Dinner Menu with Shrimp Scampi

Everything you need for a special celebration

Shrimp Scampi With Garlic

The Spruce

Create a special dinner for a romantic date at home or for entertaining a small group with our elegant dinner menu featuring shrimp scampi. You'll find great ideas you can use to customize your own menu for Valentine's Day dinner, New Year's Eve gatherings, and other special celebrations, including sophisticated salads, scrumptious sides, decadent desserts, and champagne-boosted cocktails.

  • 01 of 17

    Shrimp Scampi With Garlic

    Shrimp scampi with garlic

    The Spruce

    We'll kick off this round-up with the centerpiece of your meal: shrimp scampi! This fragrant, Italian-style preparation for plump, extra-large shrimp cooked in white wine, lemon juice, fresh parsley, scallions, and the most divinely buttery garlic sauce is the classic shrimp scampi dish enjoyed at restaurants everywhere.

  • 02 of 17

    French Bistro Salad With Warm Goat Cheese Croutes

    French Bistro Salad With Warm Goat Cheese Croutes

    Molly Watson

    Goat cheese salad is a classic French bistro dish that is easy to make at home. Your dinner companion will swoon over the adorable, crunchy, golden, breaded goat cheese rounds perched atop a bed of soft, green lettuce. Finish this sophisticated starter with a simple, kicky mustard vinaigrette that beautifully balances the creamy, tangy cheese.

  • 03 of 17

    Polenta Cakes With Mushroom Ragu

    polenta cakes with mushroom ragu

    Polenta cakes with mushroom ragu and whipped herbed ricotta make a perfect fancy appetizer or a filling vegetarian meal. The polenta cakes are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. The ragu (like our mushroom Bolognese) is hearty and rich with umami.

  • 04 of 17

    Pear and Greens Salad

    Pear and greens salad recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 

    This elegant pear and greens salad is an ideal sweet and crunchy starter for any romantic meal. Juicy, seasonal pear slices, tangy blue cheese, tender butter and frisee lettuces, and a perfectly-seasoned vinaigrette dressing make it taste extra-special. You can toast the walnuts in advance but do wait to assemble the salad until just before serving.

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  • 05 of 17

    Thai Green Mango Salad

    Thai green mango salad

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    This salad will blow you away with its taste bud-awakening flavors and mixture of textures. It uses green mango, which is mango that hasn't ripened yet but is fully edible. It's not an unusual way to use this fruit in Thai cuisine, and it adds a crunchy, tangy, and slightly nutty taste to the salad.

  • 06 of 17

    Spanish Green Salad (Ensalada Verde)

    Spanish-Style Green Salad (Ensalada Verde)

    SL Liang/Getty Images

    It's hard to argue with the simplicity of a crisp, green salad with lettuce, tomatoes, and red onion, tossed in a simple vinaigrette dressing. You could serve this refreshing, palate-cleansing starter with just about any Mediterranean meal, from Italian shrimp scampi to Spanish paella or Greek spanakopita.

  • 07 of 17

    Sautéed Asparagus With Lemon

    Sautéed Asparagus With Lemon

    The Spruce

    Green, grassy, fresh asparagus is a popular pairing for garlicky shrimp scampi. You'll go back again and again to this easy, classic technique for pan-sautéeing crisp-tender asparagus with lemon, butter, a little white wine, and your choice of herbs. When buying asparagus, look for firm, smooth stalks that stand up straight, with closed, compact tips.

  • 08 of 17

    Toasted Garlic Bread

    Tray of toasted garlic bread

    Cultura / BRETT STEVENS / Riser / Getty Images

    Toasted garlic bread is a classic accompaniment for shrimp scampi. Not only does it boast a delicious, intensely garlicky flavor — it's simply the best vehicle for sopping up all that good scampi sauce. This must-know garlic bread recipe combines butter and olive oil (instead of just butter) for outstanding depth of flavor and crispiness when baked.

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  • 09 of 17

    Easy Baked Risotto

    Easy Baked Risotto

    The Spruce/Julia Estrada

    When you would rather spend time with your dinner date than stand and stir at the stove, this baked risotto is a genius solution. It goes gorgeously with shrimp, and delivers all the creamy, cheesy goodness you crave in the Italian rice dish, without requiring you to monitor it closely while it bakes.

  • 10 of 17

    Linguine or Spaghetti With Spinach Pesto Sauce

    Linguine or Spaghetti With Spinach Pesto Sauce

    Diana Rattray

    A fresh, vibrant green spinach pesto sauce flavors the pasta in this easy dish that you can make at any time of year. It creates a delicious bed for buttery cooked shrimp, and can be boosted to taste with lemon juice and freshly-ground black pepper. If pine nuts are hard to find, feel free to substitute the same quantity of toasted walnuts in their place.

  • 11 of 17

    Zucchini Noodles

    Zucchini Noodles

    Kristina Vanni

    Zucchini noodles created with a kitchen spiralizer are a healthy, gluten-free alternative to pasta whenever you want a lower-calorie meal, or are avoiding carbs. They cook in just 5 minutes on the stovetop, for a super-quick side dish you can toss with pesto sauce, or dress simply in butter and fresh chopped herbs.

  • 12 of 17

    Instant Pot Polenta

    instant pot polenta

    Polenta is an Italian porridge of finely-ground cornmeal with a variety of flavor profiles and methods. With this Instant Pot variation, there's no need to linger over the stovetop, constantly stirring in fear of burning the bottom of the pot. This luscious recipe makes the perfect addition to a hearty bolognese, succulent short ribs, or a mushroom ragu. 

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  • 13 of 17

    Chocolate Lava Cakes

    Chocolate Lava Cakes

    The Spruce/Kristina Vanni

    Molten chocolate lava cakes are an easy and elegant dessert for two that you can bake up in a mere 30 minutes. You and your special someone will love digging your forks into your own, individual cakes, to release the ooey, gooey, chocolate sauce at the center.

  • 14 of 17

    Easy Key Lime Pie

    Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe

    Matt Bowman-Getty Images


    Finish your romantic meal with a slice (or two) of bright-tasting, creamy key lime pie. Use a store-bought graham cracker crust for this easy-bake version with a delectable key lime curd made with sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and fresh lime juice and zest. Leave the pie to cool on the counter for 30 minutes, before popping in the fridge to chill thoroughly, about 3 hours.

  • 15 of 17

    Keto Tiramisu

    keto tiramisu hero shot of slice on plate, with whole tiramisu in frame

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Tiramisu is a classic dessert with bold flavors and light textures. Ladyfingers, sabayon, and booze: those are just a few of the non-keto components of a traditional tiramisu. This recipe includes keto-friendly shortbread cookie, custard made extra creamy with mascarpone, and spiked strong coffee into a spoonable, bittersweet confection. 

  • 16 of 17

    Champagne Cocktail

    Champagne Cocktails

    The Spruce

    The classic champagne cocktail is a beautiful way to toast a special occasion, whether it's a romantic dinner, New Year's Eve, or any other festive celebration. It's fun and easy to mix up in a flute glass with your favorite brand of bubbly, a little brandy, and Angostura Bitters. When poured atop a sugar cube, the champagne creates a beautiful fountain of bubbles that will delight and cheer your guests.

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  • 17 of 17

    The Classic Whiskey Manhattan Recipe With Variations

    Classic Manhattan cocktail recipe

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    One of the finest and oldest cocktails, the Manhattan is truly a classic cocktail. It is a simple drink recipe that requires just a few ingredients. You can choose between rye whiskey and bourbon, though some drinkers still prefer a smooth Canadian whisky.