Family-Style Shrimp Scampi

I know not everyone is a seafood-slash-shrimp lover but if I could eat one protein for the rest of my life, it would probably be shrimp. I loooove it. But because it isn’t the cheapest thing to buy at the store, I’m very, very choosy with the way I eat my shrimp. I want to know it’s going to be a home run kind of meal.

And this is. Yep. A deliciously tasty shrimp dish that comes together in 20-minutes. The succulent shrimp are bathed in a garlic, lightly buttery sauce with a lovely zing of fresh lemon. The only downside is that my kids love shrimp just as much as I do which means I have to share (or make double).

Family-Style Shrimp Scampi

This meal ranks up there as one of our favorites because:
1) Like I mentioned, it’s so stinking fast to make. I don’t know about you but a 20-minute meal is akin to angels singing from the heavens.
2) It’s fun to serve it on a big platter in the center of the table so everyone can scoop and dip to their heart’s content. Communal platters bring our family closer together (except when family members who shall remain nameless start throwing elbows to get to the last shrimpy).
3) Speaking of dipping, I usually serve this shrimp scampi with some type of crusty bread perfect for dunking in the luscious broth. It is divine beyond words and is probably the real reason the kids love it so much.

What To ServeServed with a steamed vegetable, like broccoli or asparagus, and always some fresh, seasonal fruit and a green salad and you have one of my favorite meals of all time (you could definitely toss it with some pasta, too). Simple and just so completely delicious.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
Two Years Ago: Crème Fraiche {How-To} and Caprese Focaccia
Three Years Ago: Split Pea Soup with Barley and Ham {Slow Cooker}

Family Style Shrimp Scampi {20-Minute Meal}

Family Style Shrimp Scampi {20-Minute Meal}


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
  • 1/3 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pounds extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. In a large pot or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until rippling. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds or so (don't let it burn!). Add the clam juice, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. Add the shrimp, cover and cook until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes, stirring once about halfway through.
  3. Scoop the shrimp out of the pan using a slotted spoon and reserve on a large plate or platter. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is slightly reduced.
  4. Whisk in the butter until melted. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Pour the sauce over the shrimp. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2008 (I cut the butter in half)

38 Responses to Family Style Shrimp Scampi {20-Minute Meal}

  1. Gen says:

    So good! I used only one pound of shrimp, but kept the sauce amount the same. It was divine over angel hair pasta!

  2. Jean pearce says:

    Mel, I use your recipes all the time and without trepidation. However, I downloaded my IPad’s 9.0 IOS software from Apple, and I also noticed that you have made some changes to your website. Now I can’t copy and paste any of your recipes. Do you know what the problem is? Thanks, Jean

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jean – sorry to hear that. Were you able to copy and paste before the IOS update? If so, it must be related to the update and I’m not sure why it would be happening. I’ll do a little more digging to see if others are having that problem.

  3. jen says:

    This recipe saved my shrimp cooking confidence. My 4 year old loves garlicky shrimp at restaurants, but I had tried 3 terrible scampi recipes at home and finally couldn’t bear the thought of throwing away more bitter, nasty shrimp. So I swore off cooking shrimp scampi at home. Then I saw your recipe. It was different than what I’d tried so far. Plus, I know that you and Chris Kimball rarely steer me wrong, so I tried it. And it rocked! We used all the sauce for just 1lb of shrimp. My little girl said “Mom, you make the best shrimp ever!” Husband loved it too. We’ll be eating a lot more shrimp around here thanks to you. Thanks again for yet ANOTHER new family favorite recipe. You’re the best!

  4. Susan H says:

    So easy to make, and tasted delicious either with crusty bread or pasta.

  5. Holly W. says:

    Once again – you nailed it! I looked up substitutes for “clam juice” (because, yes, I managed to go to the store twice and forget to pick some up). Lots of sites said a broth would work, so I tried it with vegetable broth (I figured I didn’t want chicken or beef competing with shrimp) and it really was amazing! Thanks Mel!

  6. jen says:

    Mel – I finally found the right shrimp and made this recipe. It was delicious! We all loved it. Thanks for helping me and answering all my questions. You’re the best!

  7. jen says:

    Thanks for the info – I will get some raw shrimp and use the cooked shrimp for something else. Where do you get your fresh shrimp and do you buy it frozen? I saw some at Costco over with the fresh fish and it was very expensive but I am wondering if they have it frozen over in the freezer cases. Any advice?

    • Mel says:

      Jen – Where I live all shrimp is frozen (even if it is unfrozen in the case, it’s been frozen beforehand) so my favorite shrimp is the frozen, uncooked shrimp at Sam’s in the bags. I am sure Costco has it as well.

  8. jen says:

    Mel – I know pre-cooked shrimp won’t be ideal for this recipe, but will they work? I bought some wild-caught, cooked, peeled shrimp from Costco and wanted to give it a try. I don’t cook with shrimp much so I’m not sure what the difference would be. What do you think?

    • Mel says:

      Jen – I really wouldn’t recommend using cooked shrimp for this unless you just make the sauce as a dipping-style for the cooked shrimp that you have heated through. It won’t have the same flavor as raw shrimp baking in the sauce.

