This healthy shrimp scampi recipe makes one of the easiest and quickest meals ever for National Shrimp Scampi Day (April 29). The recipe is so straightforward that even an amateur cook could make it with ease.
Although it takes just a few minutes to prepare, it will make you feel like you’re eating out.
Now get all the ingredients ready, put on your apron — it’s time to make this to-die-for shrimp scampi!
What is Shrimp Scampi?
The term “scampi” means a type of edible lobster found in the North-Eastern Atlantic Ocean. In bygone days, this type of lobster was favored by the Italians.
Since butter and wine are crucial parts of their cuisine, the dish “scampi” was born. It’s a remarkable dish made by cooking the lobster with butter, white wine, and aromatic garlic.
Unfortunately, when the Italians first moved to America, they realized that their favorite lobster was hard to find. As a solution, they tried to cook regular shrimp in the same way, and the result was just as satisfying.
Thus, the name of the dish changed to “shrimp scampi”.
Now “shrimp scampi” isn’t only famous for the scampi itself. It’s widely known as regular shrimp cooked and coated in a rich, delicate sauce of garlic, butter, and white wine.
Is Shrimp Scampi Healthy?
First off, our shrimp scampi recipe has a nutritional profile that fits the healthy eating guidelines given by the USDA:
- Calories: the dish yields around 508 calories each serving. According to our guidelines, men (18-45) should consume 2700 calories per day and women of the same age should consume 2100.
- Saturated fat: as a controversial type of fat, saturated fat should be moderately consumed. Each serving of our dish has 5 grams of saturated fat, within what we recommend per meal— 4-11 grams.
- Sodium: the USDA recommends individuals (18-45) should consume less than 2300 milligrams of sodium per day. This recipe only has 522 milligrams of sodium each serving, less than 30% the recommended amount.
Apart from that, shrimp is also among the healthy foods:
- As delicious as they are, that fluffy white, pinkish meat is 24% protein in mass, richer than typical ground meats. Only 4 ounces of cooked shrimps can give you 48% of your daily protein needs.
- Shrimp often gets a bad rap for its cholesterol content. However, its cholesterol content has been found to have only a small impact on your cholesterol levels.
- Similar to fish, shrimp contains a fair amount of omega 3. Only found in marine creatures and a few other plants, omega 3 helps promote heart health.
We have a lot of other healthy shrimp recipes for you to check out too, including shrimp salad. It’s vitamin-packed with creamy avocados, crisp lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes.
How Many Calories are in Shrimp Scampi?
Our shrimp scampi recipe gives 441 calories per serving. To turn it into a full meal, you’ll need around another 300 calories.
Check out our pairing recommendation below. Hint: it’s a French side and a refreshing glass of juice.
Choosing the Pasta for This Recipe
You can make shrimp scampi with whatever pasta you like, but the most common pasta called for is linguine. It’s similar to vermicelli or fettuccine, but there is a slight difference if you look closely at the strands.
Instead of entirely flat, Linguine is thick in the middle and flattens out towards the edge. It’s less round than spaghetti, elliptical you might say.
In this recipe, we used fettuccine because it’s the one we had on hand. As they’re all pasta, using one kind or another does not affect the dish’s overall taste.
You can use linguine if that’s what you prefer. Cook the noodles as the instructions say, then proceed to step 2 in our instruction.
How to Make Healthy Shrimp Scampi Recipe
Here’s a summary of our Shrimp Scampi recipe:
Boil the pasta
Prep the shrimps
Sear the shrimps
Fry the garlic
Add pasta, shrimp, and seasonings
Tips for Making This Dish
1. Can You Use Frozen Shrimp?
Frozen shrimp are no doubt convenient and probably the only option there is for most people. It’s fine to use frozen shrimp in this recipe.
However, using fresh ingredients is the best way to have good food. Try fresh shrimp if you have the chance, and you’ll see the indescribable difference.
2. Thickening the Scampi Sauce
Most shrimp scampi recipes don’t call for a thickening agent. This is because white wine evaporates pretty quickly, and usually, what’s left is thick enough to coat the shrimp.
However, if you’re using chicken stock, the sauce can get kind of watery. To fix this, you could try using corn starch.
Mix one tablespoon of cold water and one teaspoon of cornstarch, then dump it into your cooking shrimp. Stir it for a bit on low heat, and the buttery sauce will thicken.
There’s also another option, but only if you’re cooking pasta. Save some of the pasta water, and put one teaspoon of it into your shrimp to get a similar effect.
