Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi Pasta

4 persons
15 min
Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Shrimps…. oh divine shrimps… how much I love thee… I love shrimp. I love all fish, and always ready to have them for dinner. Easy and super delicious, the best combination for a quick home dinner.

Recipes for Shrimp Scampi have been around forever.

I have found many variations of this simple dish, but they all have one thing in common: lots of butter, my favorite ingredient. What can I say? I am French, after all, ♥

My version of creamy lemon shrimp scampi pasta is a bit different from your traditional scampi. I add some cream and lots of lemon juice and use the cooking water to my advantage by making this lemon shrimp scampi light and creamy.

I finished them off with the pasta so both could infuse themself with the lemon cream flavor.

But you can also enjoy them with crusty French or Italian bread to absorb the sauce. Appetizer or dinner… it’s up to you.

I always like to use the largest shrimp available, personal choice. Please prepare all your ingredients, as it takes less than 10 minutes from when the water boils to when you sit down for dinner.

Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi Pasta

What is scampi made of?

In most countries, especially Italy, scampi means the peeled tail of pretty much any kind of prawn.

Scampi, to be precise, does not mean shrimp, but it is the Italian name for small members of the lobster family. Other names for it are Dublin Bay prawns, Norway lobster, or French langoustine.

Italian cooks in the United States swapped shrimp for scampi and kept both names.

Can you use frozen shrimp?

Yes, this recipe will work well with both fresh and frozen shrimp. If using frozen, ensure that the shrimp is thawed and well rinsed.

Do you have to serve the shrimp with pasta?

If you are in the mood to have shrimp, you can altogether forgo the pasta and enjoy them on its own.

For a delicious shrimp scampi, I am recommending the following adjustments to the sauce:

  • Add more butter: Classic scampi tend to have a buttery sauce; therefore, I recommend adding at least three to four tablespoons of unsalted butter.
  • Reduce the amount of lemon juice.
  • Add a little more white wine to the sauce.

Do not forget to buy fresh Italian bread or French baguette to soak up all the wonderful sauce.

Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Cooking shrimp can be very tricky.

Shrimp are tricky and cook relatively fast; when over-cooked, they are rather tough.

I recommend turning them to cook the other side as soon as they turn pink.

If your pasta is not ready yet. Remove them from the heat source, and set them aside even if they are not cooked, meaning they are still gray looking inside. Add them back to your sauce once the pasta is ready to be added to the sauce.

This step will prevent them from overcooking.

Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed to make this Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi Pasta

This is a quick introduction; please read the recipe for complete instructions.

Angel hair pasta: This shrimp scampi is served over a bed of pasta. This is one of the fasted cooking pasta, three minutes. However, you want to add it to the lemon sauce after two minutes.

Shrimp: the star of this dish. Medium to large is best for this dish. They must be peeled, deveined, and their tails removed. However, you can leave the tails on if you wish.

Unsalted butter: One of the key ingredients that make this sauce rich and gives lots of flavor to your shrimp.

Garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper: delicious seasoning for this dish. Lots of flavors. Chop them together to release the natural oils into each ingredient.

Capers: I love using under-salt capers. However, under vinegar are fine as well. Just rinse well under cold water.

Lemon juice: Trademark of all shrimp scampi. The lemon juice helps bring a deeper flavor to this dish.

Heavy cream: give the creamy, rich flavor to this dish. It coats each strand of pasta with softness.

Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Equipment needed

I only recommend what I use and love. To achieve this recipe, I used the following:

Large pot

Large skillet


Cutting board


Cooking tongs


Measuring cups and spoons

Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions to create this excellent creamy lemon shrimp scampi pasta

You can find the printable recipe with all the correct amounts at the bottom of this post.

Angel hair pasta takes less than three minutes to cook. As you will have to mix it with the creamy lemon sauce, I recommend cooking it al dente, only two minutes, so it will not break down and get too mushy.

Have all the ingredients ready, as this recipe will go faster than expected.

  • Start by boiling a large pot of salted water for the pasta. Cook the pasta in one minute less than the manufacturer’s instructions. You want them at dente, with a bite when you eat one to test.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet to hold the pasta, and add the parsley, garlic, and caper mixture.
Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi Pasta
  • Add the lemon juice and swirl well.
  • Lower the heat, gently add the heavy cream, and swirl until all blended with the lemon and parsley mixture.
  • Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet. Turn when they slightly turn pink on one side.
  • Reserve cooking water and add the angel hair pasta to the skillet. Lower the heat under the skillet and add cooking water if the pasta gets dry.
Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Substitutions and variations

Substitute the cooking water with white wine. Make sure the wine is well evaporated before serving.

Add a touch of red pepper flakes to give it a kick.

Pasta: Angel hair is one of my favorites. However, linguine, fettuccine, bucatini, or spaghetti can be the perfect substitute.

Storage instructions and reheating

Once prepared, you can store the creamy lemon shrimp scampi for up to three days in the refrigerator.

Bring back to room temperature, add a couple of tablespoons of water or heavy cream, and set over medium-low to reheat over your stove.

If you enjoy this delicious Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi recipe, look at my other recipes.

Fettuccine with Lemon Mascarpone Sauce

Burrata Cheese With Roasted Tomatoes and Fettucine

Turmeric Linguine With Shrimps and Saffron Sauce

Broccoli With Lemon Rigatoni Pasta

Giangi's Kitchen Signature
Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi Pasta

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Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi Pasta
Recipe details
  • 4  persons
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 15 min
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  • 1 pound large, peeled, tails off and deveined shrimps
  • 1 pound angel hair pasta
  • 2 tablspoons minced garlic
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons capers, chopped
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil add the angel hair pasta and cook until al dente according to packaging manufacturing instructions.
In a large skillet over medium-high, add the unsalted butter. Once melted, add the finely chopped garlic, parsley, and capers. Cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the lemon juice and swirl around the pan and mix well. Add the cream and integrate it well.
Season generously with salt, and pepper the shrimp and add them to the skillet.
Cook, turning once the shrimps are pink and cooked through, for about 3 minutes.
Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and set aside.
Using tongs, transfer the pasta from the water to the skillet and toss to coat. Add cooking water if the pasta is too dry.
Serve immediately.
Sprinkle lemon zest, optional.
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