Last updated on May 23rd, 2023
This easy shrimp scampi recipe with fettuccine is a one skillet weeknight meal that’s ready in under 10-minutes. Served with a buttery garlic sauce.
Shrimp scampi is one of those dishes that looks and sounds fancy, but it’s deceptively easy to prepare. The shrimp is baked in the oven, meaning you can have dinner on the table in about the time it takes to boil a bag of pasta. Don’t just save it for a weekend. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal too.
The origins of Shrimp Scampi
The word scampi actually refers to a small crustacean that’s bigger that a traditional shrimp but smaller than a lobster. It’s found in the Mediterranean and northeastern Atlantic, from North Africa to Norway and Iceland. It’s like a small lobster or large crawfish.
Somewhere along the way, scampi began to refer to a method of preparation with a sauce of garlic butter, dry white wine, parmesan cheese and served over pasta. The dish became popular after WWII, with Americans subbing the more easily accessible shrimp for lobster. However, you don’t have to just limit your self to shrimp. Chicken scampi or other shellfish can also be used.
How to Make Easy Shrimp Scampi in Under Ten Minutes
Before you get started, go ahead and peel the shells off the shrimp. Some people like to leave the tails on. I know that looks pretty, but it’s a hassle to have to remove them later while I’m eating.
You’re also going to want to devein the shrimp. This mean you are going to remove the dark vein that runs along the back of the shrimp. This vein is the intestinal tract and it’s usually filled with sand. It won’t hurt you if you don’t remove it, but it could give the shrimp a gritty or slightly dirty flavor. You can also purchase shrimp from the store that has already been peeled and deveined. However, these usually cost a little more.
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Then bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. It is important to salt the water for our pasta so it has a chance to absorb some of the flavor while it cooks. Measure out one pound of fettuccine noodles and set them aside.
In a large ovenproof skillet, combine 1 pound of shrimp, one stick of butter, two cloves of minced garlic, and one teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I don’t find that the red pepper flakes make the dish too spicy, but if you have little ones with a sensitive palate, you might want to leave them out.
Finally, add one tablespoon of lemon juice. You can substitute a dry white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, for the lemon juice if you have this on hand. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Go light handed here … you can always add more salt and pepper later, but you can’t take it out once it has been added.
Once your water starts boiling, you can place the skillet in the oven. Set a timer for about nine minutes. You want to bake the shrimp until the butter is melted and the shrimp is opaque. Opaque means they are just starting to turn pink and you can no longer see through them.
As soon as you put the shrimp in the oven, put the pasta in the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium and boil uncovered. Depending on the brand, most manufacturers instruct you to cook the pasta for about seven minutes. You want the pasta to be a little firm to the bite, not mushy but not chewy either. Keep in mind, the fettucine will still cook for a minute or so after you drain it.
Before you drain the pasta, measure out one cup of pasta water and set it aside. The starchy pasta water will help thicken our garlic butter sauce once we add the noodles. Now, drain the pasta.
By now, your shrimp should be cooked. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss until the noodles are coated and the shrimp is mixed throughout. Add a little of that reserved pasta water to help coat the noodles if you need to. Not the entire cup – add just a little water at a time.
Finally, sprinkle on some grated Parmesan cheese and diced parsley. I like to serve shrimp scampi alongside some crusty bread and a glass of white wine.
10-Minute Easy Shrimp Scampi
- ¾ pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¾ pound fettuccine
- Chopped fresh parsley optional
- Grated Parmesan cheese optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- In a large ovenproof skillet, combine shrimp, butter, garlic, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the water starts boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package directions.
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the butter is melted and the shrimp is opaque, about 9-11 minutes. Remove skillet from the oven.
- Reserve one cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta.
- Add the pasta to the skillet and toss until the noodles and completely coated with the butter. Add the pasta water a little at a time to thin out the sauce if needed.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.