Shrimp scampi, it's the dish so nice, they named it twice. Well, sort of. The word "scampi" is Italian for the meaty tail portion of a prawn. Specifically, the large Dublin Bay prawn, a.k.a., lobsterette, or langoustine if you prefer. They're not exactly what we'd call shrimpy.
Okay, so more than anything the term "shrimp scampi" is like saying "shrimp done in the style of prawns." In other words, with yummy garlic butter.
At its most basic, shrimp scampi is shrimp bathed in garlicky butter and blasted under the broiler. So easy, so perfect. No wonder it's a go-to recipe for busy weeknight meals. And yet, as with most things, there's room for a little tinkering. And here, we've gathered some simple, 5-star takes on the simple shrimp scampi theme. These are 9 ways to make shrimp scampi the perfect weeknight meal.
1. Start with the Basics
Shrimp, butter, olive oil, and garlic hit the oven. Deliciousness ensues. "Loved, loved, loved this," raves naples34102. "The seasonings are classic and perfect but it was the cooking method that particularly impressed me. I generally prepare shrimp this way in a skillet on the stove top, but this was just too easy!" Ready in 45 minutes.
2. Add Wine and Shallots...and Maybe Mushrooms
"I like to use shrimp and scallops together in this recipe," says jrdog. "It turns out great every time I make it." Some cooks have sautéed mushrooms along with the shallots and garlic. They were not disappointed. Ready in 40 minutes.
3. Do It with Dijon
Dijon mustard adds serious zing, zang, zip to an easy shrimp scampi recipe. You'll make a quick pansauce with butter, Dijon mustard, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and parsley. Pour the sauce over shrimp and bake until the shrimp are a pretty pink. So easy, and it's ready in 45 minutes.
4. Toss Your Scampi on the Grill
This healthy shrimp scampi recipe does away with the butter. But adds olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley. It's a light shrimp scampi that you'll finish on the grill. It's a method that also works great with scallops. Ready in 35 minutes.
5. Add Spinach to Your Scampi
This recipe is done in the style of Florence. Typically, that means "spinach." And here it also means pesto and tomatoes. This also qualifies as a healthy shrimp scampi recipe if you drop the butter and go with healthy olive oil. Ready in 40 minutes.
6. Dredge 'em and Fry
Shrimp are dredged in a little flour and quickly fried in olive oil with garlic, red bell pepper, and diced tomato. Finish your scampi with a white wine and butter sauce. "Great!" raves This Tim. "The sauce turns out thick and almost creamy, not too spicy at all." Ready in 50 minutes.
7. Bring Some Heat
This baked shrimp scampi gets it done with cayenne pepper...and Italian bread crumbs. "We like it spicy and garlicky," says WannaBACook. "But you can vary the amounts of cayenne and garlic to suit your taste." Ready in 35 minutes.
8. Serve Over Veggie Noodles
Replace pasta noodles with zucchini noodles for a low-carb approach to serving shrimp scampi. You can spiralize the noodles yourself or use convenient pre-cut packaged zoodles from the produce section. This is ready in about 45 minutes -- probably a bit faster if you use pre-cut zoodles.
9. Go Rogue with a Surprising Combo
Don't let the recipe title scare you away from trying this tasty appetizer made of shrimp scampi baked with a savory cream cheese filling inside a puff pastry shell. Reviewers suggest using prebaked phyllo cups instead, and say that they're a hit.
10. Replace Shrimp with Tilapia
A no-shrimp version of scampi. "Since tilapia is usually cheaper than shrimp, I concocted this easy recipe to enjoy the flavor of scampi at the price of tilapia," says JasnsWif. It's ready in 55 minutes.
11. Replace the Seafood Entirely...Add Chicken
And finally, a scampi that steps completely outside the seafood family...and adds chicken. How's that work out? "Excellent recipe. Easy to prepare and lots of praise at the dinner table." -- MRHANDS00
VIDEO: See How to Make Shrimp Scampi
This short video shows you how to make a basic, easy shrimp scampi sauce with pasta.