Lemon-Pepper Shrimp Scampi Pasta


All the garlicky, lemony flavors of the favorite seafood dish in a quick and easy pasta dinner.

Lemon-pepper shrimp scampi in green and blue bowls

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Lydia Purcell; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

Shrimp Scampi might not be a Southern invention, but you’d be hard pressed to find many Southerners who’d turn their noses up at fresh Gulf shrimp sautéed with garlic in plenty of butter!

Although the pasta gets cooked separately in a Dutch oven, all the magic happens in your favorite cast-iron skillet, where the speedy “scampi” sauce comes together. Adding a little of the pasta water to the skillet is the key to getting the sauce just right, but it can be easy to forget to save it. Here’s a hack to help you remember: When you place your colander in the sink, put a measuring up in the bottom. When you go to drain your pasta, the cup will serve as a handy reminder to save that pasta water!

While we’ve opted for classic spaghetti for this recipe, feel free to reach for any box of dried pasta you have stashed in your pantry.


  • 1 lb. uncooked spaghetti

  • 1 1/2 lb. jumbo peeled, deveined raw shrimp, tails removed

  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more for salting water

  • 1 tsp. black pepper, divided, plus more for serving

  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter

  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)

  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 3 Tbsp.)

  • 1 cup dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio)

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from 1 bunch), plus more for garnish

  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest plus 4 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 2 lemons)

  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Add spaghetti; cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water; drain pasta, and transfer to a large bowl.

  2. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high. Add half of the shrimp; cook, undisturbed, until browned on 1 side, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir shrimp, and transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and shrimp.

  4. Add 4 tablespoons of the butter to drippings in skillet; add shallot, garlic, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook over medium-high, stirring often, until shallots are just tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan; cook, undisturbed, until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and add cooked shrimp (and any accumulated juices), parsley, lemon zest and juice, cooked spaghetti, reserved 1 cup cooking water, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Cook over medium, tossing together until sauce becomes glossy and coats noodles evenly, 2 to 3 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat; top with grated cheese and more black pepper. Garnish with parsley, and serve with lemon wedges.

Related Articles