3. Should I Cook Shrimp Scampi Recipe with Wine?
Seafood, in general, is preferably cooked with white wine. The alcoholic beverage not only eliminates the strong odor of seafood, but it also adds an exceptional flavor.
If you want to make a child-friendly version of shrimp scampi, using chicken stock instead is also a great option. Although not as fragrant as white wine, chicken stock can add depth of flavor to your shrimp.
Some recipes we found call for apple cider vinegar as a substitute for white wine. Technically, vinegar can also remove the shrimp’s strong smell and add a mildly sweet aroma.
Just remember it’s strong in flavor, so don’t add too much.
Still, we decided to keep things traditional because we prefer white wine or chicken stock.
4. Can I Freeze Shrimp Scampi?
Yes, you can. Cooked shrimp can be frozen for up to 3 months in a clean, air-tight container.
If you’re following our shrimp scampi recipe, skip step 1 and proceed to cook the shrimp with wine. Then, pour the shrimp and the sauce into a container, leave to cool, seal, and place in the freezer.
5. How to Reheat Frozen Shrimp Scampi?
You can reheat the frozen shrimp scampi in a microwave. Or, allow the container to thaw enough to get the shrimp and sauce out, then reheat everything in a skillet.
Remember to turn the heat to low, or the liquid will evaporate off and your dish will burn. Also, keep an eye on the skillet.
After reheating the shrimp, proceed to cook sliced garlic in it and add cooked pasta in, along with other ingredients.
What Goes with Shrimp Scampi?
As mentioned before, you can use any long-stranded pasta of choice. It can be linguine, fettuccine, vermicelli, or even spaghetti.
The buttery, garlicky sauce of shrimp scampi goes phenomenally well with rice. It can be any kind of rice, up to you and your preference.
For optimum health, we suggest brown rice. It is packed with B vitamins and many minerals in vast amounts.
You can use a rice cooker to cook the rice while making the sauce. Or, simmer your rice in a pot with one part rice, two parts water for 30 minutes on low heat.
Adding fresh tomatoes to your shrimp scampi skillet gives it a bit of tanginess and freshness. Either diced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes work just fine.
In terms of nutrients, tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts your immune system.
To include tomatoes in this shrimp scampi recipe, cut your tomatoes and add them while you cook the shrimp. You can mash them or leave them whole, depending on your preference.
Besides tender texture and bundles of fiber, broccoli also gives you lots of vitamins and very few calories.
What to Serve with This Dish
The 441 calories alone won’t keep your stomach full for long. We thought a salad and drink were the best companions for this shrimp scampi recipe.
1. Nicoise Salad Recipe
This salad incorporates fresh, organic produce grown around the Nice area in the South of France, hence the name. Specifically, it has crisp green beans, cucumber, tender boiled eggs, and umami tuna, all tossed in a pungent, tangy vinaigrette.
What’s also good about this salad is, you can also make it ahead of time.
2. Watermelon Cucumber Juice Recipe
A glass of fresh juice to cleanse your palate is never extra. With just two ingredients, plus lemon juice and spearmint for fragrance, the juice tastes extremely fresh and pleasing.
|Shrimp Scampi||Main Dish||442||5.0 g||525 mg|
|Nicoise Salad||Side Dish||252||3.2 g||259 mg|
|Watermelon Cucumber Juice||Beverage||58||0.0 g||7 mg|
|Total||752||8.2 g||791 mg|
Healthy Shrimp Scampi Recipe
- 1 lb raw shrimp 6.7 oz shrimp with shells removed
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp garlic half minced, half sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt divided
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper divided
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz fettuccine pasta uncooked
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp lemon peel grated
- 1/2 tbsp parsley minced
- 4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- Boil the pasta, following the instruction on the package. Ours says 10 minutes.
- While it’s cooking, remove the shrimp shells and butterfly them if you're using fresh shrimp. If you use shelled shrimp, marinate the shrimp with minced garlic, 1/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper (half the kosher salt and black pepper mixture) for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the pan on medium heat. Add butter and when it’s melted, sear the shrimp, 3 minutes on the first side. Flip the shrimps and add wine. Cook for another 3 minutes and take the shrimps out with a tong.
- Don’t clean the pan! Add oil, sliced garlic and fry on low heat for 2 minutes (or until the garlic is slightly golden).
- Add pasta, the rest of the salt and pepper, give it a mix.
- Add shrimps, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, lemon peel, parsley, parmesan and mix. Turn off the stove.