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Easy shrimp scampi pasta for the busy weeknight dinner!
If you work strategically, the dinner can be ready in less than 30 minutes. To save time, thaw frozen shrimp while pasta water is coming to a boil. (*See my quick thawing tip below.)
Then start cooking the shrimp as soon as you drop the pasta in boiling water, so that everything cooks together.
You’ll love how noodles soak up all that addicting zesty butter sauce.
Easy Shrimp Scampi Pasta
- 8 oz linguini pasta
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 4-6 medium garlic cloves, pressed
- ½ cup chicken broth, or pasta water
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- To cook pasta: bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dante, about 8 minutes.
- To cook shrimp: meanwhile, heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat.
- Once shimmering, add shrimp in one layer and cook until opaque and just cooked through, about 2 minutes, turning half way through.
- Remove onto a clean plate and cover to keep warm.
- To make the sauce: reduce the heat to medium low and melt 1 tablespoon of butter in now empty skillet.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
- Add chicken broth (or pasta water) and lemon juice and cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir to melt. Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Add shrimp and pasta and toss to combine.
- Stir in parsley and serve immediately.
HOW TO THAW FROZEN SHRIMP QUICKLY:
- Place the frozen shrimp in a large bowl and fill it with a cold tap water.
- Change the water every 5 minutes until shrimp is fully thawed.
- You can also peel the shrimp after 5-7 minutes. They should be soft on the outside.
HOW TO COOK EASY SHRIMP SCAMPI:
- Thaw, peel and dry shrimp with paper towel. Season with salt.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and cook shrimp in batches until opaque and cooked through. Remove cooked shrimp onto a clean plate.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the same skillet and add garlic.
- Once the garlic is fragrant, add broth and lemon juice. Cook it until sauce is reduced by half.
- Stir in the remaining butter.
- Then add shrimp and pasta and toss to combine.
5 TIPS TO COOK EFFICIENTLY:
It’s important to follow the step in the right order to cook the meal efficiently and save time on a busy night.
- If you have frozen shrimp, place them in a bowl with cold tap water to start thawing.
- Then put a large pot of water over high heat to cook pasta.
- While waiting for that pasta water to come to boil, change water for the shrimp and peel them. Also prepare other ingredients, like pressing the garlic, juicing lemon and chopping parsley.
- Once the shrimp is thawed and pasta water is boiling, drop the noodles in.
- And immediately start cooking shrimp. By the time pasta is cooked, your shrimp and sauce should be ready as well.