Tender shrimp in a lemon, white wine, garlic and butter sauce topped with crunchy almonds and parsley. This baked lemon shrimp scampi recipe is easy and fast enough for a weeknight dinner and elegant enough for company. A splash of Amaretto in the marinade adds another level of flavor, but it's optional. Serve with a tossed green salad.
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Scampi
Baked lemon shrimp scampi is one of my "go-to" shrimp recipes. After a short marinade at room temperature, bake for 8-10 minutes and you've got a terrific shrimp dinner with built-in sauce. Super easy! While shrimp are marinating set the table and make a salad. If serving over pasta, get your water boiling first.
A Few Notes on Buying Shrimp
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.
Choose wild shrimp with the shell on and clean them yourself for the best flavor and texture. Why skip farmed? Read this article. 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 ½ pounds for four people.
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.
How to Make Lemon Garlic 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 pour the marinade over the top. Allow shrimp 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.
How To Serve Shrimp Scampi
Serve baked lemon shrimp scampi over brown rice, zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice or even spaghetti squash noodles. Gluten-free pasta is good too. 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.
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Scampi
- 1 ½ pounds large shrimp
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee melted
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur optional
- 1 large lemon juiced
- 2 large garlic cloves chopped fine
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ⅛ 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, 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).
Lisa L says
I have made this several times. It’s a great dish for company and easy to follow for a someone with basic skills, like me.
Sally Cameron says
Thanks for the comment Lisa and letting others know how easy it really is.
Lisa Foto says
Hi Sally, The shrimp dish and the rice were delicious. I served it with just fresh sliced tomatoes and paired it with a Sauvignon Blanc too. My husband LOVED it. Thanks for the awesome recipes time and time again. I enjoy both your blog and photos of your food both here and on Facebook. Keep up the strong showing. We LOVE it!
Chef Sally says
Hi Lisa. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your feedback. Recipes will often say "through" instead of writing out a long list of ingredients. I've listed butter "through" almonds meaning everything listed between butter and almonds. Will make a note to add a basic rice recipe to the archives, then provide a link. Good suggestion and glad you and your boyfriend enjoyed it!
Lisa in Northern VA says
Dear Chef Sally,
I am a novice cook - think "paint by the numbers" in the kitchen. This is a great dish. I would revise the directions. The only ingredients for the marinade that you mention are the butter and almonds. I realized after I set the shrimp to marinade that I didnt add the amaretto, garlic, wine, and oil, so I went back. I find it really helpful if the directions mention every ingredient, quantity (even water for the rice) and provide “how to” tips. Maybe even wine pairings? I made this for a special occasion with my boyfriend, pulled out the good china, and served mixed vegatables and a bottle of Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc. He was impressed. Thanks!
Stephanie Weaver says
I LOVE Meyer Lemon. Do you think this would work with tempeh instead of shrimp? I might try renovating it and let you know. Great meeting you at Food Blogger Camp!
Chef Sally says
Hi Stephane! Great to meet you too! I'm looking forward to checking out your blog. I'll bet it would work with tempeh and maybe regular firm tofu. You might try cooking it in a grill pan or searing it in a hot non-stick skillet. If you do renovate it, please let me know how it comes out. I can them make an additional note for readers wanting a vegetarian or vegan option. Thanks!