How To Make Shrimp Scampi


Shrimp scampi is a really popular dish, which means it has more variations than you can shake a bamboo skewer at. About the only thing that’s in pretty much all the recipes I’ve checked out is butter and garlic. And really, how can you go wrong when you start there?

Interesting note: “Scampi” is actually a type of lobster. The preparation I’m showing here was a popular way of making it, so in the U.S. we now use the word “scampi” to refer to the style more often than the ingredient.


P1160136_Lg1 pound uncooked shrimp (about 15-18)
1 stick butter (¼ pound)
2-6 cloves garlic
fresh herbs and spices
extra virgin olive oil
see below for amounts


The herbs

This recipe started in the garden. I’ve got herbs coming in like crazy, so I’m looking for all kinds of ways to use them. (Suggestions welcome down in the comments.)

For the scampi, I did chives, basil, oregano and sage.

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I didn’t show the oregano and sage when I did the first harvest. They hadn’t started producing much yet.

For the oregano, remove the leaves from the stems. Don’t worry too much about the stems, they’re very thin.


The sage, though, has thick stems. Fold each leaf in half and pull the stem off. You should be able to remove most of the stem from the leaf.

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Same trick with the basil, which has an even thicker stem.


One basil leaf was enough. Any more and that’s all we’d have tasted. Fresh basil is pungent stuff.

Set all the herbs aside, then toss your garlic and some black pepper in the food processor.

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How much garlic to use is a very personal decision. I used two normal sized cloves and one freakishly large mutant clove. The trick with garlic is to make sure your date eats the same thing as you do.

Two quick pulses on the Ninja and it’s done.


Add the herbs and another quick pulse.

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A little olive oil just to hold everything together, and set it aside.

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I might make another batch of this and keep it in the fridge, ready to add to other recipes. It came out really excellent.


The shrimp

Peel and de-vein the shrimp.


Sorry, no pictures of that process. It’s a bit messy, and I didn’t want to get raw shrimp all over the camera. Next time I do shrimp, I’ll have Jenn take the pictures.

Arrange the shrimp into groups of five or six, and connect them with two bamboo skewers for each set.

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Assembly and cooking

Melt the butter (microwave is fine) and mix in the herbs. Mince the chives and add them last so they keep their shape.

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Scoop the mixture liberally over the shrimp.


Place herbed side down on a hot skillet.


Yes, that’s a strange looking skillet. Or rather, it’s a Himalayan salt block.

While the first side is cooking, spoon more of the herb / butter mixture on top. When the edges of the shrimp start to turn pink, flip them over.


Go another couple of minutes until there is no more gray in the middle.

Serve with the remaining butter for dipping.


And that’s it.

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi


  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp (about 15-18)
  • 1 stick butter (¼ pound)
  • 2-6 cloves garlic
  • fresh herbs and spices
  • extra virgin olive oil


Remove the stems from all the herbs -- oregano, sage, basic, etc. Process the garlic and some black pepper in a food processor until minced. Add the herbs and pulse once or twice. Add just enough olive oil to bring everything together. Melt the butter and stir in the herbs. Add minced chives at the end, to preserve their shape.

Peel and de-vein the shrimp. In groups of five or six, pierce with two bamboo skewers per group. Spoon some of the herb / butter mixture over.

Place the shrimp herbed side down in a hot skillet. Spoon more herb / butter mix over the top. When the edges turn pink, turn shrimp over and cook until there is no more gray.

Serve with remaining butter.


  1. This looks delicious! I have all the herbs except sage; I think I can make it work. Next year I’m planting sage, too.

  2. Daisy, I was vague on purpose. As long as you start with butter and garlic, you can add just about any herbs you like and people will recognize it as scampi.

  3. Tiffany McCullough says:

    Thanks for an absolutely great and easy recipe…..will make this for sure tonite. Have some Cuban Oregano that I’ve been dying to use as well as some Aussie Sweet Basil I’ve been wanting to try as well. Way too hot down in TX to grow regular basil any more this year.

  4. When I have a lot of fresh herbs, I wash and dry them and then chop them up and put them in freezer bags and freeze them. Be sure to press out all the air each time you open the bag. They last a long time and are ready whenever I need some.

  5. Fresh sage leaves, patted quite dry and then fried in hot olive oil, make the most exquisite garnish for soup you will ever try. They will crisp up magnificently. And they are amazing tucked under a chicken’s skin before you roast it, too.

    I’m very conventional with the other herbs, I think. I like basil with my tomatoes — no big surprise there — and chives chopped into yogurt for dip.

  6. This is a wonderful surprise!
    A day that will live in infamy in our marriage was the day that the Huzzy made me a romantic dinner. The rest of the evening was good, but the scampi he prepared was pretty terrible. I’ve pretty much been in charge of cooking the “real” suppers ever since.
    Perhaps this will encourage him to give it another try.
    I’m thinking a leaf of lemon basil would be a nice addition. mmmmm.

  7. Jill, shrimp was in one of my worst recipe fails, too.

    I tried sweet-and-sour shrimp. I didn’t know the pink shrimp were already cooked. After a minute or so in the pan I tested one and it was pretty chewy. I thought I needed to cook them longer and they’d get tender, like with a pot roast.

    They didn’t.

  8. Nice pink salt “skillet”. I keep mentioning to my husband I’d like that. Then he goes to the feed store and gets a salt lick. :)

  9. Shhh! Don’t tell people what it is, that’s for tomorrow.

  10. I love Shrimp Scampi. Thanks for the detailed documentation and the photos.

  11. Lovely, scampi is one of my favorites! I’ll have to give this a try, I like the idea of mincing the herbs and garlic together, but my favorite part about the scampi is making the white wine sauce to go with it, then I serve it over noodles or rice with the extra sauce, yummmmm :)

  12. My wife absolutely loves scampi. I ma pirnting this out for her. Thanks.


  1. […] 100% organic, too, so they’re using better ingredients than I would usually buy. (Okay, I grow my own herbs, but no garlic … […]

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