This easy shrimp scampi pasta recipe is is a Chesapeake-inspired version of the classic Italian dish. It’s made with a garlic white wine sauce and a hint of Old Bay seasoning for a slightly spicy and really flavorful dish that’s so much better than anything you’ll get at a restaurant. Plus, it’s made with no butter so it’s naturally dairy free. You can even serve with zucchini a healthier, low carb option. Makes 4 – 6 servings.
Why I love this shrimp scampi pasta recipe
Old Bay is a favorite flavor of mine. I love it on peel-and-eat shrimp, in crab cakes (or fish cakes), on sweet potatoes…pretty much everything. I added it to shrimp scampi to give the dish a new twist, and because I’m always trying to find new ways to make pasta since we eat it at least 2 nights a week.
I actually think I’ve built up quite a tolerance to the seasoning, so this recipe uses quite a bit. If you aren’t sure about the flavor or if you aren’t a fan of spicy dishes, use a little less Old Bay in yours (maybe only 1 tablespoon).
Here’s what you’ll need to make shrimp scampi pasta
How to make shrimp scampi pasta
Cook pasta to al dente. We normally use linguine, but spaghetti works equally well. Use whatever you have and cook it according to the package directions for al dente in salted water.
Just before draining the pasta, reserve about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of pasta water. You want to wait until the pasta is cooked because starches come out into the water and add flavor and a creaminess when you add it to the sauce.
Sear the shrimp. Toss them with Old Bay until they’re evenly coated and sauté them in a large skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat. I like to work in batches to get a really good sear on the shrimp.
The more space you have the better, and since the shrimp cook really fast, you can do it while the pasta cooks. Remove the shrimp from the pan as they finish cooking.
Make the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium and minced garlic and parsley to the remaining olive oil. Simmer until fragrant. It should take about 30 seconds.
Next, deglaze the pan with white wine and lemon juice. If you’re using a fresh lemon, add the zest here, too. If you aren’t, don’t worry about it. It just enhances the lemon flavor and is totally optional.
Toss it all together. Return the shrimp the pan to keep warm until the pasta has finished cooking (keep it on low heat to prevent the shrimp from getting rubbery). Add the drained pasta and reserved pasta water, and toss until everything is evenly coated.
FAQs and Tips for making the best shrimp scampi pasta recipe
Why is it called shrimp scampi? Shrimp scampi is actually an American adaptation of an Italian recipe for langoustines, or scampi. Shrimp were substituted and all sorts of variations were created.
This flavor combination seems to be the most prevalent across the United States, but there are areas where the recipe calls for tomatoes and other areas where the shrimp are breaded.
What is shrimp scampi sauce made of? Traditionally, scampi sauce is made of butter, garlic, lemon juice and white wine. This recipe calls for olive oil instead of butter (it’s one of my favorite substitutes for butter).
What is a good substitute for wine in shrimp scampi? There are lots of substitutes for wine in cooking, but since this is a seafood dish, I recommend using bottle clam juice or seafood stock for this recipe.
What can I serve with shrimp scampi?
More dairy free pasta recipes:
Shrimp Scampi Pasta | This easy recipe is made with a garlic, white wine, and Old Bay seasoning for a slightly spicy and really flavorful sauce that’s so much better than anything you’ll get at a restaurant. Plus, it’s made with no butter so it’s naturally dairy free. Serve with zoodles or spaghetti squash for a healthy, low carb option. #dairyfree #shrimp
- 12-ounces pasta, spaghetti or linguine
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 – 3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon minced)
- 1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Reserve about 1/4 cup pasta water before draining.
- In a bowl, toss shrimp with Old Bay seasoning until evenly coated.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Working in batches, sauté shrimp until no longer pink. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and parsley to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine and lemon juice.
- Return shrimp to the pan. Reduce heat to low and allow them to simmer in the sauce mixture for a few minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta and reserved water to the pan. Toss with the shrimp and sauce mixture until evenly combined.
- Calories: 0
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 0 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: dairy free, seafood
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