This delicious, healthy Shrimp Scampi is sure to become your favorite fast & easy weeknight meal! Made with fresh ingredients and a light lemon sauce that’s oh so tasty, this restaurant-quality dish can be on your table in less than 20 minutes!
This healthier Shrimp Scampi recipe will not disappoint! This seafood dish is an Italian American classic and one of the most iconic shrimp recipes. Instead of cooking the shrimp in copious amounts of butter, we replaced that with a small amount of olive oil. There’s still plenty of garlic and that classic bright flavor of lemon. We also subbed the typical white wine used to make the sauce with stock (or broth), which cuts even more calories. Pan-frying shrimp doesn’t need to be intimidating, and the whole dish is ready in only 20 minutes.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Quick & simple: Thanks to the quick-cooking shrimp, Shrimp Scampi is a fast, simple, and easy recipe to put together in just 20 minutes. As an added plus, everything cooks in one pan for easy cleanup.
- Healthy: No butter or crazy ingredients are needed to make this delicious dinner. Shrimp has an impressive nutrition profile. It’s fairly low in calories and provides a high amount of protein and healthy fats, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals. Serve it with zucchini noodles, and you’ve got a great low-carb dinner option.
- Versatile: Serve this as a main course or an appetizer. You can pair it with whole wheat noodles or zucchini noodles for extra nutrients.
- Super tasty: The combination of garlic and lemon makes this shrimp dish so flavorful and delicious. You’re sure to love it!
Healthy shrimp scampi is made with simple, fresh ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen. Here’s what you’ll be needing:
- Olive oil: You’ll need olive (or avocado) oil to cook the shrimp, onion, and garlic. If you prefer, you can sub with some or all butter.
- Shrimp: Shrimp cooks so fast, making this dish a great under 20-minute dinner. We recommend buying shrimp that’s already been peeled and deveined to make prepping this a breeze. Fresh or frozen shrimp will work, if you are going to use frozen shrimp, thaw it by placing it in a bowl of cool water for a few minutes.
- Kosher salt & pepper: To season the dish and bring out all of the amazing flavors.
- Garlic cloves & onion: We’re using plenty of fresh garlic and a small amount of onion for that punch of savory goodness.
- Chili flakes: To give the meal a bit of flare. You can skip it, add more, or use a dash of cayenne pepper instead.
- Lemon: For maximum brightness, you’ll need the zest and juice from one medium lemon. Always use freshly squeezed for best results.
- Fish stock or vegetable stock: To deglaze the pan for the amazing shrimp scampi sauce.
- Parsley: For garnish at the end to add a nice touch of fresh flavor. You may skip it or use fresh basil instead.
How to make this seared shrimp recipe
Making shrimp scampi couldn’t be easier! Here’s a quick rundown of the process, but for full instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Prep: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Sauté shrimp: Add the shrimp to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the shrimp is pink and opaque, then set aside.
- Sauté garlic & onion: To the same skillet, add the garlic, and onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chili flakes, lemon juice, zest, and stock.
- Finish & serve: Allow the sauce to bubble for a minute. Return the shrimp into the sauce and stir in with the fresh parsley. Remove from heat and serve.
Tips for recipe success
- Raw shrimp will be a grayish color. As it cooks, it will turn to an opaque whitish pink color. Shrimp cooks super quick – about 2-3 minutes per side! Be sure to watch it closely.
- Keep the tails on the shrimp, if you’d like. They’re easier to grab with tails on if you’re going to be serving these as an appetizer.
- We prefer to use medium or large shrimp for this recipe, but it’s up to you.
- Looking for sustainable shrimp? Check Seafood Watch.
Frequently asked questions
Scampi sauce is usually made with butter, olive oil, white wine, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and parsley for garnish. In this specific recipe, we’ve lightened it up a bit by omitting the butter and replacing the white wine with stock.
The word scampi is the plural of scampo, the Italian name for the breaded prawns or langoustine (little lobster).
When fully cooked, shrimp will curl into a loose “C” shape. If they have curled up into a tight “O” shape, then the shrimp is most likely overcooked. (An undercooked shrimp will still have some grayish spots on them and form more of a flexible “U” shape.)
- Shrimp scampi is traditionally served over pasta. We like it paired with linguine, fettuccini, or angel hair pasta.
- Healthy mashed potatoes or garlic butter mashed cauliflower also make delicious starchy complements for the sauce.
- For a low-carb, super light meal enjoy this with a simple green salad or roasted veggies.
Storing & reheating leftovers
- This and most seafood dishes are best enjoyed immediately, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days.
- Reheat in a small saucepan over low heat very slowly until warmed through, taking care to not overcook the shrimp.
- This dish will not freeze well.
More shrimp recipes you’ll enjoy
- Easy Garlic Shrimp Pasta Recipe
- Healthy Lemon Shrimp Pasta
- Citrus Cajun Shrimp Salad
- Healthy Shrimp Salad with Peanut Dressing
- Avocado Corn Salad with Grilled Shrimp
- Mexican Shrimp Salad
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Easy and Healthy Shrimp Scampi
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 lb medium or large shrimp peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes or to taste
- 1 medium lemon zest, and juice of
- 1/2 cup fish or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the shrimp is pink and opaque, then set aside.
- To the same skillet, add the garlic, and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chili flakes, lemon juice, zest, and stock.
- Allow the sauce to bubble for a minute. Return the shrimp into the sauce and stir in with the fresh parsley. Remove from heat and serve.
- This and most seafood dishes are best enjoyed immediately, but you can store in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days.
- Reheat in a small saucepan over a low heat very slowly until warmed through, taking care to not overcook the shrimp.
- This dish will not freeze well.