Shrimp Scampi with pasta, tender asparagus, fresh tomatoes, herbs, and savory garlic butter shrimp all come together to make an amazing 30-minute meal for shrimp and pasta lovers! Inspired by the popular restaurant dish, this copycat recipe will satisfy all of your Olive Garden cravings.
Shrimp scampi is one of our most favorite ways to eat shrimp. That buttery lemon goodness on top of the succulent shrimp? Finger-licking good! I usually serve garlic shrimp scampi with rice – when I’m feeling nostalgic for our Hawaii trips – or with pasta noodles when I’m craving Olive Garden. This particular version is one hundred percent inspired by the Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi recipe with long noodles, tender asparagus, diced tomatoes and lots of fresh parsley on top. It’s so easy and so flavorful, you’ll want to make this Olive Garden copycat again and again!
Here’s How You Make It
- Asparagus — Get fresh-looking asparagus, trim the ends off and then chop each stalk into thirds.
- Olive oil — EVOO is my jam. But you can use any high-quality olive oil you like.
- Shrimp — I use large shrimp, and I prefer to get them peeled and deveined with the tails removed. This just makes cooking that much easier and less work for me to do.
- Butter — Unsalted butter works great here, as you will be adding salt to taste later on as you cook.
- Garlic — I used minced garlic from a jar. You can use whatever minced garlic you prefer or mince your own.
- Broth — Chicken or vegetable broth works best in this shrimp scampi with linguine.
- Heavy cream — Heavy cream is key here to making a thick, rich sauce to pour over the linguine.
- Salt and pepper — Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste, as much or as little as you like.
- Fresh parsley — Chop fresh parsley finely. Or use dried in a pinch. But fresh tastes best!
- Roma tomato — Chop the tomato into little squares to add some flavor and color to this best shrimp scampi dish ever.
- Lemon juice — Fresh-squeezed lemon juice is best here. It just tastes so much more citrusy and fresh. But you could use bottled too if you like.
- Parmesan cheese — Grated parmesan is key. Grate your own or you can use pre-grated/store bought.
- Linguine noodles — Cook these according to package directions. Any well-known brand is great.
Step By Step Instructions
- First, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add asparagus to the pan and sauté it for about 1-2 minutes.
- Next, add the shrimp, butter, and garlic to the pan. Sauté this for another 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp are mostly pink.
- Now, stir in the broth, the heavy cream and the salt and pepper. Continue stirring occasionally over medium heat for another 4-5 minutes, or till the sauce is reduced by about half and thickened.
- Stir in the parsley, tomatoes, and lemon juice.
- Toss the shrimp mixture with the noodles and then top it all with a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese, and serve.
Why This Recipe Works
Inspired by Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi — Everyone, everywhere agrees with me that Olive Garden has some of the best pasta recipes (and soups!) So to make a shrimp scampi recipe inspired by Olive Garden shrimp scampi is next-level in my mind. Bonus: You never have to leave your house to eat the deliciousness that is this pasta dish!
Fresh lemon juice — Fresh lemon juice is key here. It’s much more lemony-tasting and works better than the bottled. However, if you only have the bottled that’s okay, use it! It’ll still be delicious, but next time you could try it with fresh lemon and compare the taste and see if you agree with me that fresh lemon juice is better. (Sometimes I’ll also give another squeeze of fresh lemon over the top of the plated shrimp scampi too just for added lemony goodness.)
Garlic — In addition to the lemon juice, of course you can’t have shrimp scampi with linguine without also adding lots of garlic. If you’re a huge garlic fanatic, you can double to two tablespoons in this recipe.
Simple ingredients — Although this shrimp scampi recipe is restaurant-quality, it really couldn’t be any easier. The ingredients are super simple and you probably have them already in your pantry and fridge. And, if not, one quick trip to just about any grocery store can remedy that in time for dinner!
- No linguine? No problem — you can use any favorite long noodle — I like linguine or fettuccine noodles here, but spaghetti or angel hair work great too.
- Not a fan of asparagus? No problem. Leave it out or swap it for another favorite vegetable like broccoli or cauliflower.
- This best shrimp scampi will keep in the fridge for about 3 days. Shrimp starts to get weird if kept in the fridge for too long so I recommend eating any leftovers as soon as possible (that is, if you have any leftovers!).
- Do not refreeze thawed and cooked shrimp. It will not taste good at all once thawed and reheated. It tends to get mealy. The best thing to do is make this dish fresh again for the best flavor and texture.
What Is Shrimp Scampi Sauce Made Of?
In this recipe for Olive Garden copycat shrimp scampi, my scampi sauce is made from butter, garlic, broth, heavy cream, salt, pepper, fresh parsley, and lemon juice.
However, some shrimp scampi sauces also use white wine and red pepper flakes too. You can use these ingredients if you like, however I don’t find them to be necessary and I think my recipe tastes more like Olive Garden’s version.
What Makes a Scampi?
Okay so true story, I thought that “scampi” was a way of making shrimp, and not the actual name of another crustacean.
It turns out, scampi are a type of small lobster-like sea creatures that also have pale pink shells. So, in Italy, scampi is actually served in this preparation rather than shrimp. But in the United States, shrimp have been swapped for scampi due to their availability and taste that is similar to scampi.
How Do You Thicken a Scampi Sauce?
Is your shrimp scampi sauce a little on the thin side? We can fix that. What you’ll want to do is add about a tablespoon of cornstarch with about a tablespoon of water in a small bowl and whisk. Once these ingredients are incorporated together, you can add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce, and then stir until it starts to thicken.
Is Shrimp a Fish or Meat?
Shrimp are a shellfish like a lobster or crab, and shrimp are considered a seafood. But seafood is also a type of meat.
Some people who don’t eat meat still eat seafood as seafood is high in protein and other nutrients that typical meat has, while being lower in saturated fat and calories.
How Do You Defrost Shrimp?
If you’re starting with frozen shrimp, you should first defrost it. The safest way to defrost shrimp is to put the bag in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking it. A rule to go by is you’ll need about 24 hours of thawing time for each pound of shrimp.
If you need to thaw it quickly, the safest way is to pour the frozen shrimp into a colander in the sink and run cold water over the shrimp until it thaws. Don’t use hot or warm water as it will start to cook the shrimp. Don’t thaw shrimp at room temperature.
More Recipes Like This
For more delicious shrimp-and-pasta meals, check out my popular posts for Cajun Shrimp Alfredo Pasta, Shrimp and Broccoli Alfredo, and Spicy Tomato Garlic Shrimp Pasta. And if you’re a fan of Olive Garden, check out some of my other copycat recipes below.