Tender shrimp and delicate pasta are the keys to this super easy recipe for garlic shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta. It’s a delicious dinner with plenty of cheese that you can make in just 15 minutes!
Are you ready for a comforting bowl of creamy angel hair pasta and plump, pink shrimp? Let’s add a good measure of parmesan to that for today’s quick and easy recipe.
I think you’ll love making this easy shrimp scampi pasta recipe. For starters, it’s easy to swap out ingredients to use what you have on hand (see Tip #1 below for my recommended swaps). If you want to add a splash of wine, see how to do it in Tip #2.
Plus, you can easily make this a low-carb and keto-friendly recipe by skipping the pasta or substituting a veggie base, like cauliflower rice. And if you have pre-cooked, or even frozen shrimp, you can still make this easy weeknight meal. Just see how in tips #5 and #6.
Ok, let’s get to the details! Here are my best Tips & Tricks so you can enjoy easy garlic shrimp scampi pasta for dinner tonight.
How to make garlic shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta – Best Tips & Tricks
1. Which ingredients can be changed in this easy shrimp scampi pasta recipe?
If you don’t have all of the ingredients in the recipe, no worries! You can still make this delicious garlic shrimp scampi pasta. Here are some simple ingredient swaps:
- You can substitute butter with clarified butter or oil for a dairy-free dinner. Just leave out the cheese or choose your favorite plant-based cheese.
- You can sub parmesan with Grana Padano or pecorino cheese if you prefer.
- Feel free to use other types of pasta. Spaghetti or linguine would work well. Just keep in mind that larger noodles will need a longer cooking time (usually 8 to 10 minutes to cook to al dente). You’ll also need more cooking liquid, as bigger noodles absorb more broth than angel hair. To be safe, keep an extra 2 to 3 cups of broth if you’re using a different type of pasta and add it if the dish seems a bit dry.
2. Can I make garlic shrimp scampi pasta with wine?
Yes, why not add a splash of white wine to liven up the dish?
Simply add 1/2 cup of white wine to the shrimp during the last 2 minutes of cooking, before adding the pasta. Let the shrimp simmer in the wine a bit to soak up all that flavor. Then remove the cooked shrimp from the pot and continue with the recipe.
As for the wine you use, there is no secret here: just use a bottle you like and are happy to drink. It’s just half a cup after all, and it’ll also end in your belly 🙂
Whatever you do, don’t buy super cheap cooking wine. The wine is important as it enhances the flavor of the food, and you’ll also feel its flavor stronger in the food. So you don’t want to end up with a food tasting like a cheap wine you wouldn’t drink.
3. What is the best way to cook the shrimp for this recipe?
For the most tender shrimp scampi, cook the shrimp in a shallow skillet until they just turn pink. This makes for a one-pot dinner, as you can cook the pasta in the same pot. One-pot means less mess and more time to enjoy your meal.
Tip: Use peeled and deveined jumbo or extra-large shrimp for really plump and juicy flavor.
You can also use pre-cooked shrimp if you prefer.
Whether you buy fully cooked shrimp or have leftover grilled or roasted shrimp from another meal, the method is the same. Simply add the cooked shrimp right before serving (after the pasta is cooked) and heat through.
Or if you prefer the char of a grill, you can also grill shrimp for the scampi and add them to the pasta and sauce before serving.
To make perfect grilled shrimp:
- Lightly oil and preheat a grill to medium heat.
- In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with salt, pepper and olive oil or melted butter, until evenly coated.
- Cook the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.
4. How to make this easy shrimp scampi recipe low-carb
If you’re following a low-carb diet, you can simply make garlic shrimp scampi without the pasta. You’ll also only need 1/4 cup of broth to make a silky sauce.
- First, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the shrimp and sprinkle with chili flakes and sea salt.
- Cook the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until pink and opaque. Set aside on a plate.
- To the same skillet, add the lemon zest and juice. Pour in 1/4 cup of broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the sauce to reduce and enhance its flavor.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, and mix until the cheese melts. Return the shrimp to the pan and turn the heat off.
- Season with salt and pepper to your taste, and dig into your low-carb easy parmesan shrimp scampi!
5. How to make the shrimp scampi with frozen shrimp?
If you’re starting with frozen shrimp, it’s best to let them defrost before cooking. You can quickly thaw shrimp by placing them in a bowl in the sink and running cold water over them for 10 to 15 minutes, until soft. Drain well and pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel
Next, simply follow the recipe as written.
6. How to make garlic shrimp scampi with frozen cooked shrimp?
Just like you would for frozen raw shrimp, you want to start by defrosting it. You can do this while you cook the pasta as written in the recipe (just skip the shrimp cooking steps at the beginning).
Meanwhile, remove the shrimp from the package and place them a bowl in the sink. Run under cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the shrimp well and pat dry with a paper towel.
Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, stir the pre-cooked shrimp into the pot and add in the cheese as directed in the recipe.
More Pasta Recipes
If you’re on a pasta kick after trying this garlic shrimp scampi pasta recipe, then be sure to try these next:
What’s left to do but get in the kitchen and whip up this easy shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta recipe. And when you do? Don’t forget to show me on Instagram. Just tag me @theblondelish.
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Garlic Shrimp Scampi With Angel Hair Pasta
- 3 tbsp (42g) butter
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 lb (453g) large shrimp - peeled and deveined (16-20 or 21-25 per pound)
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes - or to taste
- Pinch sea salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup (80ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
- 6 cups (1.4 L) vegetable or fish stock
- 12 oz (340g) angel hair pasta
- 2/3 cup (66g) freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup (20g) fresh parsley - finely chopped
- salt and pepper - to your taste
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add in the shrimp and sprinkle with chili flakes and sea salt.
- Cook the shrimp for about 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until pink and opaque. Set aside on a plate.
- To the same skillet, add the lemon zest and juice. Pour in 5 cups of broth.
- Keep the remaining 1 cup on hand, in case you need it for later.
- Stir to combine then bring the liquid to a gentle simmer.
- Add the pasta, and using a pair of tongs, stir occasionally for a few minutes, or until the pasta starts to soften and bend.
- Fully immerse the pasta into the liquid, and keep stirring frequently to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Cook the pasta according to the timing on the package directions. Angel hair pasta needs no more than 3 minutes to cook to al dente.
- Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, return the shrimp to the pan and turn the heat off.
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, and mix until the cheese has melted into the sauce.
- The pasta will continue to absorb the sauce if not served immediately. So quickly season with salt and pepper to your taste, and dig in!
- See Tip #1 for ingredient substitutions and swaps.
- To make this garlic shrimp scampi pasta with wine, read Tip #2.
- The best way to cook shrimp? It's all in Tip #3
- To make this easy shrimp scampi recipe low-carb, see Tip #4.
- Tip #5 has instructions for using frozen shrimp.
- And Tip #6 is all about using cooked frozen shrimp.
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