Keto Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles is a fast 20-minute one-pan meal that’s low-carb, gluten-free and easy to make dairy-free. This easy shrimp scampi recipe is packed with flavor, a bit of spice and a delicious garlic butter sauce.
Why This Recipe Works
This garlic butter shrimp scampi recipe is a fast low-carb meal that’s packed with flavor. If you like high-fat, low-carb recipes like my Keto Tuna Fritters or Keto Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, you’re going to love this quick shrimp recipe.
- The dish comes together in one pan, just like the Mozzarella Chicken In Tomato Sauce.
- The shrimp are tender, soft and coated in a light but creamy butter-garlic sauce.
- Zucchini noodles keep the dish light and fresh-tasting. However, if you prefer a heartier meal, try my Garlic Shrimp Scampi With Angel Hair Pasta.
- This is a great 20-minute meal for any weeknight, but tastes elegant enough for entertaining. Serve it with Keto Bread for a well-rounded keto dinner.
What Goes Into This Recipe
Here’s what you need for this easy shrimp scampi recipe:
- Shrimp. Use raw, peeled and deveined large or extra-large shrimp.
- Garlic. Fresh is best, but you could also use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Lemon zest. You’ll need about one lemon’s worth of zest.
- Olive oil. Use extra-virgin.
- Butter. Choose unsalted butter for the best flavor.
- Fish stock. You can make your own or use store-bought.
- Lemon juice. You’ll need the whole lemon’s worth of juice.
- Chopped parsley. Feel free to substitute parsley with another fresh minced herb.
- Zucchini. Choose nice large ones for spiralizing. Leave the skin on.
If you don’t have every ingredient in this recipe, no worries. Here are a few simple ingredient swaps that work like a charm:
- First, you can swap regular butter for clarified butter or ghee. It’s a healthier option with the same addictive buttery taste. For a dairy-free version, you can use vegan butter or olive oil.
- Instead of parsley, use any herb you like, such as cilantro, basil, sage, or oregano.
- If you don’t have lemon juice, orange or lime juice would work great.
- Swap fish stock for dry white wine or low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth.
How to Make This Easy Shrimp Scampi Recipe
Start by making fresh zucchini noodles with any kind of spiralizer. Set the noodles aside for now.
Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine the large raw shrimp with the fresh garlic, lemon zest and olive oil. Season the mixture with a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to combine thoroughly. Next, in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
When the butter is melted, add the seasoned shrimp. Arrange them in a single layer and cook until pink and curled into a C-shape. This will take about 3-5 minutes per side. Stir in the fish stock, lemon juice, parsley and pepper flakes.
When everything is heated through, add the zucchini noodles and toss to combine. And finally, serve your keto shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles immediately.
To make creamy and rich garlic butter shrimp scampi without wine, start by sauteing minced garlic in oil for 30 seconds. Then stir in the fish stock, lemon juice, parsley and pepper flakes.
Bring the sauce to a simmer on the stove, then add the butter and stir continuously for 1 minute. The butter will start to emulsify to make a creamy, thick sauce.
If you want this sauce creamier, you can stir in 2 more tablespoons of butter after adding all other ingredients. Stir for 1 minute, or until the butter melts and the sauce becomes creamier. Or, for a more herb-flavored scampi sauce, try replacing the butter with 2 tablespoons of pesto.
The easiest way to make zucchini noodles is with a spiralizer. You can use a countertop version with suction cups attached to the base, or a small handheld one. Both will do the job. Use large and very fresh zoodles and spiralize them to medium size.
There are different methods to cook the shrimp for shrimp scampi:
1. If you prefer to use your oven, you can make the garlic butter sauce on the stove and cook the shrimp in the oven in the meantime.
To do so, start by preheating the oven to 400°F/200°C. Spread the shrimp into a single layer on a non-stick sheet pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until pink, curled, and opaque. When cooked, add the shrimp to your garlic butter sauce.
2. Another option is to sauté the shrimp directly into the sauce. To do this, make the sauce first, as written in the recipe, then add in the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp is cooked through.
3. Finally, a third way to cook shrimp for your keto scampi is on the grill. Thread the shrimp onto bamboo skewers and grill over medium heat for a couple of minutes per side. Either baste the skewers with the garlic butter sauce or add the grilled shrimp to the sauce on the stove.
