Easy Shrimp Scampi Recipe Without Wine

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by Maggie Turansky

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While most iterations of this seafood dish use white wine as a base for the sauce, this isn’t entirely necessary. In fact, I’ve developed a shrimp scampi recipe without wine that tastes so delicious you won’t even know that it’s missing!

An Italian-American classic that adorns restaurant menus across the country, and there is no doubt as to why shrimp scampi so popular. However, this isn’t a dish that has to be enjoyed in a restaurant as it is incredibly easy to make at home.

It is also an excellent choice if you’re looking for a quick yet delicious dinner option. Similarly to a number of my other pasta dishes (see my fettuccine alfredo, carbonara, lemon pasta or mushroom bucatini recipes), there are only a few ingredients required to make this incredibly flavourful meal.

Shrimp Scampi with pasta
Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

How to Make Shrimp Scampi without Wine

Shrimp scampi was developed by early Italian immigrants to America who were preparing seafood in the same style as they did in Italy – a dish that’s very similar to spaghetti busara, in fact. Because scampi weren’t available in the USA, shrimp were used instead. And so the dish was born.

You will see shrimp scampi served on its own, however, it is much more common to be served over pasta. I definitely prefer it in the latter style, as the sauce compliments the pasta beautifully

I add a few extra steps to this recipe to give it a more robust flavour than traditionally called for, especially to account for the lack of the wine. I promise that it is nothing too complicated.

Ingredients for shrimp scampi
Ingredients for this recipe

The first step is to prepare your shrimp. I urge you to use whole, fresh shrimp in this recipe and to forgo frozen, prepared shrimp.

The flavour difference is incredibly notable and it doesn’t require that much extra work. You can also use the shells and heads of the shrimp to make a broth that will act as a flavourful stand-in for wine.

Fresh shrimp
Fresh shrimp for this recipe

Remove the heads off your shrimp and peel them, leaving the tails on. Devein the shrimp by making a shallow incision along the top of the shrimp with a sharp knife. Use the tip of the knife to remove the black vein and discard. Season the shrimp liberally with salt and pepper.

Put the shrimp heads and tails in a small saucepan and cover with about a litre of cold water. Cover the pot and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat.

Allow to simmer for about thirty minutes to one hour before straining through a fine mesh sieve and setting aside. You can then discard the shells and heads.

Preparing the shrimp broth
Preparing the shrimp broth

If you’re looking to make shrimp scampi linguine (or any other type of pasta), the next step is to cook your pasta. This recipe comes together in a flash and needs your attention so the shrimp don’t overcook, so I recommend cooking for pasta before you start assembling the sauce and shrimp.

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a rolling boil and add your pasta. I recommend using linguine, but you can really use whatever kind of pasta you’d like.

Cook the pasta for about 2 minutes less than the package requires (we’ll finish cooking it in the sauce!), drain it and toss the noodles in a bit of olive oil to prevent them from sticking. Set the pasta aside until you need it.

Now it’s time to make the sauce! In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt your butter along with a little bit of oil. Add your sliced garlic and red chilli flakes and cook them until very fragrant and the garlic begins to turn a pale golden brown, about three to five minutes.

Cooking the garlic and chili flakes in oil
Cooking the garlic and chili flakes

Then, add your shrimp in one layer to the skillet. Cook on one side until they are just beginning to turn pink before flipping, about thirty seconds to one minute depending on the size of your shrimp.

Add a couple of strips of lemon zest, some lemon juice, a dash of fish sauce and about 250 millilitres (or 1 cup) of the reserved shrimp broth.

Finishing to cook the shrimp
Finishing the shrimp

Let the sauce simmer until the shrimp are pink and have just turned completely opaque, only a minute or two longer. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.

Add the pasta to the skillet along with some chopped fresh parsley. Toss the pasta in the sauce until it’s heated through and al dente, another two minutes or so.

Tossing the pasta and parsley in the sauce
Tossing the pasta and parsley in the sauce

Then, turn off the heat and add the shrimp back into the skillet along with any accumulated juices.

Now, all there is left to do is serve and dig in! This dish comes together so quickly and it is 100% worth it – it’s also fantastic to serve with a side of garlic bread.

Shrimp Scampi Without Wine

Easy Shrimp Scampi Without Wine

This shrimp scampi recipe is absolutely delicious and does not require any wine! It comes together in a snap and makes for an absolutely delicious weeknight dinner.
5 from 2 votes
Servings 4
Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 500 g (18 oz) fresh raw shrimp with heads and shells
  • 500 g (1 lb) pasta such as linguine or spaghetti
  • 50 g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 5 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 3 strips lemon zest removed with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 tbsp parsley chopped


  • Remove the heads, peel and devein the shrimp, keeping the tails on. Set the shrimp aside and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Add the shrimp heads and shells to a small saucepan. Cover with about a litre of cold water, cover the pan and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes before straining through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the shells and set the shrimp broth aside.
    Preparing the shrimp broth
  • Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain the pasta, toss in a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking, and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter with about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add the chili flakes and garlic and cook until very fragrant and the garlic is pale golden colour, about 3-5 minutes.
    Cooking the garlic and chili flakes in oil
  • Add the shrimp and lemon zest and cook shrimp on one side for about one minute before flipping. Pour in 250ml (1 cup) of the shrimp broth (see note), the lemon juice and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking shrimp until they are pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the sauce.
    Finishing to cook the shrimp
  • Add the pasta and the parsley to the skillet and, using tongs, toss to combine in the sauce. Cook until the pasta is completely cooked through and coated in the sauce, about two more minutes.
    Tossing the pasta and parsley in the sauce
  • Remove from the heat and return the shrimp along with any accumulated juices. Serve immediately.
    Shrimp Scampi Without Wine



Any remaining shrimp broth can be refrigerated or frozen and used in other recipes — such as a seafood risotto, seafood soup or even a curry in lieu of chicken broth or water.


Calories: 651kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 184mg | Sodium: 840mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 697IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Making this shrimp scampi recipe without white wine is incredibly easy and yields a delicious and flavourful dish without having to crack open a bottle!

Are you making shrimp scampi? Have any questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frills Kitchen. She is a world traveller, home cook and recipe developer who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Read More

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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