Tender shrimp in a lemon, white wine and butter sauce topped with crunchy almonds and parsley. Baked lemon shrimp scampi is one of my “go-to” shrimp recipes. It’s easy and fast enough for a weeknight dinner and elegant enough for company. After a short marinade at room temperature, bake for 8-10 minutes and you’ve got a terrific shrimp dinner with built-in sauce. Serve over brown rice, zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash noodles or brown rice pasta with sauce poured over the top.
Buying Shrimp for Baked Lemon Shrimp Scampi
Choose wild shrimp with the shell on and clean them yourself for the best flavor and texture. I buy the jumbo size called 16-20. That means you will get between 16 to 20 pieces per pound. The next size down is 21-25 and they are a little less expensive. Purchase 1 1/14 – 1 1/2 pounds for four people.
If time is short, purchase shrimp cleaned and deveined. For more information on the best wild shrimp to buy, check out this page from Seafood Watch. Shrimp are highly perishable, so cook them within 24 hours of purchase or thawing if frozen.
Pass on Farmed Shrimp
Read packages and look at labels when shopping and avoid farmed shrimp. Reports show them to be contaminated with banned chemicals, antibiotics, and pesticides. Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the U.S. and 90% of it is imported with only 2% inspected. According to Food and Water Watch, farmed shrimp are filthy. Its bad for you and the environment.
How to Clean Shrimp
With your fingers, peel off the shell and legs leaving the last tail segment intact. With a sharp paring knife, gently slice along the curved back of the shrimp. Remove any veins (its the digestive tract) by rinsing under cool water. Set cleaned shrimp aside on paper towels to dry.
Baked Lemon Shrimp Scampi
Melt the butter (or ghee) then stir in lemon juice, white wine, olive oil, almonds, garlic and parsley to create a savory marinade for shrimp. Adding almond flavored Amaretto liqueur is a flavorful option if you like to cook with spirits. No need to buy a big bottle for a small amount. Buy a little airline size at the grocery or liquor store. That goes for the wine too.
Arrange shrimp in a flat glass or ceramic dish in a single layer and allow to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until shrimp just turn pink on both sides. Timing will depend on your oven and the size of the shrimp.
Serve baked lemon shrimp scampi over brown rice, zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice or even spaghetti squash. Spoon the sauce over each dish before serving. For another easy shrimp dish, Italian-style, try spicy Shrimp Fra Diavolo. For a lemony Italian dessert to accompany this try creamy lemon gelato.
Baked Lemon Shrimp Scampi
- 1 1/4 -1 ½ pounds large shrimp 16-20 or 21-25 size
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee melted
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur optional
- 1 large lemon juiced
- 2-3 large garlic cloves chopped fine
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian parsley
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese optional
- Peel and devein shrimp. Peel off legs and shell sections up to the tail, leaving the tail section on. It makes for nice presentation and a little handle. On the outward curved side of the shrimp, cut a shallow slit with a sharp paring knife and gently rinse any debris with cold water. Dry shrimp on paper towels.
- Melt butter in a large glass microwave-proof measuring cup, then stir in wine, almonds, olive oil, liqueur (if using), lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley. Arrange shrimp in a single, flat layer in a large glass or ceramic baking dish. Pour butter mixture over the top of the shrimp. Marinate shrimp for 20-30 minutes at room temperature.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Place the shrimp in the oven and bake just until shrimp turn pink, about 8-10 minutes, depending on the shrimp size and your oven.
- Remove shrimp from oven, spooning juices over the top and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese (optional).