If you’d like to use frozen shrimp for your garlic butter shrimp scampi, simply thaw the shrimp in the fridge overnight.
Or, if you forget to put the shrimp in the fridge, the quickest method is to place the frozen shrimp in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let it sit for 30 minutes to defrost. Then drain the shrimp very well and pat them dry with a paper towel. Finally, cook the shrimp as directed in the recipe.
If you have precooked or leftover shrimp, you can make this easy shrimp scampi recipe even faster. First, make the garlic butter sauce, then add the precooked shrimp. Then toss to combine and reheat for no more than 1 minute on the stove, or just until hot.
Here are the expert tips to keep in mind when making this shrimp scampi:
- This recipe calls for fish stock, but you could use white wine instead to bring this dish to a whole new level. Note that it won’t be keto-friendly, though. Simply replace the stock with wine and allow it to bubble for 1-2 minutes before adding in the rest of the ingredients.
- If you’re using wine, choose one you love, as the sauce will take on its flavor.
- I like to serve the zoodles raw because they have more texture! If you prefer them cooked, then you can toss them with the sauce and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. I don’t recommend cooking them any longer because they’ll become soggy and lose all their crunch.
- To avoid overcooking the shrimp, turn off the heat as soon as the shrimp are pink and curled tightly.
- Smaller shrimp will cook faster, so keep an eye on things to prevent overcooking.
- Using tail- or shell-on shrimp can add extra seafood flavor to the dish, but you’ll have to do a little extra work when eating the scampi. In addition, shell-on shrimp also cook more slowly, so you’re less likely to overcook or have them dry out.
- This dish is best served straight away after cooking. Because the longer the zucchini noodles sit, the soggier they will get.
- If you’d like to make keto shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles ahead of time, I recommend cooking just the shrimp. Then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Finally, add the freshly cut zoodles just before serving to avoid sogginess.
- Lastly, for serving, try sprinkling on freshly grated parmesan cheese.
More Keto Dinner Recipes
- Creamy Garlic Butter Salmon
- Keto Shrimp And Avocado Salad
- Keto Filet Mignon with Mushroom and Mustard Sauce
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Keto Shrimp Scampi With Zucchini Noodles
- 2-3 large zucchini - spiralized (or about 4 cups zoodles)
- 1¾ lb (800g) large or extra-large shrimp - peeled and deveined
- 4 garlic cloves - minced
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil - extra-virgin
- sea salt and ground pepper - to taste
- 2 tbsp (28g) butter
- 1/4 cup (60ml) fish stock
- 1 lemon - freshly squeezed
- 1/4 cup (6g) chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp pepper flakes - crushed
- Start by making fresh zucchini noodles, with a spiralizer.2-3 large zucchini
- In a large bowl, add the raw shrimp together with garlic, lemon zest and oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.1¾ lb (800g) large or extra-large shrimp, 4 garlic cloves, 2 tsp lemon zest, 2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil, sea salt and ground pepper
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.2 tbsp (28g) butter
- Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook until pink, for about 3-5 minutes per side.1¾ lb (800g) large or extra-large shrimp
- Stir in the stock, lemon juice, parsley and pepper flakes.1/4 cup (60ml) fish stock, 1 lemon, 1/4 cup (6g) chopped parsley, 1/2 tsp pepper flakes
- Toss the freshly made zucchini noodles to combine, and serve immediately.2-3 large zucchini
- Adding the zucchini noodles at the very end of the recipe will help keep them springy and fresh, rather than limp or watery.
- Keep a close eye on your shrimp in the skillet. They cook quickly, so you want to be careful not to overcook. As soon as the shrimp look pink and curled into a C-shape, turn off the heat and add your zucchini noodles.
- You can make this easy shrimp scampi recipe with white wine instead of the fish stock. It won’t be keto-friendly, but it has an elevated flavor.
- Serve the shrimp scampi with grated parmesan cheese on top for a richer flavor.
- I don’t recommend storing the zucchini noodles, as they can become soggy easily. Instead, store the cooked shrimp for 1 to 2 days and add fresh zucchini noodles just before serving.
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