Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta

Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta is an easy, yet elegant, all-in-one pasta dinner that will leave you satisfied! This recipe combines classic Shrimp Scampi and adds tender angel hair pasta to make a hearty, impressive entree that is kissed with lemon and garlic.

Bowl of Shrimp Scampi tossed with Angel Hair Pasta with garlic toast served on the side.

What is Shrimp Scampi?

Shrimp Scampi is an Italian-American dish made with shrimp that are quickly sauteed in dry wine, butter, and garlic.

Ironically, this recipe does not feature any scampi. Scampi, also known as langoustines, are small, lobster-like crustaceans with pale pink shells. Through the years, the scampi was replaced with shrimp, which is more readily available here in the United States, forming the dish Americans know as Shrimp Scampi.

Regardless of the origin of the name, Shrimp Scampi is unbelievably delicious and easy to make and is perfect when served with delicate angel hair pasta.

Reasons to Love Shrimp Scampi Pasta

  • 15-Minute Dinner Recipe. Shrimp is one of my favorite proteins to cook up when I am short on time, as it cooks up so quickly. That makes this recipe for shrimp scampi, along with shrimp stir-fry and shrimp tacos, the perfect meals on busy weeknights.
  • Insanely Flavorful. Made with garlic, dry white wine, butter, and lemon, shrimp scampi takes a handful of ingredients and makes them sing.
  • Company Worthy. The impressive flavors make Shrimp Scampi a dish that while quick enough for a weeknight, is suitable to serve on date night or to guests.
  • Versatile. While this recipe is designed to be served with angel hair pasta, you can opt to soak up the sauce with crusty bread or simply serve the shrimp scampi with a salad for a low-carb meal.

Notes on Ingredients

Ingredients for Shrimp Scampi on counter labeled with black text.
  • Shrimp: It is best to use raw fresh or defrosted large or extra-large, deveined, shelled shrimp, as this will allow the shrimp to be infused with the rich garlic sauce.
  • Oil/Butter: This recipe uses both olive oil and butter. The butter adds richness to the shrimp scampi, while the olive oil allows you to saute the shrimp at a higher temperature, than butter alone.
  • White Wine: It is best to use dry white wine like chardonnay or Pinot Grigio for this shrimp scampi.
  • Shallots: Shallots are much milder than onions and add a delicate flavor to the shrimp scampi that does not overpower the sauce.
  • Lemon: You will need both the zest and juice of a fresh lemon. Be sure to zest the lemon before slicing and juicing the lemon, as it is next to impossible to zest a lemon after it is sliced open.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: The red pepper flakes will add a subtle layer of heat to the sauce and help wake up the palate.
  • Parsley: The parsley adds a nice fresh, herby flavor to the dish, but it can be omitted if desired.
  • Angel Hair Pasta: Thin spaghetti noodles, like angel hair pasta, are best for pairing with Shimp Scampi, as the delicate noodles not only cook quickly like the shrimp, but they are the perfect compliment to the light sauce as well.

Substitutions

  • Using Shrimp with Shells. Feel free to leave the shells on your shrimp, as long as they are deveined when making shrimp scampi. Keep in mind it will take about 5 minutes longer to cook shrimp with shells. And that shelled shrimp, makes this dish easier and less messier to enjoy.
  • Adjusting the Spice Level. Feel free to increase, reduce, or omit the crushed red pepper flakes to control the level of heat if needed or desired.
  • Make it Dairy-Free. Adding butter to the sauce gives the Shrimp Scampi a rich, creamy finish. Feel free to use your favorite nondairy butter or additional olive oil. Keep in mind that most nondairy butter’s are heavily salted, so you may want to cut the added salt by a bit.
  • Alcohol-Free Shrimp Scampi. If you don’t drink wine, use low-sodium chicken stock to make shrimp scampi without wine.
  • Omit the Pasta. You can prepare this Shrimp Scampi without the pasta. Simply omit the pasta from the recipe and reduce the oil called for from 3 tablespoons to 2 tablespoons. Serve the Shrimp Scampi with a side salad and crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce

How to Make Shrimp Scampi Pasta

The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step One: Bring the water to a boil. The trick to preparing pasta alongside the shrimp scampi is to bring the water to a boil before you begin cooking the shrimp scampi. start cooking the pasta before cooking the shrimp. That way everything will come together at the same time, creating a quick and easy dish filled with amazing flavor.

Step Two: Saute the shrimp. After dropping the pasta into the boiling water, start preparing the Shrimp Scampi. Saute the garlic, red pepper flakes, and shallots together in butter and garlic. Once briefly sauteed, add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp begins to curl. Remove the shrimp to a plate, which will prevent it from overcooking.

Side by side photo of saute pan with shallots and then shrimp.

Step Three: Finish the sauce. Add the wine and lemon juice to the skillet, and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. All those little bits will help to flavor the sauce. Allow the wine to reduce and then finish with a dollop of butter.

Butter and wine sauce in skillet.

Step Four: Finish cooking the shrimp. Add the sauteed shrimp back to the skillet, along with the lemon zest, and cook until the shrimp is pink and firm.

Shrimp scampi in skillet.

Step Five: Add pasta. Once the shrimp is fully cooked, the pasta should be fully cooked. Add the pasta, along with ¼ cup of the pasta cooking liquid to the skillet and toss to coat. The pasta water will flavor and thin the sauce.

Shrimp Scampi with angel hair pasta in skillet.

Serving Suggestions

I love to serve Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Homemade Garlic Toast and a Copycat Panera Greek Salad or a Homemade Caesar Salad, for an impressive meal that everyone raves about.

Shrimp Scampi Pasta in blue and white dish with garlic toast.

Leftovers

Shrimp Scampi, like most seafood recipes, is best when enjoyed immediately after preparation. However, you can store leftover shrimp scampi and pasta in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Add a splash of stock or water before reheating to keep the pasta from drying out. 

More Easy and Delicious Recipes for Shrimp

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Bowl of shrimp scampi with garlic toast.

Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta

Shrimp Scampi Pasta is an easy meal made with shrimp that is sauteed in a rich sauce infused with wine and garlic all tossed with tender angel hair pasta.