Easy Scampi Sauce for Shrimp

Easy shrimp scampi sauce in a bowl next to shrimp scampi

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 4 mins
Total: 14 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
300 Calories
7g Fat
4g Carbs
52g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 300
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 486mg 162%
Sodium 2322mg 101%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 52g
Vitamin C 8mg 41%
Calcium 214mg 16%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 418mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy-to-make sauce recipe creates a delicious shrimp scampi that takes mere minutes to prepare. Just heat the sauce ingredients, toss with shrimp, then serve the garlicky concoction over pasta or rice. You can also serve the shrimp and sauce on their own as an appetizer with toothpicks.

This will make enough sauce for about two pounds of peeled and cooked shrimp. Alternatively, you can use scampi sauce to top other kinds of seafood or even chicken as well as pasta or rice. The mild but rich dish pairs well with a leafy green salad, sautéed broccoli, or grilled asparagus.


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"Scampi sauce is a perfect way to transform your seafood into a delectable dish. It is super easy to whip together and can be used on shrimp, mild fish, or even chicken. Once you master this recipe you will be making it all the time with different variations and side dishes." —Tracy Wilk

Easy shrimp scampi sauce in a bowl with shrimp and spaghetti
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 6 tablespoons salted butter

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Dash tabasco sauce

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley

  • 2 pounds peeled and cooked shrimp, or other cooked and prepped seafood, or cooked chicken breast

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for scampi sauce ingredients recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter stops foaming add the garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes. 

    Butter melting in a saucepan with garlic

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Stir in the lemon juice, dash of Tabasco sauce, and salt to taste. Heat through. Stir in the fresh parsley.

    Fresh parsley, lemon juice, and Tabasco sauce added to scampi sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Toss with hot cooked shrimp and serve immediately with hot cooked rice or angel hair pasta.

    Scampi sauce tossed with cooked shrimp on a white platter

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga 

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

How to Use

Scampi sauce is classically used on seafood like shrimp. It also tastes great with prawns, lobster, scallops, and white fish like cod or flounder. Or swap the seafood for chicken breast.

  • Add just-cooked seafood—either broiled, grilled, steamed, or sautéed—to the hot, finished sauce and toss. Or drizzle the scampi sauce over the top.
  • If serving with pasta or rice, add to the plates before topping with the seafood or chicken and scampi sauce.
  • If serving without pasta or rice, consider serving the dish with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Scampi Variations

What Does Scampi Mean?

Scampi is actually the name of a type of prawn or small lobster. The scampi are often served in a garlic and butter sauce but are not commonly available in the U.S. In American cuisine, shrimp replaces the scampi with the word "scampi" describing the style of dish instead of the crustacean. Shrimp scampi is a seafood dish with a sauce of garlic, lemon, and butter. 

How Do You Thicken a Scampi Sauce?

Scampi sauce is meant to be fairly thin since it's largely butter-based. If you would like a thicker sauce, consider adding a slurry made with cornstarch or add some heavy cream. Cream will also make the sauce richer.