  9. JessicaG says:

    Made this the other night and loved it!! Very quick and fresh with nice lemon flavor. Love how light on butter it is. Enough to give it a silky texture but not so much that it looks like I ate a jar or Vaseline;) I ate mine with salad and yeast rolls to sop up the juice and made pasta for my husband. Great week night dinner!

  10. Lisa says:

    Tried this recipe . . . turned out great. I used a bit of fish sauce and chicken broth in place of the clam juice (since that’s what I had on hand) and finished it off with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top of shrimp. Having said that . . . I must share that this is probably my last meal of shrimp I will enjoy. I have always had a slight allergy to shrimp (top of my mouth itchy after I eat it), last night however it came on full blown! Face swelled up, hives all over my body, trip to the Urgent care. Lol! Don’t make that keep the rest of you from making this lovely meal though!

  11. Maria says:

    This recipe is deeelicious! I made it for myself and a friend last night. I only used 1 lb of shrimp instead of 2. I kept the rest of the ingredients the same, and poured the sauce and shrimp over spinach linguini. It was wonderful! Thanks for this great, and easy recipe.

  12. Kath says:

    yes both are available- thanks for that 🙂

  13. Kath says:

    Mel, any substitute for clam juice – can’t find it here in Australia. Thanks

  14. mk says:

    Hi Mel- I am an avid reader living on the other side of the planet where shrimp is on the cheap(er) side (and the polar vortex means 70 degrees). My son could eat shrimp every day so thanks for the recipes- we have tried them all! We have also tried almost all your breads and bars- they are terrific!

  15. So excited to have found your blog on Tasty Kitchen, looking forward to following you! This recipe looks and sounds absolutely delicious, great job!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  16. PamelaR says:

    I’m low carbing/high proteining and I think this will be a really good recipe for me. Thank you so much for such a great recipe.

  17. Barb says:

    O.M.Goodness. You just gave me a great app for this weekend’s “crowd of many friends” (we are blessed!) Thanks, again Mel!

  18. Leslie says:

    My twins are allergic to so many things but we recently found out they are not allergic to shellfish so we eat it several times a month now. This recipe looks awesome! Can’t wait to try it maybe Sunday night!

  19. Love shrimp dishes and this looks delicious! Easy to make too, which is always a plus!

  20. Jenn says:

    I love shrimp. It is my all time favorite food. Tragically, I developed an allergy. As my husband is a paramedic I tried to talk him into letting me have it once a year and just making sure I get to an ER in time but he says that’s taking my love of good food too far. I will still probably make this for my boys who also love shrimp and stare longingly while I eat chicken. Joining Kim in a pity party.

  21. Maggie says:

    @Tina @Julie I usually take the frozen bag of shrimp and then soak them in ice cold water (instructions will say this on the back of your bag of frozen shrimp) for a little while, then they’ll be easy to peel! then just toss them in the pan until they turn pink!

  22. Tina says:

    Are the shrimp you’re using frozen or defrosted? If defrosted, did you buy them that way or allow frozen to defrost? I love anything with shrimp in it, but am afraid to cook it since I don’t know how to prepare it from frozen.

  23. Pam says:

    This looks delicious!! Does your Cam eat shrimp too?
    silly question but I have never bought clam juice – just fish sauce. Would that work as a substitute? Where do you find clam juice?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Pam – I actually don’t let Cam have shellfish yet. I usually wait until my kids are 2 to let them eat shellfish just because of allergies. Clam juice is usually right by the tuna fish (on the top shelf sometimes). I don’t think fish sauce would make a great substitute – too overpowering!

  24. Julie says:

    I know you have said in the past that you have bought your shrimp frozen from Sam’s Club. I have some in my freezer and have been wondering what method you use to defrost the shrimp before you cook it. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Julie – I usually put the bag of frozen shrimp in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Works perfectly! Otherwise, if I’ve forgotten to do that, I open the bag, set it in the bottom of my sink and run room temperature water in it to cover the shrimp. A few times of doing this (dumping and refilling) and they can be thawed in minutes.

  25. Valerie A. H. says:

    I love Shrimp Scampi. Thanks for posting this recipe. I’ll make it soon. 🙂 Thanks!

  26. Julie says:

    Oh this is my hubby’s favorite meal. I’m thinking I will be making this for him very soon. Again thanks for the great recipes!

  27. Cammee says:

    Straight to the top of my weekly menu! Now to convert that one non-shrimp eating child…

  28. Sai says:

    Oh yummy! Will definitely try this recipe. Thanks.

  29. Kim in MD says:

    This looks amazing, Mel! I off to have a pity party for myself, since I am allergic to shrimp and can’t make this! 🙂

  30. Sheila says:

    Twenty minutes?! Yes!! And the butter cut in half . . .be still my heart. A lot of times I would rather spend a little more to prepare a delicious, twenty minute homemade meal in the comfort of our home than the hassle and inconvenience of going out and spending just as much or more on an out-of-home meal.You are the best, Mel, and I thank you.

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