrimps to this oil, and cook for three minutes each side.
  4. Once the shrimps are golden brown, pour in the white wine and give it a light stir. To this sauce, add chili flakes and butter. Season with salt and black pepper powder. Let it simmer till the sauce reduces to a thick consistency.
  5. Add some fresh parsley into the sauce and give it a light stir. Add the cooked spaghetti to this and give it a light stir.
  6. Turn off the stove and drizzle lime juice over the pan. Give it one last toss, garnish with some more parsley and serve!

I love my shrimp scampi with loads of chili, so I add quite a lot. The number of ingredients is so limited, and hence you can adjust them depending on what flavor or taste you like best.

shrimp scampi

I hope you try this delicious shrimp scampi for yourself. This is my version and I like it this way. If you have any questions, do leave me a comment 🙂

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Related recipe – Linguine with shrimps & Pistachios



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